It has not been a good week for Arsenal. Between their 2-1 loss to Manchester United last weekend and drawing against Schalke 04 in the Champions League after blowing a 2-goal lead, Arsene Wenger is once again in hot water. The Gunners are off to their worst start ever in the Premier League with just 15 points from their first 10 games and they've also lost three of their last five league matches.
Not good and considering how much trouble Wenger always has zipping up his puffy jacket, the last thing we want is an angry manager taking out his frustrations on the jacket.
Martin Jol has plenty of reason to be optimistic about his team's chances against their London rivals. The Cottagers are unbeaten in their last four matches and have a chance to leap over Arsenal in the table with a victory. Of course, they'll have to overcome the fact that the club has never won at Arsenal in any competition, losing 22 and drawing four of their 26 visits.
Given Fulham's shaky road form and Arsenal's defensive vulnerability, there's reason to believe there will be goals in this game. This will be a good test of the Gunners to see if they are capable of hanging in the fight for a Champions League spot next year. Home games against teams like Fulham are the types of matches you have to win and if Wenger's side can't get it done, the already unsettled Arsenal fan base could start to get hostile.
Wenger has called on his team to improve their quality and style to help lift the "flat" atmosphere at the Emirates. For the sake of the zipper on Wenger's puffy jacket, let's hope his side finds the style he's looking for.
Arsenal injuries and suspensions
Out: Gervinho (ankle), Kieran Gibbs (thigh), Abou Diaby (thigh), (hamstring), Jack Wilshire (suspended), Łukasz Fabiański (back). In doubt: Wojciech Szczesny (ankle), Aaron Ramsey (groin), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hip).
Fulham injuries and suspensions
For the Gunners, Wilshire is serving a one-match ban, while Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain face fitness tests ahead of the match. Goalkeeper Szcezesny could be included in the squad for the first time since September. Martin Jol revelaed that Diarra is 50/50 ahead of the match and didn't seem optimistic the midfielder would be ready to go.
Match Date/Time: 4 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, England
TV: ESPN2 (U.S.), TSN (Canada)
Online: ESPN3 (U.S.)