Fulham vs Arsenal Odds, Pick: Back The League Leaders in This Way (Mar. 12)
Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal
Fulham vs Arsenal Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-125 / -105)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-120 / -110)|
|Odds via Caesars. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Arsenal look to keep their five-point lead at the top of the table in tact when they make the short trip to Craven Cottage for a London Derby with Fulham.
The Cottagers finally hit a wall on Monday night, losing to Brentford on the road 3-2, which was a long time coming. Fulham are currently in the battle for the top six, but they have drastically over-performed up until this point in the season. They were throughly dominated by Arsenal in the previous meeting and I am not sure how they are going to improve upon that.
Arsenal are in a difficult situation in a fixture pile up coming off a trip to Portugal playing Sporting in the the Europa League round of 16. The Gunners captured yet another dramatic win in their last Premier League match with Reiss Nelson scoring on the last kick of the game to erase a two-goal deficit against Bournemouth.
The Gunners have their eyes firmly on the Premier League title, so even though they are on short rest this is the most important match of the week.
Fulham Finally Realizing Expected Regression
Some of Fulham’s negative regression on the defensive side of the ball finally came to fruition against Brentford on Monday night. Brentford put three in the back of the net and created 2.3 xG.
An important note from that match was Brentford’s ability to play the ball through the middle of the pitch, which is something Arsenal have done better than anyone in the Premier League this season. You could also see how big of a loss João Palhinha was for Fulham. He’s suspended for this match as well.
The concerns here for Fulham are the exact same concerns when they faced Arsenal at the Emirates earlier in the season. Fulham scored an early goal and then tried to sit in their low block, defend for their lives and get out with a result and they were unable to do it. In that match, Arsenal had a field tilt of 83.1%, created 2.53 xG and had 16 penalty box shots.
Arsenal 2 : 1 Fulham
▪ xG: 2.53 – 0.69
▪ xThreat: 1.74 – 0.99
▪ Possession: 71.1% – 28.9%
▪ Field Tilt: 83.1% – 16.9%
▪ Def Line Height: 56.4 – 39.1#msbot_eng #epl pic.twitter.com/4JrXh5xQ4J
— markstats bot (@markstatsbot) August 27, 2022
The Fulham defense is still due for negative regression. That doesn’t just go away because Brentford put three in the back of the net. Since the World Cup break, Fulham have now allowed seven goals off of 16.6 xG and when they’ve faced the big six this season, they’re allowing 2.23 xG per match.
Arsenal Should Be Fresh After Rotation
Arsenal rotated a lot of their starting XI for their Europa League match against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday, so tired legs shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
This match is likely going to play similarly to the Bournemouth match last weekend, where Arsenal are going to control a lot of the possession, they’re going to tilt the field on Fulham and it will come down to whether or not they can finish off their chances.
Fulham not having João Palhinha is massive for what Arsenal want to do tactically. Arsenal would like to create their box midfield with Zinchenko inverting along side Thomas Partey, which allows Granit Xhaka to play in a more attacking role alongside Martin Ødegaard.
This way, Arsenal can create numerical advantages in the middle of the pitch and allow them to pull teams who want to play in low blocks like Fulham out of position to create space for their attackers.
Arsenal have been putting up gaudy offensive numbers, especially against non-big six sides. They’re averaging 1.84 xG per 90 minutes and have put up 5.2 xG in their last two matches against Everton and Bournemouth.
Additionally, in that previous meeting, Arsenal scored the match winning goal off of a set piece, which is a huge advantage they have over Fulham. The Cottagers allow the sixth-most xG off of set pieces and Arsenal create the second-most xG off of set pieces.
Fulham vs Arsenal Pick
Although the spot might not be great for Arsenal coming off a Europa League match on Thursday, the matchup is tremendous. There have been times Arsenal have struggled to break down low blocks away from home with the first match against Everton being a perfect example.
However, Fulham have nowhere near as good of a low block as any of the teams Arsenal have struggled against and they’re still due for a ton of negative regression given how much their defense has over-performed out of the World Cup break.
The Gunners have also gotten steamed in the market after opening around -150. They are up to around -180 at most books.
So, instead of taking Arsenal on the moneyline, I am going to back their team total to get over the line.
Pick: Arsenal Over 1.5 (-140)
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