Fulham at Arsenal

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by MicahMan, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Things don't look good for this matchup:
    • Fulham suffered their worst home defeat this season at the hands of Arsenal back in October. While we did go into halftime tied 1-1, Arsenal came back and scored 4 unanswered goals in the second half.
    • Arsenal has never lost to Fulham at home - 23 wins and 5 draws
    • Arsenal's only home loss this season was to Manchester City on opening day
    • Fulham has the worst away record in the entire Premier League
    • Fulham has scored just 2 goals in 5 away matches vs the top 6 Premier League teams
    On the plus side, Fulham is undefeated vs. Arsenal on New Years Day (one win back in 1966). Plus Liverpool showed everyone on Saturday how to shred Arsenal's defense - if, of course, you have Liverpool's talent at your disposal.

    Mawson could be out for a while with a knee injury. I've groaned mightily about how poor Le Marchand has played, but I think he did hold his own at CB when he came in for Mawson on Saturday - maybe he just isn't a good fit at LB. Anguissa will be available again after recovering after injury. Anguissa hasn't played since being sent off after a double yellow in the 5-1 loss at Old Trafford - also his only playing time under Ranieri.

    The second half against Huddersfield did show some signs of promise. If the defense can hold their own and Fulham gets one on a counter there might be a chance to come away with points, but the most likely outcome is the first loss of 2019.

    The match will be broadcast on NBC Sports at 10am EST.
     
    #1
  2. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    I assume that Chambers will be unavailable
     
    #2
  3. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    They’re supposed to get Nacho “Cheese” Monreal and Hector Belleron back from injury, but I don’t think that’s a major plus for them. I do think the spanking at Anfield will motivate them to get some mojo back at our expense. This is probably a good one for Ranieri to do more tinkering, but will he? If we start like we did against Huddersfield, we’ll get killed. Arsenal won’t just bat it around in the furthest 2/3rds of the pitch. They’ll look earlier and quicker to get up to the 18 and beyond. I fear another valiant but losing effort from our side. But...
    Odou has his best match yet as a Premier Leaguer against the Terriers. We’ve kept consecutive clean sheets, albeit against lower sides, something that was inconceivable a month ago. Hard to know how Mawson’s absence will be felt, but we’ve got a tiny bit of momentum...something that can be built on.
    Momentum is a funny thing in sports. I’d be surprised, but not stunned, if we were to nick a result. And we’re way, WAY overdue for a result at Gooners. Doesn’t mean we’ll get it this time, but if they don’t respond normally to the Pool beat down, we could make ‘em pay. I’ve seen one article suggesting Sessegnon might be more effective coming off the bench versus starting. Not sure I agree, but since it’s worked twice this season, you’ve got to consider it I suppose. Vietto hasn’t impressed me much so far, but if he can help keep us in the match for 60 minutes, that may be the way to go. It’ll also be interesting to see how the gaffer handles AK-47. Does he start? Does he sit? Does he even make the 18? Whatever happens, Happy New Year to you all. Remember: no matter what happens, May 26th, 2018 was a day for the ages. Remember it.
     
    #3
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  4. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    Mar 4, 2014
    You are correct sir, which is why we get the rare sight of Cisse in the starting XI:

    Rico
    Odoi, Le Marchand, Ream
    Christie, Cisse, Cairney, Bryan
    Schurrle, Mitrovic, Sessegnon

    Subs: Bettinelli, Fosu-Mensah, Johansen, Seri, Ayite, Vietto, Kamara

    It looks like Ranieri is trying to model this off of what the 2nd half looked like on Saturday. Cairney has dropped back in the formation, Sessegnon is given the start. The big unforced difference is that Kamara is on the bench - which is generous of the manager.
     
    #4
  5. SullyTexan

    SullyTexan Member

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    May 16, 2018
    Dreadful performance. Nothing more to add.
     
    #5
  6. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    I disagree, Sully. I agree with the match announcers that the final score "flattered the Gunners." There were positives for us. We terrorized their defense during two sustained chunks of the match, and the goals we conceded weren't due to headless chicken behaviour. The transition from defense to attack was solid throughout, and it bodes well for us when we're NOT playing teams with the talent Arsenal has.

    It's a shame that Sess didn't convert one of those two chances, but he and later Kamara showed that we're going to be lethal at counterattcking football -- something that Tinker Man specializes in.
     
    #6
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  7. sacffc

    sacffc Active Member

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    The #1 thing I'm looking for is signs that they're going to be able to stay up, and there was more of that today. Still bad at times, but definitely getting better.
     
    #7
  8. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    In each of the last three matches (Newcastle, Wolves, and Huddersfield) there were moments where I felt that the outcome would be markedly different against a team with greater talent. Today Arsenal was that team. They took advantage of a number of small opportunities and didn't miss.

    The defense still needs tightening and IMO could have prevented (or at least made it far more difficult to convert) three of the goals. Cairney passed off marking Xhaka to no one, neither Fosu-Mensah nor Seri made an effort to mark Kolasinac (I think) when he played in the cross that led to Ramsey's goal, and Odoi and Seri both looked at each other instead of making a clearance prior to Aubameyang's goal.

    The offense looked better, especially for being at the Emirates - nine chances created and four shots on target. I also felt the offense didn't seem slow as it had in the past couple matches.

    I agree that the match was closer than the score and a loss was generally expected, but there were a number of positives that the team can focus and build on going forward.
     
    #8
  9. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Newburgh, IN
    I missed the second half of the match due to some family obligations but Fulham, Sess in particular, had opportunities to score first and failed to convert. I agree with Don's comment regarding Fulham becoming dangerous on the counter-attack. I think the tactics are heading in the right direction with the question being can Fulham get there in time to stay up this season. I still think it can be done.
     
    #9
  10. SullyTexan

    SullyTexan Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    I am usually pessimistic when it comes to any of my sports teams so I am glad you guys took away some positives. Admittedly, we had opportunities, however I would say Arse had a few they blew as well or were averted by a couple good saves. All we have is upside (our downside is limited to only one spot). How is that for optimism!
     
    #10
  11. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I realize keepers get an unfair amount of the blame when your team is conceding too many goals, but what does it say about how bad we really are when ours gets MOTM from a 4-1 loss?
     
    #11
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
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