Arsenal 1 – 0 QPR, Fulham Preview

Two games in 48 hours is a usual part of the festive period and we saw over the last few days that this period comes with a few upsets – Sunderland beating Man City and Blackburn beating Man United – two results I didn’t see coming.

The goal that won us the game came through that man, Robin Van Persie, who got onto the end of an excellent ball by Arshavin and slotted past the keeper with what looked like a simple finish. The result at the weekend put us into fourth place in the league and we have been strivimg to get there from the beginning of the season. The job is not done… Chelsea and Liverpool are just 2 points behind us.

Koscielny spoke about the performance:

“It was very important to win [against QPR], because we drew against Wolves and we wanted to win this game and we did. It is good for us that we are fourth, so we need to stay in fourth spot and maybe even get to third. We work every day to get stronger. We know we [still have to] play at home against Chelsea, Manchester Utd, Manchester City and Tottenham, so we have the cards in our hands. We can go higher in the table [if we win at home].”

That’s true, but the real points are picked up against the smaller clubs. The Wolves game was a disappointment of course, but the festive period has brought about the strange results, with Chelsea also losing, at home to the out of form Villa.

Arsenal vs Fulham

Today’s game is vital, Fulham have also played a lot of games, so it will be tired squad versus tired squad. It’s unknown how the manager will play today’s game. We don’t have a lot of players that we can rotate. Injuries to Sagna, Jenkinson, Santos, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Diaby and Wilshere doesn’t leave us with a lot of options to maintain a fit XI other than sticking with the team we have. Of course, with the FA cup coming up next weekend, there will be some rest for the first team.

My predicted line up is:

Szcznesy

Djourou – Mertersacker – Koscielny – Miquel

Arteta – Song

Walcott – Rosicky – Gervinho

Van Persie

With a bench of Almunia, Coquelin, Squillaci, Ramsey, Benayoun, Chamakh, Oxlade

Fulham away is always a tough game, so we’ll need to be at our best… come on you Gooners!

  • vj

    I wouldn’t be suprised if benayoun started ahead of theo, or oxlade gets his first start, Wenger might even risk starting Chamakh to give Robin a rest, I expect Coquelin to play somewhere as well, with at either full back

  • Bonathan

    why oh why do we play djourou at rb? either put kos at rb and jd at centre back or play miquel. but do not play jd at full back. been coming

  • Bonathan

    and why do we bring squillaci on ahead of miquel? in fact, why is squillaci even still here?

  • manoo

    absolute joke performance in the second half. embarassing, they couldn’t keep the ball at all. got outplayed by fulham in the second half. what a joke. even in the first half, gervinho and walcott getting into good positions but wasteful. second half was awful, they didnt look like they wanted it at all. complete joke. these games are must win if wana get into the top 4.

  • prime

    please sell djourou and squillaci..tired with both of them…

  • robin

    thought the ref was pretty poor for both sides and the penalty shout was hardly a stone waller so no hard done by excuses from me. just down to having no defenders and once again creating the chances and not putting them away. never have i seen a worse finisher from 3 yards than Gervinho, that’s about 3 he’s missed this season and any chances they had were down to us not defending properly, injuries are wrecking our season yet again! RvP is great but he’s not really a turn and run and defenders striker and that’s the only chances he had yesterday and it’s not like Theo is gonna hit the target nowadays. we looked dead on our feet in the last 20 and paid the price for not being able to rotate our squad.

  • stevethegunner

    The way Senderos played today proves beyond doubt that Wenger doesn’t coach defence. That was the same Senderos who looked like a donkey for us.

    When we kept 10 consecutive clean sheets during that CL run in 2006 Senderos was impressive also and at the time Keown was our defensive coach. Coincidence? I think not.

    Senderos is a good CB who was ruined by Wenger.

  • Berth

    @ Robin. I think you hit the target on the G-spot. The price of not rotating cost us. Wenger basically used about 16 players for 3 matches within the space of a week. These guys are men and not machines.

    We struggled for sure but that is certainly down to not rotating.

  • paul

    i hate how wenger is prepared to sell players like fabregas and nasri and not replace them will rely on youth as thier replacements. yet he wont drop the old gaurd, the regulars who have been around for 4-5 years and not really progessed (rosicky, djourou diaby, walcott, almunia). coquelin showed yesterday to be a capable defender and i would pick him ahead of squillaci and djourou anywhere across the back 4. chamberlain is another rairng to go, instead wenger persists with i want 80k a week walcott. rosicky im just amazed at, i dont understand him at all. when rosicky comes on i think to myself, are we more solid? will our passing movement be more slicker? is he a goal threat? can he create? is he a set piece threat? will he hurry the opposition when not in possesion? and the answer is no to all. we dont throw games away in the manner we do, and we are not about to sink to 6th posiion based on luck of lack off. wenger has simply put together a sqaud lacking the qaulity and attitude to match the top teams. it all comes down to wenger, its his team, christ its his club. some say he is the man to get us out of this mess. hpwver this is fact and cannot be disputed, he is the man who put us in it.