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Fulham away at Arsenal ~ Match Preview

last updated Friday 25th November 2011, 1:31 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
Robin is flying and Alex is on song as Arsenal make nonsense of their early-season critics. They've won five successive league games for the first time in 20 months and 11 of their last 13 matches in all competitions. There's little to suggest Fulham can end their wretched away record at the Gunners, where they've never won.

Robin van Persie is unstoppable right now. His finishing is deadly and his overall reading of a game is highly astute. He has led from the front as Arsenal have surged back up the table and into the knockout stages of the Champions League.

The Flying Dutchman has netted 44 goals in 50 games for club and country this calendar year at an average of 0.88 goals a game. That's a better strike rate than Lionel Messi. Only Cristiano Ronaldo can better it with 53 in 55 games!

He's now gunning for records. His 13 goals in the first 12 league matches has only ever been bettered in the Premier League by Les Ferdinand, who hit 14 by this stage but failed to score in game 13.

The Arsenal captain has netted 31 Premier League goals in 2011. Only Alan Shearer (36 in 1995) and Thierry Henry (34 in 2004) have scored more in a calendar year.

Alex Song has had a huge influence on Arsenal's rekindled form. His powerhouse display against Dortmund was one of the strongest seen by a central midfielder this season in the Champions League. Over the past year he has learned when to make his runs and when to hold, and he no longer gives away too many silly free-kicks.

There are still defensive flaws and Fulham will be a danger at set-pieces. But their away form in the Premier League has been very poor over the years.

If Arsenal are to finish in the top four, they have to win games like this.


  • Arsenal have never lost at home to Fulham in any competition (W22, D3).

  • Fulham have only mustered six goals in their 10 Premier League visits to Arsenal and have never scored more than once in any of those matches.

  • Arsenal

  • Arsenal have won five successive Premier League matches for the first time in 20 months.

  • They have conceded a league-high 29% of goals from shots from outside the penalty area this season.

  • Robin van Persie has scored 13 league goals this season - as many as all of Fulham players combined.

  • According to Opta, all eight of Theo Walcott's goal assists in 2011 have been to set up van Persie.

  • Fulham

  • Fulham have won just 12 of their last 101 away matches in the Premier League.

  • They have used 20 players in the Premier League so far, fewer than any other team.

  • Manager Martin Jol failed to win in all seven London derbies against Arsenal when he was in charge at Tottenham (D3, L4).

  • Mark Schwarzer's record of five clean sheets this season is a tally matched only by Swansea's Michel Vorm.

  • Damien Duff is poised to make his 400th league appearance.

Source Jonathan Pearce at BBCSport
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