Aug 24, 2013, 7:13 AM EDT
It will be fiery London derby at Craven Cottage this morning between Fulham and Arsenal, (7:45am ET, watch live on NBCSN and via NBC Sports Live Extra) as the rain pours in West London.
Contests between these two old clubs have been nasty affairs in the past few years, with four red cards in their last three league games.
Arsenal are aiming to pick up their first points of the Premier League season, following their 3-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa last week, while Fulham were buoyed by a 1-0 success at Sunderland on the opening weekend.
The Gunners have a makeshift backline, with regular right back Bacary Sagna filling in at center back after Laurent Koscielny was send off against Villa, while captain Thomas Vermaelen is still out injured
While in midfield Jack Wilshere doesn’t start, after playing in the games against Villa and Fenerbache on Wednesday. Arsen Wenger won’t want to risk losing his star man early on in the season and is likely resting Wilshere.
For Fulham, new signings Scott Parker and Adel Taarabt make their home debuts and those two plus Dimitar Berbatov have all played for Arsenal’s fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur. So has new loan signing Darren Bent, who makes the bench after joining from Aston Villa. And of course manager Martin Jol was previously Tottenham’s manager, so, it will be a lively affair down by the banks of the River Thames.
Expect a lively game down at the Cottage, who will win this one?
Fulham: Stockdale; Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise; Duff, Parker, Sidwell, Taarabt; Kasami; Berbatov. Subs: Etheridge, Briggs, Boateng, Karagounis, Kacaniklic, Ruiz, Bent.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker (c), Sagna, Gibbs, Ramsey, Rosicky, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud. Subs: Fabianski, Monreal, Frimpong, Zelalem, Wilshere, Gnabry, Sanogo.
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