Arsenal v Fulham news

Friday 22 February 2002

TEAM NEWS

Thierry Henry has declared himself fit for Saturday's visit of Fulham. The Frenchman suffered a dead leg in Tuesday's 1-1 draw against Bayer Leverkusen, but insists that he'll be ready to face the Cottagers tomorrow.

Lee Clark and Luis Boa Morte are both expected to be missing for Fulham.

MOST SIGNIFICANT STATS

Arsenal go into their first home League meeting with Fulham for 35 years disappointed at not coming away from their midweek Champions League visit to Bayer Leverkusen with a win.

Ray Parlour's third dismissal of the season and the Gunners 12th red card of the campaign preceeded Ulf Kirsten's 90th minute equaliser which denied the North London team a first away win in the competition since the 1-0 success in Lyon on 13 February, 2001.

Fulham's European ambitions were dented by Tuesday's 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough. Now they go in search of their first ever League win at Highbury.

Arsenal are the only club to have scored in every Premiership match this season, while Fulham have kept more top division clean sheets than any other club (12) and been involved in more goalless draws (6).

Arsenal have not lost in 13 outings since 18 December. Should they claim a 20th win in the 30th League meeting with Fulham, they could go back top of the Premiership, depending on the Manchester United and Liverpool results.

Maximum points here for the Gunners over their fellow FA Cup Quarter-finalists, would complete a third 'double' of the season after home and away victories over Middlesbrough and Leicester.

Fulham have been 'doubled' once already, by Manchester United. They lost the reverse fixture 3-1 with Arsenal in September when conceding twice in the last eight minutes to Henry and Bergkamp.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

All Competitions: Played 30 Arsenal wins 20 Fulham wins 5 Draws 5

HEAD TO HEAD NOTES

Arsenal have never lost a home League game against Fulham.

The Gunners have won the last four home League games against the Cottagers.

Arsenal are hoping to mark their first home Premiership fixture with Fulham by completing their first 'double' over the Cottagers since the 1967/68 season and fifth over the Thameside club since the League fixture was first staged in 1913.

Arsenal have scored in every home League game against Fulham.

There has never been a sending-off in this League fixture.

ARSENAL

Current League position, 4th 51 points, 3 points off the pace

Best realistic scenario at final whistle, up 2 to 2nd - If win, and Liverpool [home to Everton] do no better than draw. (Arsenal would go top, if also Manchester U [home to Aston Villa] lose, but there would have to be a ten goal swing.

Worst Scenario at final whistle, cannot fall from 4th even if lose.

Sequences

13 UNDEFEATED - 9 Prem, 3 FAC, 1 CL [9 wins, 4 draws]

9 UNBEATEN IN PREMIERSHIP [6 wins, 3 draws]

6 HOME GAMES WITHOUT A LOSS - 4 Prem, 2 FAC [4 wins, 2 draws]

DRAWN LAST 2 HOME PREMIER LEAGUE ENCOUNTERS

4 HOME LEAGUE GAMES WITHOUT DEFEAT [2 wins, 2 draws]

SCORED IN EACH OF LAST 15

SCORED IN EACH OF LAST 27 TOP FLIGHT OUTINGS

Recent Form

14 wins in last 21 League and Cup games

Won 9 of last 13 Premiership matches

Drawn 2 of last 4 in all competitions

3 draws in last 6 top flight encounters

Lost 1 of last 14 confrontations

1 defeat in last 15 top division duels

Failed to score in 1 of last 21 contests

Failed to find the net in 1 of the last 31 League clashes

2 clean sheets in last 18

Managed 1 clean sheet in last 12 top tier League outings

9 CLEAN SHEETS - 6 in Prem

FAILED TO SCORE 4 TIMES - 0 in Prem

PREMIERSHIP DOUBLES ACHIEVED - 2

PREMIERSHIP DOUBLES SUFFERED - 0

12 RED CARDS - 6 in Prem

EVER PRESENTS: 0

Potential Career Milestones - The next time he plays, TONY ADAMS will be making the 500th League appearance of his career. ADAMS is also one strike away from scoring 50 goals for the Gunners.

GUNNERS NOTES

Last defeat was 1-3 at home to Newcastle in the Premiership on 18 December, 2001.

Lost fewest matches in the Premiership this season - 3.

Only club to have scored in every Premier League match this season.

One of two clubs to have won most away top flight games - 9. The other is Liverpool.

Only club still with an unbeaten away Premier League record.

One of four clubs not involved in a goalless draw in the highest grade yet this season. The others are Man U, Newcastle and Southampton.

"Scored first" in most top division matches - 17.

Strongest top division finishers. Scored eight times in the last five minutes of Premiership matches.

"Lost the lead" on more occasions than any other club in the top division this term - 11. Won 1 and drawn 7 of the matches in which the lead has been lost.

Players shown more red cards than any other club in the top division so far this campaign - 6.

The FA Disciplinary Department confirm that 59 yellow cards have been shown to Arsenal players in Premiership matches this season - that's more than any other club.

FULHAM

Current League position, 9th 35 points, 8 points behind sixth place

Best Scenario at final whistle, up 2 to 7th If win, and Aston Villa [away to Manchester U] lose with a three goal swing

Worst Scenario at final whistle, cannot fall from 9th but can slip within without a point of 10th, If lose and Middlesbrough [away to West Ham] win

Recent Form

5 wins in last 9 League and Cup games

Won 3 of last 7 Premiership matches

Drawn 1 of last 4 in all competitions

6 draws in last 14 top flight encounters

Lost 1 of last 11 domestic confrontations

2 defeats in last 7 top division duels

Failed to score in 2 of last 12 contests

Failed to find the net in 2 of the last 8 League clashes

4 clean sheets in last 8

Managed 9 clean sheets in last 16 top tier League outings

14 CLEAN SHEETS - 12 in Prem

FAILED TO SCORE 10 TIMES - 10 in Prem

PREMIERSHIP DOUBLES ACHIEVED - 0

PREMIERSHIP DOUBLES SUFFERED - 1

2 RED CARDS - 2 in Prem

EVER PRESENTS: 2 Steve Finnan, Steed Malbrangue

STARTED EVERY GAME: 1 Steve Finnan

Potential Career Milestones

Barry HAYLES is a double strike away from scoring 50 goals for Fulham

If he plays, Bjarne GOLDBAEK will be making his 100th appearance in the English League

If involved, Paul TROLLOPE will be making his 100th appearance for Fulham

COTTAGERS NOTES

Last defeat was 1-0 away to Ipswich in the Premiership on 30 January, 2002.
One of three clubs to have drawn most matches in the Premiership this season - 11. The others are Aston Villa and Chelsea.

Conceded fewest Premiership goals - 23. That's an average of one every 98 minutes.

Completed most clean sheets at the highest League level - 12.

Notched more goalless draws than any other club in the top flight this season - 6.

Caught offside 54 times and committed 306 fouls in Premiership matches this season - that's fewer than any other club on both counts, according to the FA Barclaycard information sheet.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE - URIAH RENNIE, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Other officials: Assistant Ralph Bone, Assistant Wendy Toms, 4th Official Rob Styles, Delegate Alf Grey.