Fulham downed a miserable Everton team on the opening day of the season only to see Brentford wipe the floor with them in their own backyard last time out. Arsenal vs Fulham is scheduled for a 3pm BST kick-off on Saturday, August 26, 2023. The match will take place at Emirates Stadium in north London. Arsenal will be without Takehiro Tomiyasu after his red card against Crystal Palace, meaning we may finally see Gabriel start a game after starting the last two on the bench. Gabriel Jesus is back and available to play in a huge boost for the Gunners. Elsewhere, Folarin Balogun and Albert Sambi Lokonga are nearing returns, but neither appear to be in Mikel Arteta’s plans.
Fulham will be without captain Tim Ream after his sending-off agaisnt Brentford, weakening an already weak defence. Summer signing Calvin Bassey should deputise. Joao Palhinha came off the bench last time out and should be fit to start in a huge boost for Marco Silva, though Wilian is a doubt. Arsenal have not been the most convincing so far this season, recording two narrow wins from two but hanging on in the final moments of both. That should not be a problem against Fulham, who look both blunt up top without Aleksandar Mitrovic and weaker than ever at the back. That’s because we have never lost a home league game against the Cottagers in 30 meetings – the most one team has faced another at home without ever losing in English league history.
And if you’re more interested in recent times, then Fulham are winless in their last 10 games against us home and away, and have failed to prevent us scoring since February 2009. We also have very differing recent records when it comes to London derbies, with us unbeaten in our last 13 capital clashes including Monday’s win at Crystal Palace, while the Whites’ 3-0 home loss to Brentford extended their winless run against London rivals to seven. With all that being said, Fulham are on the brink of winning their opening two away games in a top-flight campaign for the first time at the 29th attempt, having defeated Everton 1-0 on the opening weekend which came before their surprising heavy defeat to the Bees.
Last season saw the newly-promoted side finish in 10th spot, their best season in 11 years which could have been even more eye-catching as they occupied sixth position in February, before Marco Silva’s team fell away in the final few months. Looking to improve on that, the Portuguese boss has added Wolves pair Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore to his ranks, as well as Ajax centre-back Calvin Bassey but last week saw club icon Aleksandar Mitrovic depart to Al Hilal for a reported £50 million, seemingly giving the club room to manoeuvre in the final week of the transfer window.