Gunners primed to ransack Cottagers


Good form: Saliba should figure prominently against Fulham today. — Reuters

ARSENAL are the only team in the English Premier League with a 100% record, and they will get the chance to maintain that nice start when they host London rivals Fulham in the late game today.

There are a couple of other interesting fixtures that should make for good viewing, not least Liverpool’s clash with Bournemouth at home and Leeds United’s visit to Brighton and Hove Albion, where both will start unbeaten in the campaign.

The Gunners will fancy their chances against the Cottagers at the Emirates. Apart from the Leicester game, where they had to dig a bit deep, Mikel Arteta’s side have looked solid both upfront and at the back, and they have a few standout players to thank for that.

Gabriel Jesus has made his presence felt since moving to Arsenal from champions Manchester City in the off season, while Martin Odegaard, who struck two goals in the win over Bournemouth last week, is beginning to fulfil some of the huge potential that we all know he has.

But it is William Saliba who appears, at this time, to be Arsenal’s main man.

The French central defender has been in fine form since the start of the season, and even got among the goals last weekend – knocking in the Gunner’s third.

Saliba, 21, who signed for Arsenal from Saint-Étienne in Ligue One, in a deal reportedly worth £27mil (RM143mil at today’s rate) in 2019, has given Spaniard Arteta a new dimension with which to attack.

This lad is not only sturdy in defence, but also sleek and quick going forward, something he has clearly shown he likes to do, and he does it with some aplomb.

Fulham are sitting pretty themselves, in seventh spot and are also unbeaten at that. They got the new campaign off to a telling start when they held Liverpool to a draw in a game they thought they should have won – and nearly did so.

The draw with Wolves was followed up with a deserved win over Brentford, and Marco Silva will prod his squad to do it again, at the expense of Arsenal.

Indeed, this has been a good start for Fulham and they will be keen on building on it, if only because it is more than likely that their performances will peter off as the campaign goes on.

The loss to Crawley Town in the Carabao League Cup in midweek may yet prove to be a blessing in disguise.

Liverpool will want to get their season on track with maximum points today, and they should.

Despite the agony endured since the opener three weeks ago, and in particular that defeat to Man United, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds should see off Bournemouth.

The form and backing for Leeds and Brighton should lead to a share of the points at Falmer Stadium.

But if one were to boast of a marginal edge going into the tie, then it would be Brighton, and only because they are at home.

They have both played good quality football this month, and one expects more of the same, just as in the other featured games this weekend.

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