Mark Lawrenson has played down Fulham‘s chances of an opening day shock today, claiming Arsenal will be too sharp today.
The Gunners come into the tie on the back of winning the Community Shield against Liverpool only two weeks ago, whilst their FA Cup final win over Chelsea was only six weeks ago also, and they can use that impetus.
We will be keen to kickstart our first full season under Mikel Arteta with a win, and Lawrenson believes we will be able to do just that.
“With no fans allowed into grounds, Fulham will not get any of the usual buzz or lift that newly promoted teams get from their fans when they are at home on the opening day of the season,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.
“The Cottagers must know most people think they will go straight back down, but their manager Scott Parker can use that as a way of motivating them.
“I saw quite a bit of them in the Championship last season and they try to play good football, with the option of using Aleksandar Mitrovic as a target man too.
“I just think Arsenal will be ready for them, though. For obvious reasons, it does not seem like very long at all since the Gunners won the FA Cup final.
“Since then, they have won the Community Shield too, which is as competitive as it gets for a friendly. I’d expect them to be sharp.”
Our side should have the better preparation of the two teams, despite having less of a summer break, but the likelihood is that IF that was going to take its toll on the squad, that would come later into the campaign.
Do any of you have any doubts of our team going out and showing our dominance from the off? Whilst our team should be more match-fit, could we suffer from the minimal break time?