Fulham at Arsenal FC Report: Holding, Bellerin, Monreal, Ozil, Mawson, Anguissa

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“Nothing changes on New Year’s Day,” U2 told us back in the 1980s, but both of the teams in this fixture tomorrow will hope that’s not true. Fulham FC is at Arsenal tomorrow, and when this game kicks off 2018 will be a distant memory, having given way to 2019. The visitors enter this content 19th, four ahead of bottom dweller Huddersfield, but just one point behind Southampton for that final safety slot.

The appointed savior Claudio Ranieri has plenty of work to do, but he’s made some progress thus far. The Craven Cottagers are no longer dead last, so that’s something. As for the hosts, they are now five points behind Chelsea in the race to nab that final top four slot, so they are like their opponents in hoping changes will happen in the new year.

In looking at the fitness situation for both teams, Arsenal are still dealing with an injury crisis in the back line. Hector Bellerin (calf) and Nacho Monreal (muscle injury) are in doubt for this one. Rob Holding is making progress and stepping up his recovery efforts from the anterior cruciate ligament injury that will keep him out for some time.

The Gunners have plenty of injury problems beyond just the aforementioned. Danny Welbeck (broken ankle) is out for the season while Henrikh Mkhitaryan (fractured metatarsal) is out for about a month while Mesut Özil is battling a knee injury that may keep him out of this one.

In switching over to the underdogs, Alfie Mawson (knee) and Zambo Anguissa face late fitness tests, but are expected to be available. Overall, Ranieri has a very fit side at his disposal for this fixture.

Fulham at Arsenal FYIs

Kick-off: 3:00 pm (BST), 11:00 am (EST) Tuesday January 1, Emirates Stadium

Google Result Probability: Arsenal win- 72%, Draw 17%, Fulham win- 11%

Arsenal Starting XI Prediction: go to this link

Prediction: Arsenal 2, Fulham 0

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation. 

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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