Whereas nonetheless firmly within the combine close to the highest of the Premier League desk, Arsenal‘s title hopes have taken an actual hit over the past week or so, having dropped factors in every of their final two top-flight outings.
Though a 1-1 draw away to title rivals Liverpool isn’t any shame, the next loss at residence to West Ham United may have come as an actual setback for supervisor Mikel Arteta, with a response wanted towards Fulham this afternoon.
After Arsenal’s defeat to West Ham, Arteta may look to rotate his squad.
That conflict with the Cottagers will probably see Kai Havertz return to the fold following his absence resulting from suspension final day trip, the £65m summer signing rising right into a key determine for his new aspect after scoring three goals throughout his final six league outings.
Having drawn a clean on Thursday evening, the Emirates outfit can be hoping that the German playmaker can proceed his latest scoring spree towards Marco Silva’s males, with it additionally an opportunity for Eddie Nketiah to come back into the fray to as soon as once more wreak havoc on right this moment’s opponents.
Eddie Nketiah’s file vs Fulham
On the face of it, the Englishman’s purpose return towards Fulham just isn’t wholly eye-catching, having scored twice in only five career meetings with the west Londoners.
That being mentioned, the Gunners academy graduate has often been a thorn within the aspect of the Craven Cottage outfit, solely not too long ago scoring within the 2-2 draw on the Emirates earlier within the marketing campaign, giving the hosts the lead solely to see his effort cancelled out late on by Joao Palhinha.
The 24-year-old marksman had dazzled after coming off the bench in that entertaining encounter having made a ‘excellent affect’ within the phrases of football.london’s Kaya Kaynak, whereas even being handed the captain’s armband late on.
A 12 months earlier, the one-time Leeds United loanee was additionally spectacular throughout his cameo off the bench within the 2-1 win on residence soil, with journalist Charles Watts stating that he “caused Fulham so many problems” on the day.
That was a sentiment echoed by Kaynak in his participant scores items on the time, awarding the striker a 7/10 match rating whereas writing that he ‘precipitated issues for the Fulham backline together with his power and depth’ – one thing he might look to duplicate this afternoon.
Previous to that, the one-cap international memorably scored a dramatic, stoppage-time winner towards the Cottagers again in April 2021 to nudge the guests ever nearer towards relegation, showcasing his predatory ending instincts to prod residence on the again put up.
Eddie Nketiah’s season by numbers
The Gunners may properly be in want of that medical presence on the proof of the midweek defeat to the Hammers, with Gabriel Jesus having been notably ‘wasteful’ – as per The Standard’s Simon Collings – after lacking two gilt-edged probabilities within the contest.
That outing has solely enhanced the requires a new centre-forward to be introduced in throughout the January switch window, but within the short-term, Nketiah – who has himself been linked with an exit – must be trusted with the possibility to point out what he can do from the beginning.
Whereas the £100k-per-week asset has been removed from prolific this season, he does nonetheless boast a decent haul of five goals and three assists from 18 league appearances – with solely half of these outings coming from the beginning.
Against this, that man Jesus has netted just three goals and supplied just one help in 14 top-flight video games, begging the query as to why Arteta continues to stick with the Brazilian as his go-to quantity 9.
Nketiah’s Premier League season by numbers
18 video games (9 begins)
82% go accuracy charge
1 huge probability created
0.4 key passes per sport
1 ball recovered per sport
4 huge probabilities missed
6.94 avg. match ranking
If Nketiah does function from the beginning this afternoon, it could signify a possibility to showcase that he can have a long-term future in north London, even when a brand new striker is signed subsequent month.
Having precipitated issues for Fulham on quite a few events beforehand, why cannot he achieve this once more?