120 over 64 - The area where Arsenal dominate Fulham ahead of weekend meeting

Could it all be about sticking their feet in at The Emirates for Fulham this weekend?

Fulham travel to Arsenal this Saturday for a Premier League tie they are widely expected to lose.

The trip to London may be short, but the gap between the two teams in the Premier League is far from it. Arsenal are currently 29 points better off than Rene Muelensteen's side - who appear to be in a battle to survive in the Premier League.

So as the two prepare to meet this weekend - where in particular are Fulham going wrong? And what must they make sure they do better if they are to pick up a result in North London.

It is easy to point to the goals scored column of the table and realise Arsenal have scored nearly double the amount The Cottagers have managed.

But far from 'gunning' down Fulham with their attacking potency - it is more likely to be the way there defenders quash attacks that will be the difference.

Arsenal have conceded just 19 goals in the league this season - a joint low. However Fulham's 46 goals conceded is the worst in the Premier League.

Blame it on marking, positioning, communication or whatever you want - but in all honesty, they just don't tackle.

Here are the stats for Fulham's tackles won in defence this season...

NameTeamPosWon TackleAppsMins
Sascha Riether Fulham DF 19 17 1,468
John Arne Riise Fulham DF 11 10 811
Philippe Senderos Fulham DF 8 12 1,027
Matthew Briggs Fulham DF 7 2 87
Aaron Hughes Fulham DF 7 13 1,064
Fernando Amorebieta Fulham DF 6 15 1,201
Brede Hangeland Fulham DF 4 8 630
Elsad Zverotic Fulham DF 2 4 331

That probably just seems like empty numbers to me and you - well compare it with the consistent and continual crunching behaviour of their weekend opponents and it soon becomes clear that Fulham's defenders are 'tackle-shy'.

NameTeamPosWon TackleAppsMins
Kieran Gibbs Arsenal DF 32 18 1,461
Laurent Koscielny Arsenal DF 26 18 1,549
Per Mertesacker Arsenal DF 20 19 1,710
Bacary Sagna Arsenal DF 18 18 1,530
Nacho Monreal Arsenal DF 11 13 439
Carl Jenkinson Arsenal DF 9 10 618
Thomas Vermaelen Arsenal DF 4 7 341

You might think that the Arsenal players have played regular football so are bound to have better statistics in this respect. But a difference of 120 to Fulham's paltry 64 is quite shocking.

The likes of Fernando Amorebieta and Aaron Hughes should be particularly ashamed - considering the amount of game-time they have received.

The solution then it seems is for Fulham to actually stick their foot in every once in a while.

If they don't not only will they not score, but Arsenal will have a field day.

image: © wonker

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch