Arsenal can’t dwell on their defeat to Liverpool for too long, as they have a game against Fulham at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday to kick off 2019.
Chelsea pulled further ahead after Arsenal dropped points at Liverpool, though Tottenham Hotspur wasted their opportunity to do the same. Nonetheless, they’re still seven points ahead of the Gunners, so Unai Emery’s side really needs to start putting some wins together now.
Up against them are relegation-battlers Fulham, who Arsenal beat 5-1 back in October. Since then Claudio Ranieri has taken over as manager, and most recently he’s won them five points from their last three games, so they’re on a much better run of form.
With an FA Cup game against lower league opposition at the weekend, there’s no reason for Emery not to go full strength for this one. Let’s have a look at our predicted lineup for the clash.
1Goalkeeper and Defence
Despite conceding five goals at the weekend, you couldn’t really blame Bernd Leno for any of them, so he’ll presumably keep his place in the side.
Ahead of him, we expect Unai Emery to stick with a back four, considering that’s how Arsenal have started most of their games recently. However, there will likely be a couple of changes from the side that started against Liverpool.
Firstly, Stephan Lichtsteiner didn’t have a good game at Anfield, whilst Ainsley Maitland-Niles was one of few Arsenal stars who did. With Hector Bellerin still out and Lichtsteiner playing 180 minutes in the last week, it makes more sense for Maitland-Niles to start at right-back.
In the centre-back positions, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Laurent Koscielny should start. Shkodran Mustafi is only just back from injury and didn’t have a good half at Anfield. Sokratis and Koscielny weren’t much more impressive, but there aren’t many alternative options right now.
At left-back, Sead Kolasinac is the only player available until Nacho Monreal’s return. That’s likely why Emery chose to substitute him off for Matteo Guendouzi in the dying minutes on Saturday, so he’ll be ready for Fulham.
Click ‘Next’ for Midfield, Forwards and the full Predicted Starting XI