Arsenal vs Fulham preview: Mesut Ozil given chance to prove fitness
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Last Updated: 01/01/19 8:41am
Arsenal will give Mesut Ozil every chance of proving his fitness ahead of their New Year's Day clash with Fulham.
Ozil missed Saturday's 5-1 thrashing at Liverpool with a knee complaint but will be assessed ahead of the visit of Claudio Ranieri's side.
Full-backs Hector Bellerin (calf) and Nacho Monreal (hamstring) could also feature as Rob Holding (knee), Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin), Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danny Welbeck (both ankle) miss out.
Alfie Mawson is set to miss the trip to the Emirates. The defender suffered what manager Ranieri fears could prove a "serious" knee injury in Saturday's 1-0 victory over Huddersfield.
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa could yet return from an ankle injury, while Ranieri could consider dropping Aboubakar Kamara for a disciplinary matter.
- Arsenal have never previously lost at home to Fulham in any competition, winning 23 and drawing five of their 28 home matches against the Cottagers prior to this match.
- Fulham's only league victory over Arsenal in their last 12 such encounters was in January 2012 (W1 D4 L7), a 2-1 win at Craven Cottage under Martin Jol.
- Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri has never won a Premier League match against Arsenal in 10 previous attempts (D4 L6); he has a worse points-per-game ratio against the Gunners (0.40) than he does versus any other opponent in the competition.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 22 home league matches against newly promoted opposition (W19 D3) since losing 1-0 to Newcastle United in November 2010.
- In all competitions, Fulham have lost 11 of their last 14 away matches (W1 D2), though their one win did come in London against Millwall in the League Cup in September.
- Arsenal have won all five of their home Premier League games on New Year's Day - their last top-flight defeat at home on that day came in 1985 against Spurs at Highbury.
- Claudio Ranieri's last Premier League match on New Year's Day was also away at Arsenal in 2003, when he was Chelsea manager - a 2-3 defeat.
The other day was typical Arsenal, wasn't it. I don't know what's changed. I know they went on that run but half of those games, they could have probably lost. Then you go to Southampton, they're settling for a draw and end up winning the game, go to Liverpool and it was same-old, same-old. This one, I'll go for them because… this is Arsenal. They're flat-track bullies, they'll beat the lesser teams all day long.
After the win over Huddersfield the other day, it was a big goal from Aleksander Mitrovic, but I watched them at Newcastle too and they were solid and Newcastle never looked like scoring. I know that attack is nowhere near Arsenal's but they defended well and they'll try that too here. If I was them though I'd try and have a swing, although you don't want to be on the end of a six
MERSE SAYS: 3-1 (9/1 with Sky Bet)