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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Talented forwards likely to prosper at Fulham

Arsenal should come out on top

Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno had to be alert to keep a clean sheet against Watford
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Premier League
BT Sport 1, midday Sunday

Thursday's successful Europa League trip to Azerbaijan extended Arsenal's winning streak to eight games in all competitions and they are odds-on to make it nine in a row at Fulham.

After opening defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea, Unai Emery's men have taken full advantage of a soft sequence of fixtures despite some unconvincing performances.

Emery took a strong squad to Baku, where Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka were among the substitutes, so there is a quick turnaround for Arsenal after their 3-0 win over Qarabag.

That result featured a third clean sheet in four games but the Gunners continue to give up far too many chances and have been forced into a change in goal, with Bernd Leno replacing the injured Petr Cech.

Arsenal lost the shot count 14-9 in their 2-0 win over Watford last weekend, while a week earlier Cech had been man of the match in another 2-0 victory against Everton.

Promoted Fulham have defensive problems of their own, having shipped 16 goals in seven games, but they also have the attacking quality to trouble their visitors.

If Slavisa Jokanovic is bold with his team selection then a front three of Andre Schurrle, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Luciano Vietto could make their mark.

Fulham have scored in four of their last six league games, being shut out in 3-0 defeats to champions Manchester City and Everton.

They created chances against the Toffees, however, having five attempts on goal to their hosts' one in the first half at Goodison Park and backing Arsenal to win and both teams to score appeals at 7-4.

The Gunners pose a serious threat up front, where the impressive Lacazette has forced his way into the starting line-up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shifting to the left flank.

That could spell trouble for Cyrus Christie, who is likely to fill in at right-back for the Cottagers. Christie came on for the injured Timothy Fosu-Mensah early on at Goodison and was booked after being given the runaround by Brazilian forward Richarlison.

He picked up seven yellow cards in 24 starts for Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship last season and could face another testing afternoon up against the high-class Aubameyang. 

Recommendations
Arsenal to win & both teams to score
2pts 7-4 general
C Christie to be shown a card
1pt 7-2 bet365, Sky Bet

Team news
Fulham
Full-backs Timothy Fosu-Mensah (shoulder) and Joe Bryan (hamstring) are sidelined but Alfie Mawson could return after a back injury. Arsenal loanee Calum Chambers is ineligible.

Arsenal
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to recover from illness but Petr Cech is injured so Bernd Leno will continue in goal. Aaron Ramsey is doubtful as his wife is due to give birth.

Key stat
Fulham have conceded at least twice in six of their seven Premier League matches.


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If Slavisa Jokanovic is bold with his team selection a front three of Andre Schurrle, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Luciano Vietto could make their mark
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