Prediction and odds for the game: Fulham (5/1) vs Arsenal (11/20)
We are backing both teams to score at odds of 3/4
When: Saturday, 12th September 2000, Kick-off 12:30
Where: Craven Cottage
On Saturday afternoon, Fulham host Arsenal at Craven Cottage in the first game of the 2020/21 Premier League campaign.
Former West Ham and Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker have made a good start to his managerial career. The relative rookie head coach guided the Cottagers to promotion via the Championship play-offs last season. A run of just one defeat in their final 12 competitive games last season proved to be the key to their return to the English top-flight.
The Cottagers experienced a difficult season in the top-flight during their last stint, suffering defeat in 11 of their last 14 games, including suffering back to back defeats against Wolves and Newcastle in their final four league matches. Craven Cottage provided very little home comforts for Fulham last time out in the Premier League, as they lost five of their last seven outings in the English top-flight.
The club from south west London have brought in reinforcements to their squad in the shape of Antonee Robinson, Mario Lemina, Anthony Knockaert and Harrison Reed. Knockaert had spent last season on-loan at Craven Cottage but has now made the move a permanent one.
The Gunners turned a potentially disastrous season into a decent one last time out, as rookie head Mikel Arteta helped the team from north London to claim the FA Cup. However, the team from north London will be looking to improve upon their eighth-place finish of last season in the new campaign. They finished last season’s top-flight campaign in decent form, winning five of their last eight league matches.
Former Manchester City assistant boss Arteta has already improved the mood at the club. One of the main aspects the Spaniard improved was in defence, although their defence is still a work in progress heading into the new campaign. The arrival of highly-rated young central defensive pair William Saliba and Gabriel has added to the Gunners defensive options.
If Arsenal are to mount a realistic challenge for the top-six or even top-four, the visitors need to improve their away record in the Premier League. Arteta’s team have won just twice in their previous 11 top-flight games on their travels.
The Gunners have a good recent record against Fulham, as the visitors are unbeaten in eight matches against the Cottagers, recording seven wins.
This is an interesting clash between two head coaches at the start of their managerial careers. The pair have clashed as players, but this will be the first time they face each other as top-flight bosses. The away win would be the most obvious bet, but that doesn’t offer great value.
Instead, we are looking at the goals market. We are backing this game to be a high-scoring encounter, so the over 2.5 goals looks a good bet to us. The other bet we are recommending is both teams to score, as although the Gunners have improved defensively the new players may not have had time to bed into the team.
Verdict: We are backing both teams to score at odds of 3/4 and/or over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 8/11. (All odds are taken from Bet365).
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