We have all been wondering what to make of the absence of Andrey Arshavin, when was the last time he started a match?
Over the last few weeks he hasn’t even made it onto the pitch from the bench either but today could see his return which suggests Wenger could rotate a little tonight.
Talking about Arshavin, Wenger said:
He’s not a back-up player but at the moment he doesn’t play, maybe he will play on Saturday.
I feel sorry for every player who doesn’t play but it is part of our job. Competition is part of our job and you must accept that in some periods of your career somebody can get in front of you.
It must be difficult, right now things are not broken so why fix it but on the other hand, if players don’t get a rest when they need, injuries could set in…
Personally, I’d start with the same side that won midweek, we didn’t have to travel and surely they have had chance to rest those weary legs in time for today’s home match.
From Wengers comments though, maybe the Russian is about to make his first appearance for a little while today but will he be the only change? I don’t think so, I reckon the big Frenchman could be in for his first start in what seems like years.
We all know it’s Fulham up today at 5.30pm and here are a few stats:
As said, Diaby is fit and Rosicky has also available for selection after recovering from an ankle injury which kept him out of the midweek game.
Fulham are without both Damien Duff and Stephen Kelly, old boy John Arne Riise is back after becoming a father.
We are now on a five match winning run in the league, our best run in near on 20 months so things really are looking better. The side seems so much more gelled, more ‘team like’ and things seem to be defiantly on the up, long may that remain. We finally have a captain who when talks on the clubs website, does so about others and not just himself. He makes it clear how important each and every players contribution is paramount to us improving and no matter how the media want to call us a one player team, he obviously doesn’t agree with the idiots!
Fulham have never beaten us on our own blades of grass….
Did you know that Alex Song’s performance against Dortmund midweek was one of the strongest seen by a central midfielder this season in the Champions League – shame he was guilty of a gaff in the last few minutes of that game, it could have been the best rather than ‘one of the best’.
Some suggest we still have weaknesses in defence, maybe they are right but we are certainly a great deal better than we were at the beginning of the season, a clean sheet today may just go a long way to shutting the critics up.
We have never lost to Fulham at home – out of the 25 matches played, we have drawn just three and in the ten Premier League fixtures played, they have managed just six goals.
Fulham have scored 13 goals this season and our number 10 has scored that same amount all by himself.
Theo has notched up 8 assists this year and each one has been finished by Robin.
Fulham, well they have managed just 12 victories in their last 101 away fixtures in the Premier League but this season, our one time goalkeeper target, Mark Schwarzer has kept five clean sheets, equal best in the league so getting past him won’t be easy.
So, their keeper is in form but he hasn’t faced the most potent striker in the league yet has he?
The big question is, will he today and if he does, will he keep a clean sheet?
I doubt it……..