Arsenal vs Fulham Odds, Picks, Predictions | Premier League Betting Analysis
Matthew Ashton/Getty. Pictured: Aaron Ramsdale.
Arsenal vs Fulham Odds
|Over / Under|
+130 / -163
Arsenal look to make it three wins in a row to start the season when they host Fulham for a London Derby.
The Gunners survived on Monday at Selhurst Park after going down to 10 men for the final half hour to get all three points. If they are going to challenge Manchester City for the title those are the types of matches where they need to get all three points. They swept Fulham in both meetings last season and look very likely to do it again this season.
Fulham are a complete mess right now. They've been the worst defensive team through the first two match days and it doesn't look like it's getting better anytime soon. Aleksander Mitrovic is off to Saudi Arabia, leaving a huge hole at the striker position, so there is some real bottoming out potential with this squad.
Read on for my Arsenal vs Fulham pick and prediction.
Arsenal have showed through their first two matches that they aren't going to be a high-flying team that scores three or four goals a game, but they also aren't going to be the team that leaked goals towards the end of last season. Mikel Arteta's plan is pretty clear: he wants game control. Take the match against Nottingham Forest for example. Arsenal controlled 78% of the possession and attempted over 800 passes, but barely created 1 xG.
William Saliba is healthy, which is huge for Arsenal's build up play, and Arteta is now deploying Thomas Partey at right back. When Arsenal are in possession he's inverting him alongside Declan Rice in the midfield. This allows Arsenal to thwart off any counterattacking opportunities coming through the middle of the pitch, and it also allows Kai Havertz to get forward to create a 3-2-5 build up shape.
With Havertz getting forward, Arsenal can have three guys pushed up centrally on the opponent's back line, creating 1-v-1 opportunities for Martinelli and Saka in wide areas. Even though Arsenal have only created 2.9 xG through their first two matches, the tactical plan is to control matches and not concede needless goals in transitional moments.
Fulham were due for a ton of negative regression defensively and they should have conceded more against Brentford. The Bees scored three goals and created 3.7 xG as Fulham went down a man in the second half. That man was Tim Ream, who was their best defender a season ago. Per understat, Fulham conceded 71.4 xG, which was the most in the Premier League. They signed Calvin Bassey from Ajax to help bolster their defense, but he is more of a ball carrying and progressive passing defender rather than being an elite defensive-minded player.
Then there is Bernd Leno, who had an unreal shot-stopping season, putting up a +9.0 post shot xG +/-, per fbref.com. If he returns back down to normal, Fulham are absolutely screwed defensively, especially against elite attacks like Arsenal.
Lastly, Mitrovic is off to Saudi Arabia. He was insanely important to Fulham last season because when he was on the pitch, Fulham averaged 1.37 xG per 90 minutes. When he was off the pitch they only averaged 0.88 xG per 90 minutes. He also was incredibly important for Fulham's style of play.
The Cottagers completed the second-most crosses of anybody in the Premier League last year because they had one of the best aerial threats in the world at striker. They signed a washed up Raul Jimenez to be his replacement and he's done next to nothing thus far, taking just three shots in their first two matches.
Arsenal vs Fulham
Pick & Prediction
Arsenal could pick their score against Fulham here, but given Arteta's tactical plan through their first two matches, I don't know if Arsenal are going to look to pour it on once they get ahead.
The Gunners are going to be much more like Pep Guardiola's Man City, desiring game control over anything else. They should be able to control this match with Fulham being a more direct transitional team. I do not know how Fulham score without Mitrovic unless it's off of a fluke counter. In both meetings against Arsenal last season Fulham only created a combined 1.6 xG, so I do not see them improving upon that.
I like the value on Arsenal to keep a clean sheet at -115.