Fulham vs Arsenal – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Sunday 12th March 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Arsenal’s visit to Craven Cottage. Arsenal’s impressive away form is largely responsible for their title tilt – can they win again here? Read on with our Fulham vs Arsenal prediction.
Fulham vs Arsenal Match Preview
Fulham have had a great and surprising season but have experienced a blip in the previous two matches. Indeed, a draw at Molineux against a struggling Wolves side and a defeat away to Brentford are not ideal results for a team with an outside chance of qualifying for Europe – especially as Brentford are right up there in the table with them. The game against Brentford was topsy-turvy – Pinnock scored early, then Solomon equalised. However, two goals by Toney and Jensen put the game out of reach for Fulham before a Vinicius consolation.
Fulham are very good at home. They are eighth in the home form table, with six wins and 22 points from 13 games. Therefore, they are no pushovers at Craven Cottage and will look to give Arsenal a game in this match. Fulham sit in 7th place in the Premier League, with 39 points after 26 games. They both score and concede plenty of goals, and Arsenal have scored at least three times in their last three away matches against Fulham in all competitions. Therefore, goals could be on the cards here.
Arsenal make the short trip across London in good form in the league. Indeed, the Gunners have won their last four league games, scoring twelve goals. They have also demonstrated their resolve with comebacks against Aston Villa and then last time out against Bournemouth. At 2-0 down with half an hour to go against the Cherries at the Emirates, Partey, White and a last-minute Nelson strike from outside the box maintained Arsenal’s five-point lead over Man City to joyous scenes.
Arsenal were also involved in the Europa League midweek, and the return of European football should test the depth of their squad. They came back from 2-1 down to rescue a draw against Sporting CP in Portugal and will be confident of finishing the job on Thursday in London. They are still fighting on two fronts, but a first title since 2004 is what they really want, and to get it, they have to get through difficult away games like this. Arsenal have won seven of their last eight games against Fulham in all competitions, so the omens bode well.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Palhinha, Cairney, Kurzawa, Soares, Kebano
Might Not Play: Tierney, Odegaard, Nketiah, Trossard
Will Not Play: Jesus, Elneny
Fulham vs Arsenal Lineups (Predicted)
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Leno; Robinson, Ream, Diop, Tete; Lukic, Reed; Solomon, Pereira, Willian; Mitrovic
Arsenal (4-3-3): Ramsdale; Zinchenko, Gabriel, Saliba, White; Xhaka, Partey; Odegaard; Nelson, Martinelli, Saka
Fulham vs Arsenal Analysis
Fulham Will Likely Absorb Pressure And Play On The Counter
Fulham tend to have less of the ball in their games, averaging 47 per cent possession in their matches this season. Arsenal have 60 per cent on average. Therefore, it is clear what the flow of the game will likely be. Fulham will sit deep in a low block and look to break against Arsenal, trying to win the ball in the two deeper thirds so they can release Solomon and Willian on the wings. The suspended Palhinha is a big miss in midfield. He and Reed often get through much work and are crucial in closing down and pressing the opposition. Lukic will play in his place, and he must be industrious and stop the Arsenal midfielders from getting into a rhythm.
It will take much work for Fulham to score goals against Arsenal. Mitrovic will likely be fit, and he is a focal point up front for the Cottagers. The Serbian is fantastic in the air, and his ball-carrying and link-up abilities have improved too. They will look to get balls into and around him after winning the ball in midfield. They might clip long balls towards the front three from their defensive third, too (Fulham have attempted almost 2,000 long balls this season). Hence, Willian and Solomon will try to be released and attack Zinchenko and White. Both players are tricky and good at delivering crosses that Mitrovic can attack. Pereira in the hole is the connecting player, and he must find space between the lines where he can hurt Arsenal.
Marco Silva’s men must attack well on transitions and attempt to offer a threat against their cross-city opponents. They must not get pinned back in this game. If things are not going well, Vinicius and Decordova-Reid can come on later in the game (assuming they don’t start).
Arsenal Must Take The Game To Their Hosts
As one of the best teams in the league, with some of the best players, the onus is on Arsenal to dominate and create. We see Partey, Xhaka and Odegaard starting in midfield. Partey gives the team so much more energy and zest than Jorginho can offer due to his much-superior athleticism. This power gives more license to Xhaka to get forward. Odegaard is crucial, as always – we mention him often when Arsenal play, and that is because he makes them purr. Odegaard is responsible for connecting the midfield and attack. The clever positions he takes up, and his cute little passes into the front areas, are vital for Arsenal.
When the ball comes to Saka and Nelson on the wings (we think Martinelli might play a false nine), they must use their pace and trickery to take on Robinson and Tete. Robinson will try to attack for Fulham, so sometimes there might be vacated space to exploit for Saka if Fulham get caught upfield. On other occasions, when Fulham are in their shape, Saka must work his magic in tight spaces to try to make his way into the box to face Ream and Diop and create dangerous situations. Nelson is a box of tricks, too, and he must offer a similar threat on the left.
Martinelli must try to play the false nine role well (if selected there, Nketiah is also a more traditional option). The Brazilian is a fantastic goalscorer, and it suits him to play in central areas. He must interchange with Nelson and keep the Fulham backline guessing.
This game is a challenging one to call. Fulham have been excellent at home this season, and Arsenal are returning from a gruelling match in Lisbon. However, Arsenal have a fantastic away record this season – they have won 10 and drawn one of their 13 league games away, only conceding nine goals. Fulham’s last two games have been disappointing – they’re on a mini run of poor form – but they will believe they can get something against a potentially tired Arsenal side.
As stated earlier, the omens do not favour Fulham, as Arsenal have had their number in recent matches between the two. This side is a resurgent and better Fulham that Arsenal will face. However, the Gunners can still emerge from Craven Cottage with a narrow win and keep their title charge going. The reverse fixture finished 2-1 to Arsenal, and we are going for the same again here. They’ll likely control the game, and we think they’ll create enough opportunities to convert a couple.
Fulham 1-2 Arsenal
Fulham vs Arsenal Betting Tip – Arsenal Odds:
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