Fulham vs ArsenalEnglish Premier League, KO: 12:30 Sep 12, 2020, Craven Cottgae
THE 2020/21 Premier League curtain-raiser comes from Craven Cottage on Saturday lunchtime as newly-promoted Fulham lock horns with Arsenal.
Scott Parker steered Fulham back to the promised land at the first time of asking after overcoming Brentford in the English Championship playoff final just over five weeks ago.
The Cottagers will be desperate to avoid a repeat of their calamitous top-flight campaign two seasons ago when they forked out in excess £100 million before falling out of the Premier League in pitiful fashion.
The west Londoners look set to take a more level-headed approach this time around, however, they will be hard-tasked to hit the ground running when they come up against an Arsenal side who have made notable progress under the stewardship of Mikel Arteta.
The capital club have since claimed the Community Shield and that success coupled with some shrewd Summer signings will see the Emirates faithful head into the new season full of hope.
Fulham failed to win 13 of their 19 Premier League home matches two seasons ago and the bookies expect that sequence to continue this weekend with a home win trading at 5/1 with Unibet, while the draw is also deemed unlikely at 17/5 with the same firm.
Arsenal have won each of their last five fixtures with Fulham and another Gunners success on Saturday is heavily fancied at 8/15 with Bet 365.
Away form has been Arsenal's achilles heel in recent seasons and that will be an issue that Mikel Arteta will be desperate to address in the forthcoming campaign.
The Gunners won just four of their 19 top-flight road trips last term and their sustained bout of travel sickness can also be attributed to their lengthy absence from the Uefa Champions League.
Having said that, one of Arsenal's few triumphs on their travels in recent times came at this venue and given their encouraging end to last season I fancy Arteta and Co to chalk up a rare road success on Saturday.
There is little value in backing Arsenal to win outright at 8/15 with Bet 365, however, combining an away win alongside under five match goals will boost the price up to a much-more enticing 10/11 with Bet 365.
Goals were in short supply when the Premier League returned from the enforced break last season and I suspect there could be a few slow burners across the opening weekend as teams look to get up to speed again.
What's more, Fulham were a well-schooled side under the tutelage of Scott Parker towards the end of last season and I expect the Cottagers to set out to contain and frustrate their opponents in this opening day encounter.
However, given Arsenal's superior quality I expect the visitors to breakthrough eventually and talismanic skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be the man to fire the Gunners to an opening day victory.
The Gabon goalgetter is 8/11 with BetVictor to make the net bulge, however, I'm going to nudge the price up to 9/10 when making use of the BetVictor's Bet Builder feature by backing Aubameyang to score anytime and Fulham to collect at least one card in this capital clash.
This English Premier League match between Fulham and Arsenal will be played on Sep 12, 2020 and kick off at 12:30. Check below for our tipsters best Fulham vs Arsenal prediction.