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Mikel Arteta wishes Scott Parker well in Fulham’s relegation fight

The two youngest managers in the Premier League do battle again on Sunday.

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Fulham manager Scott Parker, left, greets Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (Paul Childs/PA)

Fulham manager Scott Parker, left, greets Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (Paul Childs/PA)

Fulham manager Scott Parker, left, greets Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (Paul Childs/PA)

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.

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

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

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.

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“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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