- Arsenal Vs Fulham Premier League Football Match 2023
Seeking to continue their streak of dominance in London derbies, Arsenal welcome Fulham to the Emirates Stadium in gameweek three of the 2023-24 Premier League season on Saturday afternoon. The two sides posted differing results in their most recent capital clashes, as Mikel Arteta’s men put Crystal Palace to the sword 1-0 while the Cottagers went down 3-0 at home to Brentford. As was the case in the second half of their opening Premier League encounter with Nottingham Forest, Arsenal struggled to click into gear against a well-drilled Palace defence and had their backs against the wall for the final few moments on Monday night, where Takehiro Tomiyasu’s contentious red card hardly helped matters.
A composed Martin Odegaard penalty propelled Arsenal into the lead before Tomiyasu picked up two questionable bookings in the space of seven minutes – sparking plenty of post-game debate – but the Gunners’ penchant for London derbies came to the fore as they maintained their perfect start to the new term. As one of only three teams to open the 2023-24 Premier League campaign with a pair of victories, Arsenal are sitting pretty on a podium spot in the fledgling standings, currently perched in third place behind champions Manchester City and early pace-setters Brighton & Hove Albion. Victory at Selhurst Park saw Arsenal end a four-game losing streak on Monday nights under Arteta, who also masterminded the Gunners’ 200th Premier League clean sheet on the road – only Manchester United (205) and Chelsea (204) have more – but their defensive deficiencies at home are no secret.
Indeed, Arteta’s men have just one shut-out to show from their last eight Premier League contests in front of the Emirates faithful, but Fulham’s recent displays in front of goal have not embodied that of a side capable of giving the Gunners a good run for their money. Now that the protracted and unwelcome Aleksandar Mitrovic transfer saga has finally come to a close with the Serbian’s big-money move to Al-Hilal, Fulham boss Marco Silva is busy drawing up plans for life after the talismanic marksman, which has not got off to the best of starts. Following a smash-and-grab win at Everton’s headquarters – which could have very easily gone the Toffees’ way on another day – Silva’s side were subjected to a 3-0 humbling at the hands of Brentford, as a Bryan Mbeumo brace and Yoane Wissa strike did the damage at Craven Cottage, where Tim Ream was also made to take the walk of shame.
With summer signing Raul Jimenez doing little to show that he can fill Mitrovic’s boots during his earliest days with the Cottagers, this week’s shot-shy visitors are languishing in an unlucky 13th place in the table ahead of their trip to the Emirates, where many will expect their recent sequence of away results to continue. Indeed, Fulham have followed a loss-win-loss-win pattern on their travels since the start of May, and only two of their away fixtures in the 2022-23 Premier League campaign ended level – the most recent being a goalless stalemate with Chelsea in early February. The Fulham faithful would likely accept a 0-0 at the Emirates if it was offered to them before kickoff, but the Cottagers fell to a 2-1 loss in this fixture in August 2022 before a 3-0 beating at Craven Cottage, where a Leandro Trossard playmaking masterclass helped extend Arsenal’s unbeaten streak against their visitors to 10 matches.
Owing to his red card for two bookable offences in the win over Palace, Arsenal full-back Tomiyasu will sit this London derby out through suspension, joining the man he replaced – ACL victim Jurrien Timber – on the absentee list. Strikers Gabriel Jesus and Folarin Balogun – supposedly a transfer target for this weekend’s visitors – are also in the infirmary with knee and foot issues respectively, while there has been no update on Albert Sambi Lokonga’s muscular problem, but the Belgian will likely leave the club before the end of the month away. On a more positive note, Oleksandr Zinchenko is back to full fitness after coming off the bench against Palace and ought to be a straight swap for Tomiyasu on the left-hand side, where Kieran Tierney still cannot get a look-in despite Arteta’s affirmations that the Scotsman remains part of his plans.
Arsenal and Fulham can empathise when it comes to defensive suspensions, as Ream was also given his marching orders after receiving two cautions in the loss to Brentford, opening the door for Calvin Bassey to start alongside Issa Diop as the ostracised Tosin Adarabioyo attempts to secure a move away. Ream aside, however, Fulham have no other selection concerns for Saturday’s game, having welcomed integral midfielder Joao Palhinha back from a shoulder injury against Brentford, and the Portugal international will certainly come straight back into the side if fit enough. Both Willian and Bernd Leno may reunite with their former employers this week, but only the latter is guaranteed a place in the squad – Willian has emerged as a doubt due to an unspecified concern – while Adama Traore will also be considered for his full Premier League debut for Fulham after a late cameo last weekend.