Some pre-match reading

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A few slight surprises in the teams. Aleksandar Mitrovic and Anthony Knockaert are only on the bench for Fulham, while Gabriel Magalhaes makes his Arsenal debut in defence. It was thought he wouldn’t start as he has only recently started training with his new teammates. Willian also makes his debut.

Fulham (4-2-3-1) Rodak; Odoi, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Reed, Cairney; Kebano, Onomah, Cavaleiro; Kamara.
Substitutes: Areola, Le Marchand, Christie, Knockaert, Anguissa, Mitrovic, De Cordova-Reid.

Arsenal (3-4-2-1) Leno; Holding, Magalhaes, Tierney; Bellerin, Elneny, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Substitutes: Macey, Saka, Kolasinac, Ceballos, Willock, Pepe, Nketiah.

Hello and welcome to live coverage of 48 Days Later, a real-time motion picture about the return of the Premier League. It’s been just under seven weeks since the 2019-20 season finished, and now it’s time for the mother of all marathons: a condensed 2020-21 campaign that will test the players like never before. Welcome to the Red Zone season.

We start at Craven Cottage, where newly promoted Fulham host newly optimistic Arsenal. Although Arsenal finished eighth last season, their lowest position for 25 years, they made obvious progress under Mikel Arteta and won the FA Cup in stirring fashion. It’s hard to quantify what would constitute a good season for Arsenal this time. For Fulham, it’s simple: 17th place and an end to the yo-yoing of recent years.

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