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Premier League preview: Fulham v Arsenal
Apr 18, 2013 4:26 PM GMT
Arsenal need a win at Fulham on Saturday if they are to keep their late-season charge for a Champions League berth going strong.
Arsene Wenger's side have lost just one of their past 11 English Premier League games, and head into the encounter at Craven Cottage in fourth place - just one point behind third-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand.
Fourth place would earn Arsenal a spot in the Champions League qualifiers, but they are under considerable pressure for that position, with fierce rivals Spurs breathing down their necks - just two points behind and with a game in hand.
In their most recent match, Arsenal could only manage a 0-0 draw at home against Everton on Tuesday.
Martin Jol's Fulham, meanwhile, are in 10th place in the league, but are without a win in their past three games - with a 3-0 defeat to Chelsea on Wednesday in their last start.
The last time they played, the two sides fought out a brilliant 3-3 draw at Emirates Stadium last November.
Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski put the Gunners 2-0 up in the early going, before a Dimitar Berbatov brace and an Alexander Kacaniklic goal had Fulham leading 3-2.
Giroud's second goal levelled for Arsenal, and Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was the hero when he saved Mikel Arteta's late penalty.
Both teams are in good physical shape ahead of the match, with Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski hoping to have recovered from a rib injury in time to contend for selection.
Arsenal's only confirmed absentee is Abou Diaby, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament last month.
Fulham will likely be without Damien Duff due to an adductor strain, Mahamadou Diarra is still battling a knee issue, but the home side will welcome back Steve Sidwell after his three-match suspension.