After their success in Prague on Thursday Arsenal will be looking to build momentum against a Fulham side who must start turning promising performances into victories immediately if they are to pull of a remarkable escape attempt from the Premier League trap door.
Newcastle United’s dramatic 3-2 win over West Ham United means Fulham are now seven points from nearest rivals Brighton and Burnley having played one game more. With six fixtures left a remarkable run of results will be required if Scott Parker’s men are to ensure they are not relegated. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:
Date: Sunday, April 18
Time: 8:30 a.m. ET
Location: Emirates Stadium — London, United Kingdom
Arsenal: Though the Gunners’ domestic season is highly unlikely to end in the Champions League qualification that winning the Europa League would offer them there is still plenty for Arteta to consider in the remaining seven league games, not least how to get the most out of a multi-faceted young attack. Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette all excelled in Thursday’s 4-0 win over Slavia Prague whilst Gabriel Martinelli brought punch off the bench to follow his goal in last week’s win over Sheffield United.
With Martin Odegaard on the road to recovery from an ankle issue and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang desperate to return following a bout of malaria there are options aplenty for Arteta even if getting the best possible quartet of a consistent basis has been a challenge due to issues of form and fitness.
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Fulham: Newcastle’s run of form has come as a hammer blow for the Cottagers, who have suffered late defeats at the hands of Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers that leave them needing a run of wins to reel in those above them.
“We’ve shown during this year our quality and we’ve shown in this year that we can win football matches against very, very good teams so nothing’s changed in that sense – we need to believe that,” Fulham boss Scott Parker said. “I understand that we’re very devastated at this moment in time, but we’ve been knocked and punched in the belly but we move on now and we need to concentrate on that and keep going.”
Fulham are unlikely to make it easy for Arsenal to cruise to victory but their inability to convert the chances that come their way may tell against an opponent starting to find form in front of goal.
The big series for the weekend in Major League Baseball was the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers against their hopeful NL West rival San Diego Padres. Friday night’s game was crazy and went late. Saturday, we were treated to a duel between aces Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish. There were also some fireworks over a controversial call. The first run scored in the 2-0 Dodgers win was absurd, just as the final out was. We’ll get to all that.
This thing was all about the pitching until the final play of the game.
Darvish threw four no-hit innings. Kershaw was matching him zero for zero in the runs column. With two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Kershaw appeared to strike Jurickson Profar out. Profar’s bat, however, on a bit of a half-hearted swing clipped the glove of Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes. The umpiring crew ended up ruling catcher’s interference.
Darvish had one bad inning and it wasn’t even that bad. Slugfests can be very fun — because who doesn’t like home runs? — but a duel like this is just beautiful baseball. Aside from Darvish’s fifth and a brief scare for Kershaw in the sixth, the two were just carving the opposition up while in complete control of the game.
Keep in mind the marathon game from Friday night and the bullpens weren’t exactly well-rested. The Dodgers got good work from Jimmy Nelson, Blake Treinen and Victor Gonzalez to close it down. Of course, a Tommy Pham liner to center with two outs and runners on second and third would have tied the game, but Mookie Betts in center made the diving catch. Barely! Check it out.