Arsenal face back-to-back London derbies as they host Fulham this weekend at The Emirates. Both sides already have at least one win on the board and will be looking to get even more points in the bag as both Arsenal and Fulham aim even higher on the table this season.
The Gunners finished five points behind Champions Manchester City last season and have made significant purchases this summer. The introduction of Declan Rice to their midfield has undoubtedly strengthened the side. So far Arsenal already have six points on the board from a possible six, with two wins in two games.
Arsenal’s opening game came against Nottingham Forest. Eddie Nketiah started as striker for Arsenal and grabbed his first goal of the season and along with a wonder strike from Bukayo Saka gave The Gunners a 2 - 0 lead going into the second half. Arsenal controlled the entire game, with Taiwo Awoniyi managing to get on the scoresheet for Forest as a late attempt to come back in the game.
The Gunners’ second outing was away to South London’s Crystal Palace. Sam Johnstone brought Nketiah down in the box early in the second half to give Arsenal a penalty. Martin Odegaard’s conversion was the only goal in the game, giving The Gunners the 1 - 0 win. Takehiro Tomiyasu was shown a controversial red after receiving a yellow card for time wasting and then a foul on Jordan Ayew, making Tomiyasu the 59th Arsenal player to be sent off since the Premier League started, second only to Everton.
Fulham currently sit 13th in the Premier League on three points. Marco Silva’s side has one win and one loss in the league and the worst goal difference on those currently on three points.
The Cottagers opened their season with a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton. In a game where Everton had seven more shots on target than Fulham, a goal from Bobby De Cordova-Reid was the only thing splitting the sides as he scored in the 73rd minute.
However, Fulham’s home opener this season didn’t quite go to plan when they hosted Brentford in a West London derby. Yoane Wissa put Brentford in front just minutes before halftime giving The Bees the 1 - 0 lead. Fulham then conceded a penalty when Tim Ream brought down Wissa in the box in a somewhat soft decision that earned him a second yellow and was dismissed from the game. Bryan Mbeumo converted the penalty and then secured his brace in extra time giving Brentford the 3 - 0 win.
Arsenal and Fulham have met 61 times in their histories, with The Gunners being the dominant force in this fixture. Since their first meeting back in 1904, Arsenal have beaten Fulham on 42 occasions, whereas Fulham have won only eight times, with the 11 other meetings ending in draws.
In the last five games between the two, Arsenal have won four times with the other game ending in a 1 - 1 draw. This pattern of Arsenal wins is likely to continue despite Fulham’s resurgence last season.