Arsenal v Fulham: PREVIEW
PUBLISHED: 20:03 31 December 2018
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Arsenal host Fulham at the Emirates on New Year’s Day. Read on for Layth Yousif’s preview.
Unai Emery’s Gunners take on the Cottagers at the Emirates on Tuesday looking to start 2019 with a bang after a bad result and performance against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.
The North Londoners ended a tumultuous year on a low after a 5-1 thrashing by Jurgen Klopp’s Reds on Merseyside which showed just how far Emery’s side need to improve to be considered genuine title challengers.
The visit of the relegation-threatened West Londoners should give a chance to erase some of those painful memories – considering the fact Fulham have never won at Highbury or the Emirates in a whopping 28 visits.
While it is important to start the year off with a victory it is imperative that the powers-that-be at the club release funds for Emery to strengthen, especially in defence.
Head coach Emery said: “We need to keep the balance in the middle, be serious and continue on Tuesday with a big match at the Emirates.
“We need to show our supporters there we are standing up after the result [against Liverpool].”
The Gunners have scored more than one goal in nine of their last 10 Premier League London derbies – but have not kept a clean sheet in any of the 10 games.
Worryingly Arsenal conceded 14 league goals during the month of December which was the most they’ve conceded in a calendar month since April 1979 when they conceded 15.
However, Cottagers boss Claudio Ranieri has never won a Premier League match against Arsenal in 10 previous attempts (D4, L6).
Looking forward to the match the amiable Italian who guided Leicester City to a never-to-be-forgotten Premier League title two seasons ago said: “Unai is working well and it will be another tough match for us. I’ve come across him before. Maybe I played against him when he was at Paris St Germain. He’s an intelligent and experienced coach.”