Fulham – Arsenal: The 2020-21 Premier League season kicks off on Saturday a Fulham host Arsenal (Watch live at 7:30am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at Craven Cottage.
Premier League new boys Fulham were promoted via the playoffs and Scott Parker has created a solid, hungry squad and hasn’t spent huge sums of money like the Cottagers did when they were last promoted in 2018-19. This Fulham squad has a very different feel and they bounced straight back to the PL after relegation.
[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]
As for Arsenal, they’ve bounced back too as Mikel Arteta turned them into a gritty side who caused upsets in the second half of last season as they won the FA Cup and beat Liverpool in the FA Community Shield a few weeks ago.
Here is everything you need to know ahead of Fulham – Arsenal this Saturday with team news, odds, stream link and more.
Team news: Fulham – Arsenal
New signing Harrison Reed starts after his impressive loan spell was made permanent. USMNT left back Antonee Robinson, who signed this summer, isn’t on the bench for Fulham, while American defender Team Ream starts and makes his 200th appearance for the Cottagers. Aleksandar Mitrovic starts on the bench.
Fresh start, similar XI! 👊
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) September 12, 2020
Arsenal are without David Luiz who has suffered an injury, while new signings Willian and Gabriel make their Arsenal debuts. Dani Ceballos, Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah are on the bench, while Bernd Leno starts in goal.
📋 Team news for our first @PremierLeague game of the season…
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 12, 2020
What they’re saying
Scott Parker on Fulham returning to the Premier League and what they learned from relegation in 2018-19: “The last time we realised and saw the quality, how difficult this division is. That same quality is there again and we need to relish the challenge. Will we drastically change our philosophy? Not at all. But we understand the challenge and the quality of the Premier League. Mentality among the group is big. Cohesion too. It’s clear we’ll come up against teams with players technically better than us. We’ll have to match them in desire and togetherness. We need a real togetherness, pull for each other. We’ve seen that from Sheffield United, who have done a fantastic job. They are the teams we need to look at.”
Arteta on his hopes for Arsenal this season: “I believe we are closing the gap but one thing is to do it in a short period of time, and another is to be able to sustain it for 10 months. We know this league, how competitive and challenging it is. We are in the right direction. We are trying to assess in the market to improve our balance in certain positions and improve the quality as well. But my biggest fight at this club is to convince these players we can fight with these clubs in the long term, and that they are better than what they showed last year. Let’s try to do that. That’s my job.
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Fulham (+475) are the heavy underdogs and it will be that way for most of the season. That’s just fine by Scott Parker, who believes that tag will help his team and there are no expectations. There’s a lot of added pressure on Arsenal this season after winning the FA Cup and Community Shield in August, and the Gunners (-180) are the favorites v. Fulham. The draw at +325 provides value and opening day games can often be cagey encounters.
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Even though they will be more solid than the last time they were in the Premier League, I worry about Fulham’s defense. I think Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Co. will enjoy themselves and I can see Arsenal winning this comfortably. 3-1 to Arsenal.
How to watch Fulham – Arsenal stream and start time.
Kickoff: 7:30 am ET Saturday
TV Channel: NBCSN
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com