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My 5 Keys to Victory for Fulham Against Arsenal - Match Preview

Andrei Arshavin and Robin van Persie May 24th 2009 for Arsenal against Stoke City. Photo via Getty Images
Andrei Arshavin and Robin van Persie May 24th 2009 for Arsenal against Stoke City. Photo via Getty Images

Fulham play tomorrow against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. The game takes place at 4PM UK Time and 11 AM EST. The game will not be shown live in the U.S. The game will be shown on Fox Soccer Plus at 1 PM EST taped delay.  In the League, Arsenal currently sit 3rd. Fulham are currently in 12th.

This is an incredibly difficult match for Fulham to win tomorrow. The focus of the club is probably on this Wednesday's Final. I do expect the players for Fulham to give their best tomorrow. Fulham did use many replacements in the West Ham and Everton matches. I thought the players who did play gave tremendous effort. I expect the same effort tomorrow.  Below are "my 5 keys to victory for Fulham against Arsenal."   

1. Who will be in the lineup tomorrow?  I guess you could say this is the most important key to the match for Fulham.  Will Roy Hodgson make a few changes or many to the lineup tomorrow? In my opinion I do expect to see players like Jonathan Greening, Chris Smalling, and Kagisho Dikgacoi to play.

2. Fulham's strikers need to take advantage of any opportunity they get to score.  I expect the opportunities for Fulham to score tomorrow to be minimal. Erik Nevland scored against Everton on a mistake by the defense passing the ball back. He intercepted the pass and scored. They are going to probably need Arsenal to make some mistakes tomorrow.  

3. Fulham need to contain Robin van Persie and Andrei Arshavin. These players, I have been reading online that they should be starting. Both players can score goals and are extremely dangerous.  A player like Chris Smalling is going to have to step up and be solid on defense. At this point I have no idea who else Hodgson will start in back four.  I have a good feeling though that Smalling will be included. If the back four of Fulham can contain these two players for Arsenal,  Fulham can hang around in this match. 

4.  Kagisho Dikgacoi and Jonathan Greening need to be solid in the midfield.  I would be completely shocked to see Danny Murphy and Dickson Etuhu to be playing against Arsenal.  Dikgacoi at times has played decent in the midfield . This could be his opportunity to shine. For Fulham again to have a chance,  they are going to need these players as well to step up their game. 

5. Mark Schwarzer again will need to be exceptional . Now, I am going on the assumption that he will be playing tomorrow as the starting goalkeeper. Schwarzer has shown the ability to keep Fulham in matches. He will have to be razor sharp tomorrow against the attack I am expecting from Arsenal tomorrow.   

 I guess you could say I am not terribly optimistic about the match tomorrow. The one thing I will say is when their have been many changes to the Fulham lineup, the players have stepped up their game. They don't beat themselves. Fulham are always a very disciplined club it seems no matter who is playing. Arsenal will have to beat them.   

Finally,  Please do check out the preview by Ted Harwood on SBNation' s Arsenal Fans site. He is the writer for the excellent site The Short Fuse.  He will give you the perspective from an Arsenal fan.