Fulham welcome Manchester United to Craven Cottage on Saturday, with both managers in need of all three points to help their sides move up the Premier League table.
Fulham go into the game on the back of a 4-3 defeat to Leicester in the Carling Cup in midweek, with fans wanting a vast improvement from Martin Jol’s men with the Whites winning only 1 of their 4 home games in the Premier League this season.
David Moyes has suffered an indifferent start to life at Manchester United with the Scott losing 3 of his opening 9 Premier League matches – a stark contrast to last season when Manchester United only lost 5 games all season.
United have won 2 and lost 2 of their 4 away games in the Premier League this season and will be looking to continue their good form against Fulham, after winning 7 of the last 8 games in all competitions.
The Red Devils currently sit 8th in the Premier League table this season on 14 points, 2 points behind rivals Manchester City and 8 points behind leaders Arsenal, while Fuham sit in 14th on 10 points, 4 points behind Manchester United and 2 points above the relegation zone.
Fulham will be without Brede Hangeland for the visit of Manchester United, while Hugo Rodallega is almost certain to be out after limping off against Leicester with a groin strain.
Manchester United will be without Darren Fletcher, with the Scot continuing to battle against his bowel condition, while Danny Welbeck will be hoping to be fit after a recent Knee injury.
With players such as Dimitar Berbatov, Darren Bent and Adel Taarabt in the squad, Fulham need attacking players that are willing to track back and defend from the front and this is exactly what Kasami offers to the team.
The Swiss international has made 26 tackles this season, which is 6 more than any other Fulham player and 19 more than Berbatov, Bent and Taarabt combined. Kasami has won 77% of these tackles and entered into 111 ground duels, which again is more than any other Fulham player (winning 49%).
As well as defending from the front, Kasami also offers creativity and goals, which he showed against Crystal Palace with his goal of the season contender. Kasami has created 5 chances for Fulham in the Premier League this season at a rate of a chance every 143 minutes, and has only created 3 fewer chances than Fulham’s top chance creator Sascha Riether.
Kasami has also attempted the joint most dribble attempts in the Fulham squad this season (15), and was successful with 53% of them and is Fulham’s joint top goalscorer with 2 goals, converting 18% of his chances.
If Fulham are to have any chance against Manchester United, then they will need Kasami to break up play and stop Carrick from dominating the game as well offering Fulham a creative option in midfield.
Wayne Rooney has been in excellent form for Manchester United this season, scoring 4 and assisting 2 goals in 655 minutes of Premier League football.
Rooney’s attitude and commitment to the club after being linked away from Old Trafford in the summer has impressed fans and pundits alike, with Rooney putting in some impressive displays for both club and country.
The England striker has created a chance every 47 minutes in the Premier League, as well as assisting 2 goals and scoring 29% of Manchester United’s goals this season. Rooney has contributed to 43% of Manchester United’s goals this season and has scored or assisted 11 goals in his last 15 away matches in the Premier League; Fulham will be doing well if they are able to stop him this weekend.
Rooney has hit the target with an impressive 62% of his shots this season and converted 19% of his chances, forming one of the best strike partnerships in the Premier League with Robin Van Persie, with the pair being unstoppable at times.
If Rooney continues his good form then Fulham will have a huge task on Saturday, not only dealing with him but Robin Van Persie too.
Fulham 1-2 Manchester United
BSc Sports Science Graduate, Head of the News Section on EPLIndex and all round football fanatic! Can also be found on Twitter - @jamesamey316
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