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MATCH PREVIEW ~ Fulham welcome Arsenal ~ Prem MD 20 ~ 23/24

last updated Friday 29th December 2023, 8:49 PM

Match Preview

Fulham v Arsenal

Premier League Match Day 20 23/24 at Craven Cottage

Sunday 31st December 2023    KO: 14:00

Referee: Michael Salisbury (Lancashire)

Live on SkySports

Fulham manager Marco Silva
Fulham manager
Marco Silva
Marco Silva
His Wiki page
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta
His Wiki page
Seeking to bounce back from midweek defeats, London rivals Fulham and Arsenal do battle at Cravan Cottage in their final Premier League match of 2023 on New Year's Eve.

The two teams meet for the first time since August when Joao Palhinha netted an 87th-minute equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw against the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium.

Aside from their penalty-shootout triumph at Everton in the EFL Cup third round, Fulham have had little to cheer about during the festive period and suffered their third successive Premier League defeat without scoring at the hands of Bournemouth, losing 3-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day.

The Cottagers held their own for the majority of the first half until Justin Kluivert opened the scoring for the Cherries on the stroke of half time, before Dominic Solanke and Luis Sinisterra netted after the break to condemn Marco Silva's men to their 10th league loss of the campaign.

Only Luton Town (11), Burnley (14) and Sheffield United (14), who all sit in the relegation zone, have lost more games at this stage of the Premier League season than Fulham, who remain 13th in the table and are placed six points clear of the bottom three having played a game more than 18th-placed Luton.

Fulham will welcome a return to Craven Cottage where they have accumulated 15 of their 21 Premier League points this term. Silva's side won three successive home games by an aggregate score of 13-2 before suffering a surprise 2-0 defeat to Burnley in their most recent home match last weekend.

The Cottagers have failed to win any of their last 11 meetings with Arsenal and have also lost each of their last seven top-flight home matches against fellow London-based opposition, but a positive result on Sunday should not be ruled out considering they have won their final league game in five of the previous eight calendar years.

Fulham notably breezed to a comprehensive 5-0 home victory over West Ham United earlier this month, the same team that stunned Arsenal with a 2-0 win at the Emirates on Thursday evening, ending the Gunners 10-game unbeaten home run in the process.

Goals either side of half time from Tomas Soucek and former Arsenal defender Konstantinos Mavropanos helped David Moyes claim his first-ever managerial win away against the Gunners at the 23rd time of asking, and David Raya was to thank for avoiding a heavier beating after he saved a stoppage-time penalty from Said Benrahma.

Since 2008-09, no Premier League team has had more touches in the penalty area in a single match without scoring than Mikel Arteta's side (77) against West Ham, and at the halfway point in the campaign, Arsenal have accumulated 10 fewer points than at this stage of last season – the joint-biggest drop-off in the Premier League along with Sunday's opponents Fulham (also -10) over the last 12 months.

The Gunners missed the chance to climb back to the summit and instead remain in second place, two points behind leaders Liverpool, who face Newcastle United on New Year's Day, as well as one and three points clear of third-placed Aston Villa and fourth-placed Manchester City respectively – the latter of whom have a game in hand, though.

Having dropped points in three of their last four top-flight games, Arsenal will hope to enter 2024 on a high and should be confident of ending their recent wobble on Sunday as they have won their last five visits to Craven Cottage, scoring at least three goals in each of their last four, while they have also won their final league game in 12 of the last 16 calendar years.

Head to Head

  • Fulham are winless in their last 11 meetings with Arsenal (D3, L8). Their last victory was a 2-1 home win in January 2012.

  • Arsenal have won their last five Premier League away games against Fulham, scoring at least three goals in each of the last four.

  • The Gunners have lost only three of their 33 Premier League matches against Fulham (W23, D7), with all three defeats by a single-goal margin at Craven Cottage.
  • Fulham could lose four consecutive league games without scoring for their first time since 1971.

  • They have 21 points, 10 fewer than at the halfway mark of last season.

  • The Cottagers scored 13 goals in their first three matches in December but have not netted in any of the subsequent three.

  • They have won their final league game of the year in five of the last eight seasons (D2, L1).

  • Fulham have won two of their six top-flight fixtures on New Year's Eve (D1, L3), with both wins coming at Craven Cottage
  • Arsenal are in danger of going three league games without a win, which would be their longest such run of the season.

  • The Gunners are unbeaten in their last nine away London derbies in the Premier League (W7, D2).

  • They have won their final league game in 12 of the last 16 calendar years (D2, L2), including each of the last three.

  • Arsenal have won their last four matches on New Year's Eve, including a 4-2 victory away at Brighton last year.

  • Gabriel Magalhaes has scored in three of his four Premier League appearances against Fulham, with two of those goals coming at Craven Cottage.

  • Since the start of last season, Martin Odegaard has scored 11 away goals in the Premier League, more than any other Arsenal player.


Source Oliver Thomas at SportsMole/BBC Sports
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