After Eight straight victories, Arsenal move into the third month of the season on a wave of optimism. Now positioned in 5th, and only four points behind league leaders, Manchester City, the Gunners face their next challenge, a tough fixture away at Craven Cottage.
Fulham come into this game in less impressive style. Only two wins in their last six sees them placed down in 17th.
The North Londoners will be stressing over the availability of stars, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (illness) and Aaron Ramsey (Birth of Twins), who missed Thursdays game against Qarabag.
Arsenal will already be without goalkeeper, Petr Čech, who misses his first league game, this season, after sustaining a hamstring injury against Watford. Mavropanos (groin), Maitland-Niles (leg) and Koscielny (Achilles) also remain sidelined by their respective, long-term injuries.
Fulham, on the other hand, will be without the services of Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Joe Bryan, who both suffered injuries last time out. However, they will be hoping that defender, Alfie Mawson, will be returning after his short spell with a back problem.
Both teams will be looking out for contributions from on form strikers, Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) and Aleksandar Mitrović (Fulham). The former has two goals, two assists and a player of the month award nomination to boast about in September. Whereas, the Fulham striker has netted an impressive five goals this term – only Eden Hazard has more.
The Gunners manager, Unai Emery, described this fixture as “a very big challenge” and exaggerated the need to pressurise the south-London side in possession. He also noted the danger that Jean Michaël Seri and Andre Shürrle could cause the reds.
Slavisa Jokanovic was also full of compliments. The Serbian described Arsenal as “a big club and a good team”. Realising that his team are in poor form, he stated that his team need to be “more ambitious and need to show more aggression and more speed.”
Arsenal have only ever lost three of their 26 Premier League encounters against the cottagers – winning 18 in that time. However, the Gunners have had a hard time recently away at their London rivals. Only one win in their last eight trips across the capital.
If previous fixtures are anything to go by, temperaments may go affray. There has been four red cards – two for each side – in the last four Premier League meetings at Craven Cottage.
Fulham 1 – 3 Arsenal
Arsenal: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Sokratis, Monreal; Torreira, Xhaka, Özil; Iwobi, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Fulham: Bettinelli; Christie, Odoi, Ream, Sessegnon; Zambo Anguissa, Cairney, Seri; Vietto, Mitrovic, Schurrle