After what seems like almost no time at all, Premier League action resumes on Saturday. The first game of this, hopefully unaffected by COVID-19 season, is a rip roaring London derby between a resurgent Arsenal and recently promoted Fulham. The opening game of any campaign is always a tough one to call, so in order to maximise your chances of securing a winning bet check out our betting tip below. The tip is compiled by our team of football experts at betting.co.uk, so you can be sure that it is the very best advice on the market.
After their pitiful 2018/2019 Premier League campaign ended in relegation, Fulham secured a return to the top flight at the first time of asking last season. Since then, up and coming manager Scott Parker has wasted little time bolstering his squad with a number of smart signings. Southampton pair Mario Lemina and Harry Reed have been brought in to tighten up the midfield, while full-back Antonee Robinson was poached from crisis ridden Wigan Athletic. In order to be successful this season, Fulham need to tighten up at the back. They conceded the most of any promoted side two seasons ago and cannot afford to continue to let in sloppy goals like this.
Since taking over the club in December, manager Mikel Arteta has brought the good times back to Arsenal. The Spaniard has led the Gunners to victory in both the FA Cup and Community Shield at Wembley recently and expectations are high going into his first full Premier League season. Arsenal’s strongest area is up front. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is one of the most lethal finishers on the planet and so nearly won the Golden Boot last season. Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and new signing Willian aren’t bad either. Where the Gunners need to improve this season is at the back. Arteta has made good progress in this area since taking charge and the signing of centre-back Gabriel Magelhaes from Lille will accelerate this process.
Fulham’s record against Arsenal is nothing short of abysmal. All in all, across 57 meetings, the Cottagers have tasted victory on just eight occasions. The Gunners, meanwhile, have come out on top no less than 39 times. Eight of the contests have ended all square.
Recently, Fulham have shown little to suggest that the balance of power is shifting. Arsenal have been victorious in all the last five encounters and in the last 13 meetings, the west Londoners have won just once.
Several of these defeats have not been close as well, particularly the last two matches. Back in October 2018, Fulham were given a baptism of fire in their first game against Arsenal in four years, eventually succumbing to a humiliating 5-1 defeat at Craven Cottage. Later on during that same season, they were again put to the sword with the Gunners romping to a 4-1 win.
With Fulham possessing such a horrendous record against their opponents on Saturday, it would be foolish for you not to consider betting on Arsenal securing a massive win this weekend. If you are feeling tempted, BetVictor are offering odds of 5.75 on there being over 4.5 goals in total.
During their playing days, Scott Parker and Mikel Arteta competed in a string of intense midfield battles. However, on Saturday, the two inexperienced head coaches are set to face off for the first time ever in opposing dugouts.
Despite his early success, the jury is still very much out on Parker with some Fulham fans criticising his playing style for being more bland than some of his predecessors. There’s also been accusations that the former Tottenham, Chelsea and Newcastle man has been promoted ahead of his station due to his illustrious playing career and he will be desperate to prove these doubters wrong with a good tactical performance against Arsenal.
Similar criticisms have been levelled at Arteta, making Saturday’s contest quite the enthralling contest. Whoever comes out on top may just earn the title of the best up and coming manager in London… until the next set of matches of course.
As much as Fulham’s dealings in the transfer market have impressed us, it will take a minor miracle for them to avoid an opening defeat to Arsenal on Saturday. The Cottagers historical record against their opponents is horrendous and with Mikel Arteta at the helm, the Gunners should be in for a very good season. After narrowly missing out on the Golden Boot last season, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be desperate to get off to a good start. That’s why we’re predicting the Gabon international to score a brace to help Arsenal secure a straightforward win. William Hill are offering generous odds 6.98 on our tip.