Premier League title challengers Arsenal travel to Craven Cottage for a mouthwatering London derby against European hopefuls Fulham on Sunday.
After putting together an impressive run of seven consecutive games without defeat, Fulham succumbed to London rivals Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium in a thrilling five-goal encounter last time out.
Despite Manor Solomon’s header and Carlos Vinicius’s late consolation, the scoreline flattered Marco Silva’s side, who were second-best throughout the game, as goals from Ethan Pinnock, Ivan Toney and Mathias Jensen ensured victory for the Bees.
Fulham remain in contention for a place in Europe next season as they sit in seventh place, six points off their London counterparts Tottenham Hotspur in fourth place.
However, their European destiny is out of their own hands, with Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion boasting games in hand.
The Cottagers would have taken a top-flight stay at the start of the season, but now with something to lose, two defeats in a row would be devastating to their chances of a fairytale finish to the campaign.
Arsenal will make the trip across the capital seeking a fifth league win on the bounce to keep the reigning champions Manchester City at bay.
The Gunners played out a high-scoring encounter in Portugal, drawing 2-2 with Sporting CP in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 battle at Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Following William Saliba’s opener, a defensive mix-up between Matt Turner and Jakub Kiwior allowed Goncalo Inacio to head home the equaliser.
Then a freak own goal from Hidemasa Morita would spare Arsenal’s blushes after Paulinho had briefly put the Portuguese side ahead.
With all to play for in the second leg, the next two games will be decisive in Arsenal’s hunt for glory both in the league and on the continental stage.
Arsenal won the reverse fixture 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium, but Mikel Arteta’s side would be naive to underestimate Fulham despite their impressive nine-game unbeaten streak (W7, D2) against them.
Fulham welcome Arsenal to Craven Cottage on the back of a six-game scoring streak which is a welcome statistic, especially as Arsenal’s defence has been far from impenetrable recently.
The Cottagers have suffered a mere three defeats in their 13 league games in front of their fans this term (W6, D4), including just one in their last five games on home turf.
However, 16 of Fulham’s last 18 Premier League games versus the table-topping side have ended in defeat (W2), including each of the last nine in a row. But their two such victories occurred in March (2006 versus Chelsea and 2009 against Manchester United).
Manor Solomon will be looking to continue his recent goalscoring form this weekend, having netted in each of his last five appearances for the Cottagers across all competitions – only Erling Braut Haaland (10) and Marcus Rashford (7) have enjoyed longer scoring streaks this year.
Arsenal head into the weekend five points clear of title rivals City at the top of the table, but their lead will be temporarily reduced if the champions grab a positive result against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
However, Arsenal travel to west London boasting the league’s best away record after posting six wins from their last seven games on the road and ten from 13 in total.
They have also scored the most goals (25) and conceded a joint-low nine goals on rival turf this season (along with Newcastle United).
Not since the 2011/12 campaign have the Cottagers gotten the better of Arsenal. The Gunners have won 22 of their 31 Premier League games against Fulham – their highest win rate against an opponent they’ve faced 20+ times in the competition.
Arsenal have won all four of their away London derbies in the league this season by an aggregate score of 8-0. No side has ever won five consecutive such games while keeping a clean sheet each time in the history of the English top flight.
Arteta’s side have won a league-high five games coming from behind this season. Arsenal have only won more such games in the competition in 1999/00 (7), 2003/04 (6), and 2011/12 (6). The Gunners have won a league-high 15 points from losing positions this term.
Fulham vs Arsenal Potential Line-ups
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Kenny Tete, Issa Diop, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson; Harrison Reed, Sasa Lukic; Willian, Andreas Pereira, Manor Solomon; Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Arsenal (4-3-3): Aaron Ramsdale; Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Martin Odegaard, Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka; Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Reiss Nelson.
How to Watch?
Fulham vs Arsenal, alongside all other fixtures in England’s top flight, is available to watch online via live Premier League streams.
Fulham vs Arsenal Prediction
London derbies are notorious for delivering the goods, and this one should be no different. A high-scoring showdown is on the cards, but the Gunners should have enough in their arsenal to fire past their local neighbours.
Fulham 2-3 Arsenal
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