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Mikel Arteta wishes Scott Parker "all the best" in relegation scrap

:Headline: Mikel Arteta wishes Scott Parker 'all the best' in relegation scrap:
The two youngest managers in the Premier League do battle again on Sunday.
Sports Mole

Mikel Arteta pits his Arsenal side against relegation-threatened Fulham on Sunday afternoon but has wished Scott Parker well as he battles to keep the Cottagers in the Premier League.

Fulham went into the weekend six points adrift of safety having lost to a last-gasp goal at home to Wolves in their previous game.

Now they face a London derby against the Gunners, who go into the game on a high after thrashing Slavia Prague on Thursday to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners when they travelled to Craven Cottage on the opening weekend of the campaign but have had their own issues with consistency since then.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was happy after his visit to Craven Cottage earlier this season (Paul Childs/PA)

The two youngest managers in the Premier League do battle again this weekend and Arteta revealed he and Parker know each other well – on and off the pitch – and has been impressed with Fulham this year.

"I played a lot of times against Scotty, we had some battles," he said. "We have some common friends and people in the football world so we know each other quite well.

"I'm really happy for him and the work he has been doing and I think they have been really unlucky in some games this season that could have put his job in a different perspective.

"But still, anybody that is around him knows the man and then knows the professional who is behind him and I wish him all the best."

Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will still be missing after contracting malaria during last month's international break.

David Luiz and Kieran Tierney both have knee injuries keeping them out of the defence, while Martin Odegaard is a doubt with a niggling ankle complaint.

But Arteta, who also saw his side comfortably beat bottom club Sheffield United last weekend, has been pleased with the way his team have dealt with the loss of some key men.

"It is great that the team has the ability and capacity to resolve when we are missing some important players," he added.

"The team has reacted in a good way, not used any excuses, just faced the challenges ahead of them and got others to raise their individual performance for the team and this is what they are doing."

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CManchester CityMan City35255572264680
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd352010568383070
3Leicester CityLeicester362061065442166
4Chelsea351810755322364
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham351771155451058
6Liverpool34169957391857
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs351681161412056
8Everton34167114642455
9Arsenal351571349381152
10Leeds UnitedLeeds35155155353050
11Aston Villa34146144941848
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves35129143547-1245
13Crystal Palace35118163759-2241
14Southampton35117174462-1840
15Burnley35109163347-1439
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35109164058-1839
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton35813143641-537
RFulham35512182547-2227
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom35511193268-3626
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3552281862-4417
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6Real Betis35159114547-254
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