LITESPORT ANDREYARSHAVINclaimshisenforced injury lay-off couldnt have come at a better time after Arsenals pre-season schedule nearly killed him. Thepocket-sizedRussiaplaymakertook the Premier League by storm last season after he eventually put the seal on his protractedmovefromZenitStPetersburg in January. Although he impressed almost imme- diately, with his four-goal salvo at Anfield the highlight, he felt the benefit of a full pre-season under Arsene Wenger would see him hit the ground running in August. Nothing could have been further from the truth, however, as, despite his long-range thunder- bolt against Manchester Un i t e d , A r sh av i n appeared sluggish and off the pace in the Champions League double header against Celtic, and in the PremierLeague w i n s o v e r Everton and Portsmouth. The 28-year-old has missed the last three matches with the groin injury he picked up at Old Trafford and aggravated on international duty against Wales. He is due to return against Ful- ham tomorrow, and has promised Arsenal fans theyll see the real Arshavin (right) now. Hesaid:Ithasbeenharder for me because I was not fit in the first games. I spoke with the boss and he of course saw what was going on with me. He said to me after I came back from the internationals it seems like our preparations killed you a little bit that is why recovering now has been a good thing for me. Honestly, I can say again I did not feel fresh and my muscles were tough and thats why I did not feel 100 per cent confident in what I can do. All my games when I scored against Atletico Madrid and Celtic it was when I came on as a substitute. I said I needed a pre-season training, but sometimes I make a mistake. Second season syndrome happens everywhere, not just in England and its not something I worry about. It will be OK. England winger Theo Walcott has recovered from a side strain and is avail- able again -- but goalkeeper Manuel Almunia is still troubled a the chest infection. Vito Mannone could continue in his place, although Wenger intimated that after his impressive display between the sticks in Tuesdays Carling Cup win over West Brom, Wojciech Szczesny is also in contention. Denilson, Samir Nasri, Lukasz Fabian- ski and Johan Djourou remain out. 46 Friday, 25 September 2009 London Lite YOULL SEE THEArshavin admits he was shot tobitsby pre-season BY JAMES GOLDMAN FULHAM v ARSENAL LAST MEETING 28 FEBRUARY 2009 ARSENAL 0 FULHAM 0 (PL) WAYWARD finishing from both sets of forwards ensured Arsenal recorded their fourth straight goalless draw in the Premier League. Andrey Arshavin, Carlos Vela and Robin van Persie all missed chances they would normally have gobbled up, but Fulham, and in particular the livewire Andy Johnson, gave as good as they got. WEEKEND FIXTURES (3pmkick-offsunlessstated) TONIGHT LEAGUE TWO AccringtonStanleyv Crewe,(7.45) TOMORROW PREMIERLEAGUEBirmingham vBolton,BlackburnvAstonVilla, FULHAMvARSENAL(5.30,ESPN), LiverpoolvHull,PortsmouthvEverton (12.45,SkySports1),StokevManUtd, SPURSvBurnley,WiganvCHELSEA CHAMPIONSHIPBlackpool vPeterborough,Coventryv Middlesbrough,DerbyvBristolCity, IpswichvNewcastle(5.30,BBC2) LeicestervPreston,QPRvBarnsley, READINGvWATFORD,Scunthorpev Doncaster(12.00)SheffWedvCardiff, SwanseavSheffUtd,WestBromv CRYSTALPALACE LEAGUE ONE Bristol Rovers v Brighton, CarlislevSouthampton,CHARLTON vExeter,GILLINGHAMvNorwich, HartlepoolvWalsall,Huddersfieldv Stockport,ORIENTvMILLWALL,MK DonsvLeedsUnited,SOUTHENDv Oldham,SwindonvWYCOMBE,Tranmere vColchester,YeovilvBRENTFORD LEAGUE TWO Aldershot v Cheltenham, Bournemouth v Burton Albion, Bradford v Chesterfield, Bury v Lincoln City, DAG & RED v Morecambe, Grimsby v Darlington, Macclesfield v Torquay, Notts County v Port Vale, Rochdale v Hereford, Rotherham v BARNET, Shrewsbury v Northampton SUNDAY PREMIER LEAGUE Sunderland v Wolverhampton (4.00,SkySports1) CHAMPIONSHIPPlymouthvNottm Forest(1.15,SkySports1) No Moor sleepless nights for Harry HARRY REDKNAPP will be forced to revisit the memory of his worst moment as Tottenham manager when his side face Burnley at White Hart Lane tomorrow. The Spurs boss came within a whisker of a humiliating Carling Cup exit against Owen Coyles side -- who were then a Championship