Arsenal host the Cottagers at the Emirates Stadium on New Year’s day in what promises to be an interesting match. Unai Emery’s side has fielded an ageing backline all season that has shipped in 30 goals already for only 21 games this season. Arsenal would be hoping to improve on their current form after a dip-in-form has seen them only three points ahead of 6th-placed Manchester United and five points adrift of Champions league place. However, Arsenal has the third-best home record bested only by Liverpool and ManCity.
Recent Premier League Form: D W L W D L
19th-placed Fulham would like to cause an upset at the Emirates Stadium with book makers favouring a win for the Gunners. They would like to improve on a form that has seen them win two of their last three matches bolting away from the bottom of the pile in the league table. A win here could see them skedaddle from the shackles of relegation into 17th place.
Recent Premier League: D L L D D W
Mesut Ozil was missing entirely from Arsenal’s defeat at Liverpool due to a knee injury. Consequently, the German International is unlikely to recover in time for the game against Ranieri’s side. Ozil joins an increasing list of injury concerns including fellow attackers- Henrikh Mkhirtaryan, Danny Welbeck and Emily Smith Rowe.
Their defence however suffers the biggest injury scare- Hector Bellerin (calf), Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin), Rob Holding (knee). Skhodran Mustafi’s return would command a huge boost for the Arsenal backline.
Calum Chambers is ineligible to play against his parent club and would therefore miss the match against the North Londoners. Alfie Mawson sustained a knee injury in the weekend against Huddersfield and could as a result also be an absentee. Kamara is not expected anytime soon as a result of the penalty incident at the weekend.
Leno (GK), Defenders: Lichsteiner, Mustafi, Sokratis, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Midfielders: Ramsey, Torreira, Xhaka, Forwards: Aubameyang, Lacazzette.
Rico (GK), Defenders: Bryan, Marchana, Ream, Odoi, Christie, Midfielders: Sessegnon, McDonald, Seri, Schurrle, Forwards: Mitrovic
Match Prediction: Arsenal vs Fulham (3-1)
Arsenal thumped the Cottagers to a 4-1 victory. This was little shy of our prediction. Arsenal have failed to keep a clean sheet on several outings. Goals from Granit Xhaka, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed a comfortable win for Emery’s men. A goal pulled back by substitute, Aboubakar Kamara, wasn’t enough to pull off a come-back stunt against the North-Londoners.