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Premier League preview: Fulham v Arsenal

SoccerNews in English Premier League, MLS 1 Jan 2012

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Fulham’s first home outing since their 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Manchester United comes when Arsenal visit on Monday.

Martin Jol’s side bounced back from the thrashing on December 21 with successive 1-1 draws away from home against Chelsea and Norwich City, but they need to repay their home fans with a good showing against the Gunners.

Fulham have a poor record against Arsenal, however, having won just two of their 21 English Premier League meetings.

Arsenal have won 15 of those clashes, with four draws – including the last two times the sides met, in November.

And Arsene Wenger’s men will fancy their chances to add to that list of victories as they look to continue their terrific form.

They have won nine of their last 12 league outings, in a spectacular turnaround that has seen them climb from a position of 17th after five matches into the top four.

Much of that has come thanks to the unbelievable form of Robin van Persie, who wrapped up a magnificent 2011 with the sole goal in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over QPR on Saturday.

The Dutch forward bagged a miraculous 50 goals in all competitions in 2011, with 35 of them coming in the league.

After failing to win in their first four league matches on the road this season, Arsenal have won four of their last five away from the Emirates Stadium, scoring an impressive 13 goals in the process.

The match will come too soon for Thierry Henry’s first match in his second spell at the club, with the French forward set to officially confirm his loan deal from MLS outfit the New York Red Bulls in the coming days.

Henry’s signing will provide cover for Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh while they are on African Cup of Nations duty, and his return could provide the club with a big lift.

More activity is expected at the Emirates Stadium over January, with Wenger keen to source a left-back on loan to replace the injured Thomas Vermaelen, who was only playing in the position to cover for sidelined duo Andre Santos (ankle) and Keiran Gibbs (groin).

Vermaelen’s calf injury will keep him sidelined, while Bacary Sagna (leg) and Jack Wilshere (ankle) will also miss.

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer (back) will miss at least the next two weeks, but Andy Johnson (groin) could come back into contention.

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