Much improved defensively under Ranieri, Al Hain-Cole expects the Cottagers to avoid a thrashing against Emery’s team at the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal will be determined to put their 5-1 defeat at Liverpool behind them when they welcome Fulham to the Emirates Stadium on New Year’s Day.
That thrashing at Anfield was the Gunners’ third defeat in five fixtures, and they are now five points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.
Having run out emphatic 5-1 winners themselves in the reverse fixture against this opposition, Arsenal are 3/10 (1.30) favourites with bet365 to bounce back with a much-needed victory.
Claudio Ranieri’s team earned a first win in seven matches by beating Huddersfield last time out, and are priced at 8/1 (9.00) to make it two in a row with an upset here.
Two of the last three encounters between the sides at this ground have resulted in draws, and you can get odds of 9/2 (5.50) on them cancelling each other out once again.
Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Konstantinos Mavropanos are all ruled out through injury, while Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil are all doubts.
Alfie Mawson and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa are both expected to be fit despite knocks, although the on-loan Calum Chambers is ineligible to face his parent club.
Improved Fulham defence
Although a repeat of their big win at Craven Cottage would go down very well after the painful defeat at the weekend, Unai Emery’s men are likely to find the Cottagers a much more difficult nut to crack this time out.
Ranieri has worked hard to improve a defence that, although it remains the worst in the league, has tightened up considerably over the last few games.
Having gone 17 matches without a clean sheet, Fulham have kept two in their last three games and conceded just three goals in four fixtures coming into this clash.
While Arsenal’s superior quality should still ensure victory, odds of 13/10 (2.30) are certainly worth backing on no more than 3.5 goals being scored when they take on a reinforced visiting defence.
Arsenal to win and under 3.5 goals for a 1.5pt stake at 13/10 (2.30) with bet365
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