Arsenal for the title? A fanciful notion perhaps, particularly given the gap of 12 points to table toppers Manchester City and odds of 33/1, but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will be lamenting the poor start made by his side to the 2011-12 Premier League season.
For since a 4-3 defeat to Blackburn on 17th September Arsenal have shown title-winning form, with a defeat to fellow top four challengers Spurs at White Hart Lane the only blip in an otherwise perfect sequence of six wins.
And the Gunners look all set to pick up a seventh win in eight at the Emirates on Saturday with the visit of Fulham.
Martin Jol’s side are traditionally poor away from home and there are not many harder placed to go than the Emirates.
Only Manchester City have a better home record than Arsenal this season, while Fulham have scored just three goals in the six games on their travels – hardly enough to trouble a team who have hit three goals in three of their last four league matches at home.
As such, Arsenal go into the game as 2/5 favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, with the draw at 33/10 and a Fulham success an outside option at 7/1.
But rather than merely backing a home win, consider betting on the game to be level at the break before Arsenal clinch the win in the second half.
Arsenal have only been in front at half time in two of their six home league matches so far, with the remaining four being level going into the break.
Similarly, four of the six away matches played by Fulham have been all square at the interval, with the Lilywhites proving adept at keeping things tight in the opening 45 minutes.
Indeed, only Manchester United and Tottenham have conceded fewer first half goals on their travels than Fulham.
In the second half it is a different story, with Fulham twice as likely to concede after the interval than they are before the break, and it is here that Arsenal can make their superiority tell.
At odds of 7/2, a successful £25 free bet on the game to be level after 45 minutes and Arsenal to be ahead after 90 would return £112.50.
Meanwhile, the fact that the Gunners have scored 60 per cent of their Premier League goals in the second half also opens up the possibility that they will score more goals after the interval than they do in the first 45 minutes.
This bet is available at odds of 13/10.
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