Fulham v Arsenal: Goals should flow in Sunday's London derby
Jack Lang is expecting a thriller when the Gunners make the short trip to Craven Cottage on Sunday...
"Fulham have been easy to slice open and Arsenal are hardly defensive masters themselves, with six goals condeded in three away Premier League games so far"
Fulham v Arsenal
Live on BT Sport 1
Hosts wide open
It's never easy to get up to speed in the Premier League after promotion, but Fulham were probably hoping for more from their first seven games of the season. Having finished last season so strongly, and been so active in the transfer market over the summer, the Londoners probably felt that the top half was beckoning. It may yet do, but they will need to improve on their displays so far.
That is especially true of their defence, which has shipped 16 goals so far. In fact, underlying data shows they have got off lightly: their expected goals against figure is bordering on 2.5 per match. That's the worst in the division by some margin, and a recipe for disaster unless Slaviša Jokanović can tighten things up.
Arsenal winning but questions remain
After their shaky start to the campaign, Arsenal have stumbled into a handy vein of form: their midweek win over Qarabag made it eight wins on the spin in all competitions. And while three of those have come against modest opposition in the Europa League and League Cup, their league form has taken them up to the giddy heights of fifth at the start of the weekend.
Does that flatter them a touch? Perhaps: they were hugely fortunate not to concede against Everton or Watford, and Unai Emery continues to grasp for the right formula in attack. Individual quality has kept the goals flowing, but there are some square pegs in round holes, and it's tempting to wonder how long Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Özil will be content to play from the flanks.
Gunners strong favourites
The Gunners are [1.7] favourites on Sunday, which is probably understandable given their form. Their attackers will almost certainly have chances against Fulham's fragile backline, and they would fancy themselves to come out on top if this turns into a slugging contest, which is a distinct possibility.
Fulham will take heart from their last two home performances. They clobbered an out-of-sorts Burnley side and were unfortunate not to take maximum points against Watford after a slow start. They'll be keen to begin on the front foot here, but it's hard to have much confidence in them upsetting the odds.
Goals on the cards
With Fulham so easy to slice open, goals look a good bet. Arsenal are hardly defensive masters themselves, with six goals condeded in three away Premier League games so far (no clean sheets), and given that their strengths align so perfectly with their hosts' weaknesses, this could well be a fun-filled game for neutrals. Over 3.5 goals is the pick at [2.14].
With this new tool on the Sportsbook, you can combine multiple selections on the same game. Here, for example, you could back both teams to score in the first half, with an Aleksandar Mitrovic anytime goal thrown in for good measure, at odds of [6.18].
Jack Lang's Premier League P/L, 2018/19
Over 3.5 goals at [2.14]