Premier League title chasers Arsenal have gotten off to relatively strong footing in the 2023-24 season, as Mikel Arteta’s young Gunners banked two wins from two in close-run clashes with Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace.
There is no doubt that the club has improved in the summer, but with new additions and an ever-evolving project and direction under Arteta, the club has gotten results without the top-class performances that many fans, and rivals, have been expecting given the level of quality added into the team.
Despite that, Arsenal still have a chance to lay down a marker at the weekend against a Fulham outfit that not only overachieved last term under Marco Silva but looks incredibly frail at the back going by data compiled in their first two league fixtures. Given a clash with Manchester United sitting just over the horizon, a statement result is definitely needed.
Mikel Arteta faces a difficult question coming into the weekend after Takehiro Tomiyasu was given his marching orders after being booked twice against Palace, but the sight of Oleksandr Zinchenko coming off the bench could mean the Ukrainian is fit enough to slot into the team despite questions surrounding his fitness.
The other absentees come in the vein of Gabriel Jesus (who is back in full training but not expected to feature), Mohamed Elneny, and Jurriën Timber. Fitness questions surround Sambi Lokonga and Folarin Balogun as well, but given the uncertainty surrounding the future of both players, it is unlikely they would feature for the Gunners.