Newly promoted Fulham kick off the 2020-21 Premier League season at Craven Cottage as they take on Arsenal in a mouth-watering London derby.
This match marks the Cottagers’ return to the top flight after an one-season absence, whereas Arsenal will be looking to improve on a poor eighth-placed finish last season, which was only saved from being a disaster by winning the FA Cup.
Fulham have no fresh injury concerns to report with a full squad available for selection, with Antonee Robinson set for his Premier League debut after joining from League One’s Wigan Athletic following the Latics’ relegation from Championship last season.
Arsenal could be without David Luiz due to a neck injury meaning that the Brazilian could join Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring), Gabriel Martinelli, Calum Chambers (both knee) on sidelines for indefinite period.
Pablo Mari (ankle) is ruled out of this match but is getting closer to regaining full match fitness as he continues to slowly step up his training programme.
- Fulham have won just one of their last 13 league meetings against Arsenal (W1, D4, L8)
- Arsenal have taken ten points from their last five league trips to Craven Cottage (W3, D1, L1).
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored three goals in two previous Arsenal appearances against Fulham.
- Fulham have won just one of their last five opening weekend matches in a new season (W1, D2, L2).
- Arsenal have failed to draw any of their last five opening matches to a new league campaign (W2, L3).
This is a tough opening test for Fulham given their poor record against Arsenal but at the same time, this is a great opportunity to instantly work out a base point from which they can improve throughout the season going forward.
Arsenal meanwhile seemed to have found their stride during the final few matches of last season with FA Cup win and again with Community Shield victory just two weeks ago, although the Gunners” away league form still remained inconsistent which does offer Fulham hope if Scott Parker can get his tactics spot on.
I however am going for an Arsenal win because given how compact these next few months will be, they really do need to hit the ground running in order to give themselves momentum in case of any injury crisises once Europa League football kicks in next month.
Prediction: Fulham 1-3 Arsenal
Result: Fulham 0-3 Arsenal