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Bent to make flying start for Fulham against Arsenal

| 22.08.2013

Darren Bent was an unused substitute for Fulham in their 1-0 win against his former club Sunderland, but the striker will surely make his debut against Arsenal if Martin Jol is aware of his record against the Gunners.

In 11 matches against Arsenal, Bent has scored seven times for four different teams, and he is a good bet to find the net again at 9/4 to score in the 90 minutes.

In his past five matches in all competitions against the Gunners Bent has scored five times, including winners for both Aston Villa and Sunderland.

The only team Bent has a better record against is Bolton, and Jol would be wise to use him either from the start or off the bench.

Laurent Koscielny is unavailable for the match after being sent off against Aston Villa and Bacary Sagna will be required to fill in at centre-back in a makeshift defence.

Villa ruthlessly exposed the Gunners’ vulnerability to the counter attack at the Emirates, and Bent will thrive on long balls in behind the high line Arsene Wenger favours.

After a morale-boosting win over Fenerbahce in the Champions League play-offs, Arsenal will be desperate to get their league campaign back on track.

The visitors are 23/20 to win, but with Fulham likely to pose a sterner test than the Turkish side, backing the draw at 12/5 could be the better bet.

It is also notable that in the past three matches between the two sides at Craven Cottage there have been four red cards, with both Steven Sidwell and Olivier Giroud sent off last season.

Fulham were unable to overcome the early dismissal of Sidwell last year, and lost 1-0, but with Bent in their ranks they will be hoping for at least a point this term.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Fortune