EPL: Newcomers, Fulham host Gunners in London derby

first_imgFulham vs. Arsenal Venue: Craven Cottage Kick off: 12:30PMArsenal get the 2020-21 Premier League campaign underway with a trip to London rivals Fulham this afternoon. The Gunners ended last season on a high after lifting the FA Cup, while Fulham also bring momentum into the new campaign following their promotion from the Championship.Just six weeks have passed since Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Chelsea at Wembley – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring twice to give Mikel Arteta silverware in his first managerial season.The 2019-20 season will ultimately go down as a successful one for the Gunners thanks to that triumph, but a lot more is expected of them in the Premier League this time around.Last term’s eighth-placed finish was Arsenal’s lowest since 1995, not helped by a return of four wins in their opening 13 fixtures, which they ultimately failed to recover from.Arteta took over from Unai Emery midway through the season and, while results were largely mixed, the former Manchester City coach did not take long to make his mark on the field. Arsenal played some impressive football at times and have carried that into this season, having already defeated champions Liverpool on pens in the Community Shield two weeks ago.That may be little more than a glorified friendly to many, but it showed once again that the Gunners are now capable of holding their own against the division’s top sides.That is not exactly a category opponents Fulham fit into, of course, with the Cottagers preparing for their first season back in the top flight after a one-year absence.Scott Parker achieved his mission of guiding the club back into the Premier League at the first attempt, although they had to do it the hard way by going through the playoffs.A 2-1 win over bitter rivals Brentford on August 4 sealed a spot in the top division and Parker will now get his first proper shot at keeping Fulham in the division. The Cottagers have played just one friendly since then, drawing 2-2 with MK Dons at the end of last month, despite Parker fielding a strong XI in the behind-closed-doors clash.Arsenal also played the Dons and were far more comfortable, running out 4-1 winners in one of just two close-season outings for Arteta’s charges.As far as opening league fixtures go, this is one Arsenal supporters will surely be happy with given results between the sides down the years.The Gunners have won each of their last five Premier League games against Fulham, scoring nine goals in their two wins the last time the West Londoners were in the top division.RelatedPosts Runarsson joins Arsenal on four-year deal Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ Arsenal, Wolves want Michael Olise Indeed, Arsenal have lost just one of their last 13 Premier League matches against Fulham (W8 D4), going down 2-1 at Craven Cottage in January 2012.Fulham possible XI: Areola, Odoi, Ream, Hector, Bryan, Lemina, Reed, Cairney, Knockaert, Mitrovic, Cavaleiro. Arsenal possible XI: Martinez, Saliba, Holding, Tierney, Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Pepe, Nketiah, Aubameyang.Tags: ArsenalMikel ArtetaPierre-Emerick AubameyangPremier Leaguelast_img read more