Fulham host Premier League leaders Arsenal in this London derby at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon. Can Mikel Arteta’s side win yet again? We preview the match with the key Opta insights and match prediction.
The Quick Hits
- Arsenal the favourites to win this all-London clash with the Opta supercomputer (43.3%).
- The Gunners are unbeaten in nine successive games against Fulham (W7 D2 L0).
- Could there be another late winner? Arsenal have scored a league-high five goals to win games in the 90th minute or later in 2022-23.
Fulham will be hoping to end a run of nine successive meetings without a win against Arsenal this weekend (D2 L7), but even home advantage might not save them – they have lost all four of their games against the Gunners at Craven Cottage across this period.
Arsenal could break a niche record this weekend should they win and keep a clean sheet in west London. They have won all four of their away Premier League London derbies this season by an aggregate score of 8-0. In the history of the English Football League, no side has ever won five consecutive away London derbies while keeping a clean sheet each time.
The omens look good considering the Gunners have won 71% of their Premier League games versus Fulham (22/31), which is their highest win ratio against any opponent that they have faced at least 20 times.
Marco Silva’s side don’t tend to do well against table-topping sides, either. Fulham have lost 16 of their last 18 Premier League games against sides starting the day top of the table (W2), including each of the last nine in a row. The exceptions in this run were victories in March 2006 (vs. Chelsea) and March 2009 (vs. Manchester United).
Arsenal 2-1 Fulham: 27 August 2022 (Premier League)
The last time these two sides met Mikel Arteta celebrated his 100th Premier League game as a manager with a 2-1 home win at the Emirates Stadium back in August.
Arsenal secured the win the hard way, coming from behind after Aleksandar Mitrović opened the scoring for the west London club in the 56th minute – his fourth of 11 Premier League goals so far in 2022-23. This was also the Serbian’s 100th goal in all competitions for Fulham.
However, goals from Martin Ødegaard and Gabriel – from one of Gabriel Martinelli’s inswinging corners – turned the game around in Arsenal’s favour as they started the season with four wins from four.
This win was the first time that Arsenal had conceded the first goal in a Premier League match in the second half and managed to come back and win since Boxing Day 2013 against West Ham.
Since losing to Man City on 15 February, Arsenal have won four successive Premier League games to cement their place at the top of the table. Two of these wins have come via injury-time goals in Arsenal’s favour.
Overall, Arsenal have scored three 90th-minute winning goals in the Premier League this term – their joint-most in a single campaign in the competition (also three in 1999-00, 2009-10, 2011-12 and 2016-17). These three winners have all come in their last eight games (against Man Utd, Aston Villa and Bournemouth).
Including the 2-1 win against Fulham in the reverse fixture earlier this season, Arsenal have won a league-high five Premier League games when conceding the first goal in 2022-23, only winning more such games in the competition in 1999-00 (seven), 2003-04 (six) and 2011-12 (six). This has helped the Gunners win a league-high 15 points from losing positions so far this term.
Fulham’s defence has been impressive since the return of the Premier League post-World Cup on Boxing Day. Across 11 matches, they have conceded eight goals, with three coming in their most recent game against Brentford (3-2 loss) – only Newcastle (0.67) have conceded fewer goals per game since 26 December than the Whites (0.73).
Fulham have lost just three of their 13 Premier League home games this season (W6 D4), going down to Newcastle, Man Utd and Spurs. Even if they lose all of their remaining home games this term, it would be fewer defeats (nine) than they suffered at Craven Cottage in any of their previous three Premier League campaigns (13 in 2020-21, 10 in 2018-19 & 11 in 2013-14).
Fulham: Manor Solomon
Manor Solomon has scored in each of his last five appearances for Fulham across all competitions (five goals). Coming into the weekend, the only Premier League players who have recorded a longer scoring streak in 2022-23 are Erling Haaland (10) and Marcus Rashford (seven). Solomon, who had to deal with a knee injury that kept him out for the bulk of the Premier League action before the turn of the year after signing on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk, has arguably been Fulham’s key player in 2023.
Arsenal: Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka may have only turned 21 years old in September, but he’s already one of the best talents in the Premier League. Across all competitions in 2022-23, he’s already been involved in 20 goals (11 goals, nine assists) – his best return in a season at Arsenal and leads the likes of Martin Ødegaard (15), Gabriel Martinelli (14), Gabriel Jesus (11) and Eddie Nketiah (10) at the club.
Utilizing his pace and trickery, Saka has also generated more chances following a ball carry than any other player in the Premier League this season (44), with the Arsenal winger attempting 21 shots and creating 23 chances for a team-mate in this manner.
Fulham vs Arsenal Prediction
As Premier League leaders, Arsenal are unsurprisingly the Opta supercomputer’s most likely victor in this match at 43.3%.
Fulham’s poor Premier League record against the Gunners, coupled with four consecutive home defeats against them help to fuel this outcome. However, there’s a fair chance Fulham can at least get something from the match – their chance of winning or drawing stands at 56.7%.
Coming into the weekend, Arsenal are still slight favourites for the Premier League title with the Opta supercomputer (51.4%) ahead of Man City (48.1%) and rank outsiders Man Utd (0.5%).
Considering Fulham were third favourites for relegation at the start of the season (43.8%) just ahead of Bournemouth (45.0%) and Nottingham Forest (44.5%), the job that Marco Silva has done at Craven Cottage has been exceptional. That chance of relegation is non-existent now, with their lowest predicted finish 16th (0.03% chance) by the supercomputer. Their most likely league finish is 10th (28.1%) or ninth (25.8%) while they still have a 0.6% chance of finishing in the top five.