Fulham mark their return to the Premier League with an all-London affair against Arsenal on Saturday at 12:30pm.
Fulham confirmed XI: Rodák; Odoi, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Reed, Cairney; Kebano, Onomah, Cavaleiro; Kamara.
Arsenal confirmed XI: Leno; Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Bellerín, Elneny, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Willian, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
The Cottagers secured promotion via the play-offs last month, beating Brentford at Wembley, and will kickstart the new season with a meeting on home turf against one of the ‘Big Six’.
Scott Parker will be eyeing an early upset to get the ball rolling, but the Gunners have been flying under Mikel Arteta recently.
The Spaniard most recently oversaw a Community Shield win against reigning champions Liverpool, and will be eager to take that form into the new season.
Arsenal have not tasted defeat at Craven Cottage since 2012, but can the Gunners extend that run? Or will the hosts pull off a giant-killing on matchday one?
Where to watch Fulham vs Arsenal on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 1
- US: NBCSN
Where to live stream Fulham vs Arsenal:
US ONLY: Fubo* are streaming a selection of Premier League fixtures live for account holders. Those without a Fubo account already can take advantage of their seven-day free trial by following the simple steps below.
- Click on this link.
- Click ‘Start Your Free Trial’ and enter your details.
- Log in and pick your desired channel to watch.
*Geo restrictions apply. Fubo is currently available in the United States, Canada and Spain. Packages and pricing differ per country.
UK: Those with BT Sport subscriptions can visit the website or app.
Fulham & Arsenal’s previous line-ups:
Fulham (vs Brentford): Rodak; Odoi, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Cairney, Reed; Kebano, Onomah, Reid; Kamara.
Arsenal (vs Liverpool): Martinez; Holding, Luiz*, Tierney; Bellerin, Elneny, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Saka, Nketiah, Aubameyang.
Arsenal have a host of centre-back injuries to contend with. Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers are all ruled out of this contest, while David Luiz is a major doubt with a neck injury. Gabriel Martinelli also remains sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury.
By their standards the Gunners endured a difficult 2019/20 league campaign, but they finished on a high note and manager Arteta is determined to boost their attacking numbers, 56 goals across 38 games is simply not good enough for a club of Arsenal’s stature. Fulham, who restored their top flight status via the play-offs, were shot happy in the Championship though it remains to be seen whether they’re capable of producing those figures in a more competitive division.
Players to watch:
Only two Arsenal players have scored 20 Premier League goals in back-to-back seasons:
If they give him that three-year contract, he can equal the streak. pic.twitter.com/PXbEGS0fd1
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 7, 2020
Fulham: With Arsenal retaining the services of Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid, Arteta is likely to deploy his favoured Granit Xhaka-Ceballos midfield partnership, which offers a good combination of creativity and tenacity. If Fulham are to come away with at least a point in this fixture, they will need to match Arsenal in the middle of the park, and one midfielder who will likely play a key role in that regard is Josh Onomah. The former Tottenham youngster was excellent as Fulham clinched promotion last season and has become the focal point in Parker’s midfield. With Tom Cairney and Harrison Reed providing protection further back, Onomah will have license to ask questions further up the field and keep the Arsenal midfield on their toes.
Arsenal: For the Gunners there really is only one man dominating the back pages, and that is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The club captain inherited Thierry Henry’s illustrious No. 14 shirt and is certainly doing the jersey proud. Whether he is playing out wide or through the middle, ‘Auba’ is a difference maker and will be firmly in the mix for the Golden Boot once again this season. Parker will prepare his defence as best he can, but when Aubameyang is in the mood there really is little you can do to stop him.