Fulham will be desperate for a result this afternoon after a decrease in form lately that’s seen them record three consecutive defeats to Newcastle, Burnley, and Bournemouth…
Marco Silva’s side failed to score in all three of those games, with a cumulative scoreline of 7-0. A follow-up of their top-half finish last season is looking increasingly unlikely as they sit in 14th and 7 points adrift of Chelsea in 10th.
It doesn’t seem as if Fulham are close to the threat they were 12 months ago when I felt they were certainties to score in every match and guaranteed to be engaged in high-action affairs.
They haven’t filled the void of Mitrovic who finished last season with a tally of 14 league goals and subsequently went to Saudi club Al Hilal. The closest players they have to that figure are Jimenez and Willian who both sit on 4 at the halfway point of the 23/24 season.
Fulham v Arsenal
14.00 Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League
(Maximum 10 matches last 10 years)
AUG 2023 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 2-2 Fulham
MAR 2023 PREMIER LEAGUE Fulham 0-3 Arsenal
AUG 2022 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 2-1 Fulham
APR 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 1-1 Fulham
SEP 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Fulham 0-3 Arsenal
JAN 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 4-1 Fulham
OCT 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Fulham 1-5 Arsenal
JAN 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal 2-0 Fulham
A massive positive for home fans is the return of Mexican international Raul Jimenez who reprises his role as a number 9 after being suspended for three matches thanks to a red card against Newcastle.
He was just starting to hit his stride for Fulham with three goals in two matches before the red card, and will surely provide serious opportunities for Fulham to break their three-match goal drought.
Fulham are a much better side at home which is demonstrated by their position as 18th in the Premier League in the last 10 matches when filtered to away fixtures and Marco Silva will be hoping the extra two days rest compared to Arsenal will provide a freshness advantage and allow time for Willian to return to the side after a muscle injury.
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Arsenal arrive at Craven Cottage with a massive point to prove after their disappointing 2-0 loss at home to West Ham.
The Hammers pounced on Arsenal’s lack of fluency on Thursday with two goals from three shots on target in a match that many thought would be a defining moment for Arsenal’s title challenge after holding Liverpool to a 1-1 draw.
Trossard, Saka and Martinelli looked lethargic with the ball and it’s possible Arteta may look to Jorginho or Elneny to change up the engine room at the Cottage.
The Gunners certainly had their chances that day but just never looked comfortable finishing the sequence of play in the back of the net, no matter how good the chance looked. Their figure of 2.87 Expected Goals and failure to even get one on the board tells you all you need to know about their chances.
Arteta should be driven by the fact that winning this afternoon means a top spot in the Premier League going into 2024 and the away side have not lost to Fulham in any of their last ten meetings.
The goalscoring capability of Fulham should be massively increased thanks to the supposed return of Raul Jimenez and it’s surely a matter of time before they reach the goalscoring heights seen in their consecutive 5-0 wins this season. Although Arsenal may edge out 3 points and outclass the Cottagers, I’m backing Both Teams to Score at 5/6 as well as a Build-a-bet with the same selection doubled with Jimenez to score anytime at 4/1 with starsports.bet
BACK Both Teams to Score 2pts at 5/6 (⭐
CLICK TO BET NOW)
Build-a-bet: Both Teams to Score and Raul Jimenez to score anytime at 0.5pts at 4/1 with starsports.bet
PROFIT/LOSS (DEC 2023): LOSS -10.69 points