Arsenal v Fulham: Preview and Lineup: Same 11?

Arsenal v Fulham – April  18, 2021

Craven Cottage has a history that dates back to 1780 when a cottage was built in the woods and the surrounding fields were used for various sports. The site, however, later fell into disuse and the original cottage burned down in 1888.

Fulham had already played at various grounds when their eye fell on the site close to the river Thames. After cleaning up the overgrown field, they played their first match at the ground in 1896. Craven Cottage at that time consisted of nothing more than a basic wooden stand.

This changed in 1906 when a first proper stand was built. The stand, currently called Johnny Haynes Stand, was designed by Archibald Leitch and had a characteristic red-brick facade. The stand was accompanied by a pavilion, which is the present-day Cottage.

Craven Cottage was further expanded with terraces in the next decades and reached its record attendance in 1938 when a total of 49,335 spectators attended a game against Millwall. One decade later, Craven Cottage hosted a few games during the 1948 Olympic Games.

Fulham were formed in 1879 as Fulham St Andrew’s Church Sunday School F.C., founded by worshipers (mostly adept at cricket) at the Church of England on Star Road, West Kensington (St Andrew’s, Fulham Fields). They won the West London Amateur Cup in 1887 and, having shortened the name from Fulham Excelsior to its present form in 1888, they then won the West London League in 1893 at the first attempt.

The club gained professional status on 12 December 1898, the same year that they were admitted into the Southern League’s Second Division. They were the second club from London to turn professional, following Arsenal then named Royal Arsenal 1891.

Famous names like Johnny Haynes, Bobby Moore, Rodney Marsh and George Best have been part of the team through the years.

Our first league meeting against Fulham was in Division 2 on March 14th 1914 and it ended in a 2-0 victory for Arsenal. Overall we have played them 28 times at home and Fulham have never won a single game; they have managed just 5 draws and have been outscored 71 to 24.

Arsenal v Fulham EPL Home Games
123-Feb-021  41
201-Feb-031  21
330-Nov-03 1 00
426-Dec-041  20
524-Aug-051  41
629-Apr-071  31
712-Aug-071  21
828-Feb-09 1 00
909-May-101  40
1004-Dec-101  21
1126-Nov-11 1 11
1210-Nov-12 1 33
1318-Jan-141  20
1401-Jan-191  41
Arsenal v Fulham – All Home Results
2Total Div 220050
12Total Div 111103313
14Total EPL10403311
28All Results23507124

At the time of writing Fulham’s 2020-21 record is W5, D11, L16, GF24, GA42, Pts 26. – they are in 18th place and have played two games more then any of the bottom seven teams.

I cannot envisage anything other than a victory for Arsenal.


Predicted Lineup by TotalArsenal:

With the sort of injuries we have – Auba, Ode, Tierney, Luiz all out – I cannot see too many changes to the lineup from Thursday. This is an important game for us as a win will get us much closer to the European places. Willock did us a huge favour by helping NU to beat the Hammers and a win will bring us much closer to them. But fatigue may play a role and maybe Arteta has to rotate a bit with the likes of Big Gab, Elneny, Soares, Bels, Eddie and Nelson. Still, I believe that we first should get the job done and I don’t expect it to be easy, as Fulham are not playing bad currently and will punish us if the tempo/intensity is too low. So I prefer us to start with the same 11.

42 thoughts on “Arsenal v Fulham: Preview and Lineup: Same 11?

  • GN5,

    Really good to have another preview by you and thanks for the Fulham is history. Unlike you, I am a bit wary as these so called easier games often turn out to be really hard. Arteta may be tempted to make changes but I think we cannot afford them tomorrow. We need those three points in the league badly and must do everything to get them.

  • I can’t remember the last time Arsenal had a back four so big and physically imposing as what we have now, it’s like the kind of back four you’d usually see playing for Burnley, just a whole lot more skilful.

    Two clean sheets tells it’s own story so maybe Arteta has again stumbled on the answer once more due to Soares and Gabriel messing up vs Slavia in the 1st leg, Luiz getting injured and Bellerin falling out of favour.

    When I read and hear other Arsenal views elsewhere I rarely see Mari suggested as a 1st choice, it’s always Gabriel and I don’t see Holding as a 1st choice suggested either it’s Luiz or Saliba, but this works and if it works it would therefore be a bit stupid to change it. I’m sure that this defence can negotiate most of the rest of our remaining games so unless Arteta fancies making the odd sub during a game to give someone a breather I’d be inclined to leave well alone.

    The Xhaka role looks key Total, it means we basically have two sitting full backs and that allows our young guns the freedom to attack at pace, at will and to drive into all those spaces we don’t currently have full backs running into.

