Arsenal will make late assessments on several players before Mikel Arteta names his lineup to face Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Arsenal will go to Craven Cottage under pressure to restore their five-point lead at the top. Manchester City’s narrow win over Crystal Palace got Pep Guardiola’s side close to the Gunners. But the Spanish manager will hope to retain their advantage.

Arteta did not sit through a press conference for the Fulham clash. He provided team news and updates on players missing from the action recently after the midweek encounter with Sporting CP. Chief among them was the concern surrounding Martin Odegaard, who had a bout of illness right before the Europa League game.

Arteta said, “I hope they do [train]. “Martin was feeling better, and then he became a little bit worse, but hopefully, he is able to train today.”

For this clash, Arsenal could count Leandro Trossard and Eddie Nketiah out of contention. The Belgian is understandably closer than the latter, meaning there is a slight chance he might make it to the matchday squad. However, fans are more eager to understand Gabriel Jesus and his fitness status.

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Some journalists insisted Jesus could make the matchday squad for Fulham. However, Arteta was a bit more cautious about the Brazilian. Arteta continued, “He had a bad injury and he’s been really pushing the boundaries and trying to get that recovery as quick and smooth as possible.”

“The reality is when he’s started to do some activities, he’s still feeling that he needs a little bit of time. Is it a matter of days? Hopefully yes, more than a matter of weeks. The moment he is ready, he will be thrown onto the field.”

As things stand, we can predict large parts of how Arsenal might line up against Fulham. Aaron Ramsdale is certain to replace Matt Turner, while Gabriel Magalhaes will come in the backline for Jakub Kiwior. The rest of the defence could stay intact with Ben White, William Saliba, and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Considering Odegaard will return from his illness, the Norwegian will start in the usual midfield three. Thomas Partey will replace Jorginho as the holding midfielder, with Granit Xhaka on the left side of the trio. Fabio Vieira is also an option if Odegaard cannot make the team.

The attacking area is where Arteta has to tinker with his selection. Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are certain to start in the frontline, but who completes the front three remains the question. Vieira finished the Sporting game in a false nine position, but Emile Smith Rowe could also become an option.

Predicted Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Ben White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Martinelli, Smith Rowe

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