Back in the top-flight at the first attempt via the Championship play-off final, Fulham will look to add to an impressive opening day Premier League (PL) record of one defeat in their last six (W3, D2). The ‘Cottagers’ will, however, have to snap a run of five straight losses versus London rivals Arsenal – the last four of which saw them lose by a multi-goal margin – and a run of ten straight PL defeats to London clubs!
Entering this game with one competitive defeat in ten (W7, D2), albeit in the Championship, 32 of Fulham’s league games last term saw the same HT/FT outcome. That was an unwanted theme in their last PL campaign (2018/19), with their 20 HT/FT defeats an all-time PL high. Furthermore, Fulham’s 81 goals conceded back then is the most by any PL side since they conceded 85 in 2013/14.
Expected to do better this campaign after their worst league season in 25 years, FA Cup and Community Shield winners Arsenal have shown an ability to raise their game, winning each of the last five competitive games when unfancied. On the flip side, a lack of focus when favored has seen them win just one of the last four such games (D1, L2).
Arsenal struggled on the road last season, winning just four PL trips. Slow starts were a constant theme, with the ‘Gunners’ the only PL side to see no away match goal in the opening ten minutes all season, a stat which also holds true in the last 15 H2Hs (all venues).
Players to watch Championship top scorer last season (26), Aleksandar Mitrović has scored in 16 separate PL games, 13 of which saw both sides score.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored seven of Arsenal’s last eight competitive goals and netted in the last two H2Hs.
Hot stat: Arsenal topped the PL in 2019/20 for yellow (86) and red cards (5).
Will not play
Chambers C.(Knee Injury)
Luiz D.(Neck Injury)
Mari P.(Ankle Injury)
Mustafi S.(Muscle Injury)
Smith Rowe E.(Shoulder Injury)
Referee: Kavanagh C. (Eng),
Venue: Craven Cottage (London)