  • Yes the Xhaka role works well, Kev. He is a quiet organiser and leader and his positional awareness has been great over the last two games. Granit, Calum and Thomas can all quickly and accurately move the ball where there is space and the boys up-front love to get that sort of service. Early days but …. CoYGs!

  • Nice write up GN5, yeah Total, Arteta is going to want to keep the ball rolling, another win with a clean sheet would be fabulous and add to our growing confidence.

    Martinelli can come on early and give us that injection of enthusiasm that he adds to everything and if things are comfortable why not introduce Nketiah and Balogun, raw pace thrown at a tiring opponent?

  • Arteta is too reliant. Saka needs rest more often, and I’d want him strong, not just fit enough for Europa. Plenty of options for meaningless league games at this point.

    I don’t have the stats, but I feel like we had many more clean sheets during Holdings run. Then, when he couldn’t get a game lately, Luiz played very well in passing and attack, but I felt like we weren’t as solid defending.

  • TA that article of over reliance on Saka and ESR means that bith may be rested. I would love to see Martenelli getting a start. I also think Matty Ryan should get a game. He looked good during the Aston Villa game and looks to be a better distributor. It’s also a game where Laca can be rested and Balogon can start. Hoping for another vintage performance.
    Did anyone watch the FA Cup semi last nighy. What a dreadful match MC were pedestrain. Chelsea was a bit better and dominated possession. But MC looked awful abd couldn’t string passes together. Chance for Spurs to get a cup I guess next weekend.

  • Hi Johnno, sorry I’ve not answered yet, but yeah Holding does a lot of stuff that goes unnoticed because his playing style isn’t as pleasing to the eye, but I do notice the little headers and clearances that commentators ignore, next time there’s a high ball aimed at our area just check out whose heading it away because 9 times out of 10 it’ll be Rob. Yeah he makes the odd rick, but you show me a centre back who doesn’t, Luiz has made a career out of it, no mate I like this back four because it has an over- my- dead- body look about it and as the games run out and stakes go up it’s resiliance I want from my defence not the flashy fandango.

    I hope you’re are well J

  • Madhu, I read that piece last night and almost posted it myself but I knew the Flying Dutchman would put it up so I left it for Van Der Jock. 😉

    It’s always a bit of a worry for us Gooners because we have suffered, my God how we’ve suffered, from the ravages of injury to our most talented. From Rocky Rocastle, to Jack Wilshere, to Abou Diaby and many many more, we’ve witnessed our most technical getting overplayed and assaulted and we are scarred by the experience.

    Every time Smith Rowe or Saka goes down we collectively hold our breath and go ‘oh no, not again’…
    Saka reminds me of Rocky, those massive thighs, that swashbuckling style, that wonderful personality, Rocky would love it watching Bukayo, bless him, and Smith Rowe who looks so delicate as he weaves his way between the studs, a litany of niggling injuries in the bank already – growing pains perhaps?

    They make such a difference to our team but how do you protect them and can you anyway because I’m not sure you really can. They’ll go away with England and get abused and returned broken to us because that’s what international managers do.

    Personally I’d ration their minutes in these games, maybe start them but then bring them off early, keep then ticking over, fine tuned like a vintage Rolls Royce, we have a good gap between today and Everton and another good gap between Everton and Villarreal so they’ll get plenty of recovery time.

    Today, hmm, maybe I’d have both of them on the bench and then bring them on if we need them. But I would t be adverse to starting them either, they’ll both want to play anyway…

  • Madhu, not sure about resting players today, definitely not Leno. Let’s keep it steady at the back at least. We need continuity. All for a start for Martinelli today, maybe instead of Saka.

  • Nice mini tribute to Rocky, Kev.

    The thing with Saka is – and I pointed this out in a much ignored post a few days ago – that he is very efficient with his energy and decisions. He looks after himself so well and I reckon Arteta knows that. This is a bright boy who can make a difference with a few focused efforts. Play him for 60 minutes and take him off?

  • I’m with Madhu on starting Ryan (which doesn’t make it probably though), but I’m always a devoted advocator to rotation and balancing minutes.
    And it’s not just about a home game against a relegation position opponent, but also Ryan deserving to play some competitive games, and – maybe first of all – if Mikel and the board being in need to make a decision about signing Ryan permanently, they (as well as we) should see him beyond trainings in live action. One might argue: “OK, but not this one”, yet I don’t see any milestone or condition which would make Ryan’s involvement due. However the OGAAT approach – of which I’m less devoted – will not get Ryan minutes this season, as it didn’t help Nketiah, Martinelli, Nelson (Balogun, Azeez, Cottrell) either.