club -- eight months ago, with only two late goals ensuring they progressed to the final. That narrow escape at Turf Moor proved a turning point for Redknapps team, as they quickly pulled away from relegation trouble in the Premier League and finished the campaign strongly. But even though his side are sixth in the table after winning four of their opening six matches, Redknapp still shudders when he recalls his teams near-miss against tomorrows opponents. That game was easily my hardest time as Spurs manager, said Redknapp. We looked certainties to go out, but we got through it -- somehow. Burnley went on to win promotion that year and they have had a terrific start this season. Owen Coyle is certainly a very good manager and it will be difficult for us. TOTTENHAM VBURNLEY TOMORROW, 3PM Tough time: Spurs Harry Redknapp PREMIER LEAGUE TOMORROW, LIVE ON ESPN FROM 5PM (KICK-OFF: 5.30PM) LATEST BETTING MATCH ODDS Fulham 11-2, Arsenal 4-7, draw 11-4. FIRST GOALSCORER Eduardo 5-1, Van Persie 5-1, Arshavin 6-1, Bendtner 13-2, Vela 15-2, Johnson 9-1, Walcott 10-1, Kamara 12-1 MATCH FACTS Arsenal have picked up 38 PL points against Fulham more points than any other PL team has picked up against the Cottagers in the PL era. Fulham had the second-best home record in London derby matches last season, picking up seven points from the 12 available - beating Arsenal and Tottenham and drawing with Chelsea. Emmanuel Eboue is set to make his 100th PL appearance. He will be the third Ivory Coast star to reach this milestone after Kolo Toure (230) and Didier Drogba (140). Hanging around: Brede Hangeland resisted the temptation of a move to Arsenal in the summer OVER 3,000 Watford fans will make the short trip to Reading tomorrow with the sole purpose of letting former manager Brendan Rodgers know exactly what they think of him. The former Chelsea academy boss turned his back on the Hornets after just 192 days in the hotseat having led the club to safety last season. He further angered the clubs supporters by pinching winger Jobi McAnuff and Southamptons Grzegorz Rasiak for 300,000 after the Polish striker excelled under him at Vicarage Road. Rodgers also thought he had concluded a deal to bring star striker Tommy Smith to Berkshire, calling a press conference to unveil the player on the day he actually signed for Portsmouth. The new Reading boss knows tomorrows reunion is likely to be a spiky affair, but insists he has only fond memories of his time at Watford. He said: I dont really know what to expect but I am more interested in us. Theyve had a good start and Im happy for Malky. Hes a good man and he was very loyal to me when I was there. I only want the best for them and the Watford supporters. But I have no grudge with them whatsoever. I gave a lot of their young players their first opportunity. However, I left for a reason and I hope they see that.Firing line: Brendan Rodgers READING V WATFORD CHAMPIONSHIP, TOMORROW, 3PM wouldWengerArseneunderpre-season see him hit the ground running in furtherbeenhavecouldNothing as,however,truth,thefrom thunder-long-rangehisdespite Manchesteragainstbolt A r sh av i nUn i t e d , sluggishappeared the pace inand off Championsthe doubleLeague againstheader theinandCeltic, has28-year-oldThe threelastthemissed grointhewithmatches Oldatuppickedheinjury onaggravatedandTrafford international duty against Wales. He is due to return against Ful- ham tomorrow, and has promised Arsenal fans theyll see the real (right) now. harderbeenhasItsaid:He tfor me because I was not fi spokeIgames.rstfithein ofheandbossthewith ongoingwaswhatsawcourse with me. He said to me after I came back from the internationals it seems like bitlittleayoukilledpreparationsour that is why recovering now has been a good thing for me. feelnotdidIagainsaycanIHonestly, andtoughweremusclesmyandfresh thats why I did not feel 100 per cent dent in what I can do.confi LATEST BETTING MATCH ODDS Arsenal 4-7, draw 11-4. FIRST GOALSCORER Eduardo 5-1, Van Persie Kamara 12-1 Emmanuel Eboue is set to make his 100th PL appearance. He will be the third Ivory Coast star to reach this milestone after Kolo Toure (230) and Didier Drogba (140). 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