England Premier League
Saturday 12th September 2020
Kick off at 12:30pm BST
Venue: Craven Cottage
The first game of the new Premier League season will feature a London derby between Fulham and Arsenal. Fulham are back in the Premier League and there will naturally be a buzz about the team as they will try to upset the odds and get something over Arsenal.
The Cottagers have only played one recent pre-season game which was against the MK Dons with that match ending in a 2-2 draw, so not inspiring pre-season form. So far their buys for the new season have been limited but they have brought in Anthony Knockaert from Brighton for £10.5m. They have also been able to secure Alphonse Areola on loan from PSG.
Manager Scott Parker should be under no illusions and will know this will be a difficult season for the club. The key could be picking up points at home and remaining a solid outfit.
Arsenal come into this game with a spring in their step. A difficult domestic season was offset by winning the FA Cup where they beat Chelsea in the final who finished 4th in the league. For the Gunners they could only manage 8th and that could have been 10th on the final day of the season.
Mikel Arteta’s side also won the Community Shield and whilst that trophy may not be on top of everyone’s list as the one to win, they beat a competitive Liverpool side in the game and some are looking at Arsenal’s forthcoming season as being optimistic.
Arsenal’s main signing so far has been Gabriel, a defender from Lille for just over £23m. They have also been able to snap up Willian from Chelsea, which has been seen as a major coup. Another defender in Pablo Mari comes from Flamengo in a deal worth over just £7m. The Gunners though are still waiting on striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to sign an extension to his contract. He has been holding off for much of the year and could leave on a free at the end of this season. Arsenal also played the MK Dons in a pre-season friendly which they won 4-1.
Fulham: The Cottagers have no new injury concerns coming into this game at present
Arsenal: Calum Chambers is set to miss the beginning of the season all stemming back from his knee injury last December, he is in light training. Gabriel Martinelli is a long term injury with his knee and isn’t expected back until the end of the year. Pablo Mari is being pencilled in to return by the end of the month after his ankle injury from last season. Shkodran Mustafi is out with a hamstring and is not due back until the end of October.
Fulham vs Arsenal Head to Head:
The last time Arsenal made the visit to Fulham they won 5-1.
Arsenal have scored 9 goals past Fulham in their last 2 meetings.
Fulham have not beaten Arsenal since 2012.
There is an 80% chance to see both teams to score.
Fulham vs Arsenal Prediction:
First games of the season can be unpredictable and although Arsenal will be the odds on favourites to win this, you sense that Mikel Arteta would have preferred the first game not to be against a hungry newly promoted side and not a derby.
Still the gulf in class between the teams is probaby 10 places in the league at least and Arsenal should be able to find their scoring boots and win this game. The Community Shield win over Liverpool was really important and the fact that Arsenal usually score plenty against Fulham can’t go unnoticed. Fulham will have their moments for sure but for us this is an away win.
Fulham vs Arsenal Betting Tips:
Arsenal to beat Fulham at 1.50
Anytime goalscorer: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at 1.72
Correct Score: Arsenal to win 3-1 or 2-1 at 12.00 and 8.00