  • Refreshing news: Arteta rotates the squad quite heavily:
    Confirmed line-up:

    Subs: Leno, Cedric, Chambers, Marí, Partey, Willian, Pepe, Nelson, Nketiah

  • Not always the best thing to do, tweaking so much with the back line. Against a desperate side as Fulham, they will get asked questions.

    Anyway, it is a London Derby, so a lot to be confident about.

  • We have started well, however, in dominating fashion. If all that dominance could have resulted in goals, it would have been deserved.

    Now, Fulham are starting to come out too, creating chances of their own. Enjoyable watch for the neutrals. We just want some goals for our boys.

  • A goal for Ceballos is chalked off for offside, by just the length of Saka’s toe. A second goal too, rightly, flagged offside.

    I know VAR was brought to ensure fairness in refereeing decisions, but surely not for the kind we saw today with the Saka offside call. The game has no business being at 0-0. We must sustain same energy in the second half to get our just rewards in goals.

    Come on lads! Don’t give them a sniff.

  • That was tough on Dani who has had a good half. I think we would have been ahead a bit earlier if Martinelli had left the ball to Ceballos instead of shooting himself on the half turn. All to play for.

  • It’s still some 15 mins to go but it is fair to say thats its looking unlikely now as we have had no luck with our efforts on goal.
    It’s not going our way and may be one of those days.

    Hard one to take.

  • Fulham are time wasting now and we would get even more anxious in possession. Time for calm heads.

    I didn’t mention how damaging the injury to Lacazette has been and could be going into the end of the season.

  • At this stage we are not a team that can afford to make so many changes at once. The team just did not look right and a sense of ‘we mean business’ has been missing. Yes, we were also unlucky but I missed something today.

  • I know it’s not really constructive – and TA will not agree a bit – but starting Elneny against a team of inferior midfield (no disrespect here) is half a player advantage. Not because Mo played poor; he practically never does. But because he has no attacking contribution whatsoever – which is not a bug, but a feature of Elneny – we couldn’t drive dangerous attacks in the center and resorted to the meaningless byline crosses.
    Yes, the unlucky VAR decisions were major blows, but – in my opinion – the poorly selected midfield and the related tactics didn’t help either.

    At least we salvaged a point via Nketiah. I didn’t expect it to be my last sentence before the game…

  • I agree with those that have questioned the defensive changes, I don’t think they were necessary and now we’ve lost that run of clean sheets, too much tinkering on this occasion and I did feel uncomfortable before kick off so I’m not being wise after the event.

    Lacazette looks a three week hamstring so he’s out of the semi final, such bad luck.

    I thought both Xhaka and Holding kept their side up but we missed the calm of Mari and the strength of Chambers, at both ends.

    Fatigue did play its part but credit to the boys for not giving up, I think a draw was the least we deserved.

  • I don’t think that the performance and the result was consequence of the (changes in the) defensive line-up, Kev.
    They had 1 attempt on target, plus a dangerously deflected shot in the first half, and our defense kept the harm far away from the goal. Unfortunately a penalty is always in the cards, so – while a clean sheet is indeed important – in my opinion the best way to ensure victory is to score a hell lot of goals. And that we couldn’t deliver today.

  • I am all for having VAR. Its not perfect, but these offsides by 1 millimeter are ruining the game.

    I promise I’m not saying it because it has hurt us this week. Every game I see there are fine goals disallowed for silly offsides like this.

    Here’s the change to fix it… only look at players feet… forget armpits, hair, fingernails, nipples etc.

    Then use thicker lines like I’ve heard they are using in Eredivisie. These 2 changes would improve the games so much, and we can let players celebrate a goal with feeling like mugs and those minutes of worry after every goal.

    The lack of common sense in this multi billion dollar game is astounding.

  • I’m not so sure Peter, Gabriel wasn’t as secure as Mari and Bellerin was bang average, I’m not piling in on them alone, I also thought that our defence didn’t have confidence in Elneny either and as the game progressed I noticed that they weren’t passing to him. Another point is if you’re going to play a different goalkeeper I think it makes sense to play a settle and confident back four in front of him.

    Maybe Mari and Chambers were fatigued, we don’t really know tbf and we only have to see what happened to Lacazette to see what issues Arteta had to contend with? All the same if they were ok then I think they should have played, keep the run going and build the teams confidence.

    Anyway, let’s all look forward to the Super League, I can hardly wait…

  • Wow Kev I had not realized what you meant by Super League I thought you meant the Europa League as a joke. I had read about the proposed super league but it was still a bombshell reading the headlines. I think these break away clubs have made a huge mistake and it is particularly embarrassing for Arsenal as they are in such a lowly league position yet would be guaranteed entry into the proposed money league. Football opened itself up to this a long time ago by becoming more corporate in nature and I just have to wonder where it goes from here. I do believe some form of punishment will follow but the fallout will be painful and long lasting.

