It’s back! After that long break since the 2019-20 season ended (in August) with another FA Cup for Arsenal, fans have been eager for Mikel Arteta’s first full season in charge to get started. That excitement has only increased following Arsenal’s PK shoot-out victory over Liverpool in the Community Shield and the arrivals of Willian, Gabriel and William Saliba. Now with the start of the 2020-21 season we bring back the ‘Know Your Opponent’ series.
After 15 seasons in the top flight Fulham were relegated in the 2013-14 season, spending the next four years in the Championship. A return to the Premier League for the 2018-19 season was short lived as Fulham were immediately relegated again. After a strong run to close out last season the team dubbed as Fulhmerica by many in the US are back. True to their name we could see two American defenders in the starting XI come opening day.
Last Season: Entering the season with hopes up jumping straight back up, Fulham stayed in the playoff chase for the duration of the season. Finishing the regular season with 81 points, just two away from automated promotion, they topped Cardiff City in the opening round of the playoffs 3-2, before securing a spot in the Premier League thanks to an extra-time winner from defender Joe Bryan in the Final. Fulham were knocked out of the FA Cup in the 4th round by Manchester City and the League Cup in the 2nd round by Southampton.
Last Trophy: Won the Championship in 2000/01 season. Or if you want to get creative, in 2002 Fulham won the UEFA Intertoto Cup, an old European summer competition.
Manager: Former Premier League player and English international Scott Parker, including over 100 appearances for Fulham, ended his playing career at Craven Cottage. He took over the manager role prior to the start of last season.
Ground: Craven Cottage, in southwest London. Previously had a capacity of 25,700 and is undergoing work to increase the capacity to 30,000 by the end of this season.
Series History: 39 wins - 10 draws - 8 losses. Arsenal have won the last five, outscoring Fulham 15-3 during that stretch.
Transfers In: Winger Anthony Knockaert from Brighton, American left-back Antonee Robinson from Wigan, midfielder Harrison Reed from Southampton (after spending last season at Fulham on loan), & a new loanee from Southampton in midfielder Mario Lemina, who plays with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the Gabon national team.
Transfers Out: A very limited list that features mainly U-23 players, but includes right-back Cody Drameh to Leeds United and a loan for American right-back Marlon Fossey to Shrewsbury Town.
Injuries: Aleksandar Mitrović appears to be ready for the start of the season. Expect team news closer to the weekend and in our match preview.
Form: They ended their seasons on a run of 3W-1D-1L in their final five matches, scoring 11 goals and conceding six.
Last Match: Ended in style with a win in the ‘World’s Richest Match’ as they won the Championship Play-off Final over Brentford 2-1 and earned promotion to the Premier League.
Player Stats: Last season Aleksandar Mitrović led Fulham in goals with 26, defender Joe Bryan led the team in assists with eight, while Portuguese midfielder Ivan Cavaleiro racked up six goals and seven assists.
Arsenal kick off their 2020-21 Premier League season this Saturday morning. You can watch the match on NBCSports at 7:45 am ET / 4:45 am PT.