Monday, May 27, 2019

Prediction: Arsenal vs Fulham

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: bet365

Arsenal have a mauling to recover from as they prepare to begin 2019 with a game against struggling Fulham. The Cottagers finished 2018 off with a morale-boosting victory over Huddersfield and will definitely pose a threat to shaken Gunners.

Arsenal

Things were looking rather well for Arsenal in the opening stages of the match at Anfield when Maitland-Niles put Gunners ahead after only 11 minutes. A quick-fire Firmino brace four minutes later was all it took for complete lack of defensive stability and cohesion to kick in and leave Arsenal completely wrecked and dismantled by rampant league leaders.

The 5-1 defeat ended up being a nightmare ending of 2018 for Unai Emery’s men. The Gunners seems to have regressed in their form over the past couple of weeks and the former Sevilla manager has a big task upon his hands at the turn of the year. With only one victory in their last five matches across all competitions, the Gunners currently sit in fifth, with improving Manchester United breathing down their neck for that remaining European place. Despite the fact Arsenal’s fortunes seem to be going in different direction to Fulham’s, the Gunners are very much on top when it comes to head-to-head clashes between the two sides. Arsenal only lost 8 of their 56 meetings with Fulham and are expected to take full advantage of their home ground despite serious selection concerns Emery is facing.

Team News

Rob Holding is suffering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury whereas Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal both remain injury doubts with calf and muscle problems, respectively.

Danny Welbeck is kept out of contention with a broken ankle, whereas both Henrikh Mkhitaryand and Konstantinos Mavropanos are sidelined with injuries. Mesut Ozil is another selection doubt.

Fulham

Claudio Ranieri took some time in putting his stamp down on Fulham but Cottagers’ form appears to be following an upwards trajectory. Five points gathered across the last three Premier League matches have been a major motivation push for Fulham in their relegation struggle and there is no doubt that Cottagers will be feeling enthusiastic of their chances against the shaken Arsenal.

It goes without saying that Fulham are heading into the clash at Emirates as big underdogs. Still, with Aleksandar Mitrovic helping them to a morale-boosting late win against Huddersfield last time out, the Cottagers will travel to Emirates with their head held high. Claudio Ranieri seems to have tidied the things at the back with Fulham coming off from two clean sheets in last three matches. Fulham struggled defensively for the most part of the season but they also boast plenty of attacking ability which should make this forthcoming clash an interesting one to watch.

Team News

Alfie Mawson will be given a late fitness test to determine the extent of his knee injury, while Zambo Anguissa is another selection doubt.

Calum Chambers is ineligible to face his parent club and for now stands as the only confirmed absentee.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Arsenal won only 1 of their last 4 Premier League games
  • Fulham are unbeaten in their last three league matches
  • The two sides conceded a combined 73 league goals this season
  • Gunners only lost 8 of their 56 meeting with Fulham
  • Fulham failed to win any of their last 13 trips to Emirates

Conclusion

Arsenal have history on their side but their recent declining form will offer no guarantees against Fulham. The Cottagers have been steadily improving under Claudio Ranieri and will have to be taken rather seriously after claiming five points in last three games.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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