The 2020/2021 EPL season starts tomorrow with an early kickoff match between
Fulham FC vs Arsenal FC
12:30 pm (WAT)
A lot of fans are really excited going into this season especially the Arsenal supporters owing to the fact that they were victorious in their community shield match against Liverpool at Wembley stadium some weeks ago and with a number of new signings coming into the team, I can say for sure that things look to be going in the right direction for the Gunners. This will also be Mikel Arteta’s first full season in charge of the Gunners and with European football being secured last season, against all odds, fans will be expecting qualification into Europe’s elite football competition by the end of the season.
Fulham has a full-strength squad at their disposal after finishing fourth in the Championship last season and securing promotion into the Premier League by seeing off Brentford in the playoffs. Scott Parker’s team have been heavily reliant on their formidable striker, Aleksandar Mitrović, who is poised to cause the Gunners defence some problems. They also added Alphonse Areola to their goalkeeping ranks to strengthen up. Aside from that, they have no major injury concerns.
Possible line up; (4-3-3) Areola, Bryan, Hector, Tim Ream, Odoi, Cairney, Reed, Lemina, Cavaleiro, Mitrović, Knockaert.
The Arrival of Willian from Chelsea, the return of William Saliba from his loan spell with St. Etienne and the signing of Gabriel Magalhães from Lille has given Mikel Arteta’s squad strength in depth. The Gunners also secured another loan deal for Dani Ceballos. The biggest issue facing the Gunners is the contract situation of their Skipper and top scorer, Aubameyang, whose contract extension is yet to be announced officially but going with Arteta’s interview earlier today, the fans should relax their nerves.
Elsewhere, they have a piled up injury list in the central defence with Pablo Mari, Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Calum Chambers and Sokratis all on the injury table, but the fearsome attack of Lacazette, Aubameyang, Pepe, and Ceballos are enough to penetrate the defence of Fulham.
Possible line up; (3-4-3) Leno, Saliba, Holding, Tierney, Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka, Lacazette, Pepe, Aubameyang.
on what Mikel is expecting from Fulham…
I think the team is a good reflection of the coach. He’s a very thorough person with a very committed team with a very clear way of playing. He’s done a fantastic job at Fulham, the way they managed to get promoted last season was really good. We have been watching them, we know it’s a very typical stadium, really tight. It will be tough tomorrow, for sure.
~ Mikel Arteta
The last time these two sides met at Craven cottage back in 2018 under Unai Emery saw the Gunners run riot with a 5-1 victory, a game that saw Aaron Ramsey finish up a fine team move, with the reverse fixture at the Emirates stadium in early January 2019 producing a 4-1 scoreline also in favour of the Gunners. Hence, we are expecting to see a positive start here from Arsenal.
My prediction: Fulham FC 1- 3 Arsenal FC
Match Preview by Patrick Alexander