  • Dear all, my two cents on the match and Super league. It was disappointing to just get a point but it’s a recurring theme. When we are on top we better get a gaol or lots of them else we are always prone to individual mistake. If you look at the entire game Fulham had one shot on goal defected by the leg of Holding perilously close to goal with Ryan wrong footed. Apart from that we were not troubled and didn’t think Ryan had to make a single save. I felt Ryan commands his box better and his distribution is quite good. He catches all high balls rather than punch them. His intervention by winning the first header from the corner led to the goal. We had more than 10 corners and don’t know how many of them we got our heads to.
    Laca seems to be out for the season, that seems to be a harsh blow. It’s now a test for Auba to see if he can pull us through in Europe. It’s also means that Pepe will play a major role.
    Super League , if FIFA, UEFA and FA didnt see it coming then either they are fools or fooling us all. All the threat of not allowing players to play for national team is bogus. Imagine the world cup without stars , it will be like Olympic football which no one cares. Also we have seen this in cricket. I have stopped watching cricket after these crazy T20 leagues as it’s destroyed the game completely. It’s all about money and there is no way Super league can be stopped. I am sure that they will come.yo an agreement where UEFA and local leagues will get some share of and everything else is forgotten.

  • Morning guys,

    I am still digesting the news of the so called European Super League announcement involving our very own club and will write something about it when I am a bit calmer.

    In the meantime, please give us your views, and thanks to those who have already done so.

  • Makayah I’m not sure that Arsenal could really not go with the other big clubs, because if it does succeed and we’re outside, then we’d be criticised for not being progressive.

    I’m not saying that I’m in favour, because I’m not, but this won’t be the first time that Arsenal haven’t gone out on a limb against the majority.

    Arsenal were the first southern club to turn professional in the 1890’s (1892 I think?)
    That probably upset a lot of our Edwardian fans at the time as the South of England was very much in the amateur camp.

    Then moving from Woolwich in Kent to North London would have upset more fans in Kent. It was a massive undertaking and I’m sure a lot of people were against it in 1913.

    The Football Association was against English clubs playing in european competitions in the first place and against England playing in the World Cup.

    Arsenal took a huge gamble to breakaway from the Football League and join the Premier League and what did the FA do? They shafted the Football League and put their name to the new league.

    I repeat I don’t like it because I’m a traditionalist but when I hear the UEFA and FIFA bleating I just think ‘self interest’ and my cosy well paid job.

    So I’m open minded.

    Now let’s see what you other guys think?

  • Morning all,

    Here are the results of our weekly competition:-
    1st Total with 5/6 plus 4 bonus points
    2nd GN5 with 4/6
    3rd Kev & Eris with 3/6
    5th PB with 2/6
    For the season:-
    1st Kev with 117.00
    2nd Eris with 113.33
    3rd PB with 95.66
    4th GN5 with 94.33
    5th Total with 81.66
    Well done Total – a big week for you, and no points change for the season between Kev and Eris.

    Total let down by the Arsenal otherwise he would have has a perfect week.

  • Here are my choices for the next weekend – the Arsenal game is played on Friday so please get your predictions in by Thursday evening. Arsenal v Everton is also the correct score game for an extra two points.
    Arsenal v Everton (correct score game)
    West Ham v Chelsea
    Sheffield United v Brighton
    Wolves v Burnley
    Leeds v Manchester Unted
    Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayer Leverkusen

  • @allezkev, completely agree with your views. I was hearing Harry Seymeou and he asked a valid question. If the Super League actually happens, would Arsenal fans be happy with Arsenal outside of it and participate with whatever Premier League and European Competition offers? We may not like this, but as with everything in this Capitalistic world, we don’t have an option as we don’t have the power.
    In this world its only money and power that matters. Look at cricket as an example. At one time cricketer’s used to come to England to play for counties. Now IPL with Indian’s boards power and money has ensured that International Cricket calendar is changed to accommodate IPL. Everyone is happy as they are making more money, forget about the corruption and quality of the game, who cares as long as everyone is on the Gravy train.
    Super league will be the same. FA, UEFA and others will resist, throw tantrums, but ultimately they will all be bought. Damn with fans and the game who cares as money is everything. The Neville’s of this world will rant, but will be happy to commentate on Super league as they will be paid double of what they are earning today. I will be happy to be proved wrong, but FA and UEFA have led the game to football to this. What were they doing when clubs ownership structure changed and bought over by these billionaires’?

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