Fulham vs Manchester United Preview | Predictions, Stats and Key Players

Fulham vs Manchester United Preview | Predictions, Stats and Key Players

The final match of the Premier League before the World Cup break will be Manchester United’s visit to Fulham. It will be a difficult match for the visitors, as Fulham have a good record at home this season. However, the Cottagers will be missing Aleksander Mitrovic, their talisman, which will increase the chances of an away win. Erik ten Hag will be keen to end this period with a win and consolidate their position in the top four race. With Chelsea set to travel to Newcastle United, there will be a chance to gain points on at least one of their rivals.

Fulham have had an excellent start to the season, with a confidence they have previously not shown at this level. Alongside Norwich, Fulham have been a perennial yo-yo club, but that looks set to come to an end. Marco Silva is proving to be a very good manager for the club and he is repairing his own reputation in the Premier League. A point on Sunday will confirm their position in the top ten going into the enforced stoppage.

After back-to-back losses to start the season, Manchester United are emerging as a good outfit under ten Hag. He looks to be the right manager for the club, as he is slowly improving their playing style and establishing them as top four contenders. The good form of Newcastle United is an issue for the Dutchman, but they are well placed to compete to return to Europe’s premier competition. To do this, they will need to show consistency over the rest of the season. Although Fulham are a decent team, it is a game that the visitors need to win if they are to reach their objectives.

Interesting stats

  • Fulham haven’t been able to beat Manchester United since December 2009. There have been 14 meetings between the two sides since then.
  • This match is likely to be Bruno Fernandes’ 100th Premier League appearance for Manchester United. During that time, he has contributed 38 goals and 26 assists.

Key men

Andreas

This is going to be a big occasion for Andreas Pereira, as he is facing his former club. He spent eight years at Old Trafford and made 45 appearances across all competitions. Despite being considered a good prospect, he was never fully trusted in the first team and did a lot of his development during loan spells. Manchester United chose to sell him during the summer and their loss has been Fulham’s gain. The London side have made errors in their recruitment during previous years in the Premier League. This signing looks to be one of the best ones they have made in recent seasons, as he has been a key part of their early success. Andreas is used as a number ten behind Mitrovic and he has regularly contributed in the final third. This season, he has two goals and four assists, which is a good return for a player in his position at a club like Fulham. The Brazilian was never likely to be good enough for Manchester United, but he has found his level with Fulham. There could be some motivation for him to perform well on Sunday, especially with Mitrovic out of the team.

Fernandes

It will be a special occasion, as Bruno Fernandes makes his 100th Premier League appearance for Manchester United. He was suspended last weekend and he will be brought back into the side after the team’s poor defeat to Aston Villa. During the week, he managed to get on the score-sheet, as United got revenge against Villa, knocking them out of the Carabao Cup. The next few weeks will be big for the midfielder, as he will be representing Portugal at the World Cup. He will be keen to take some momentum into the tournament, so a good performance this weekend will be important. Fulham have been vulnerable at the back, with only three teams conceding more than them this season. Their position in the top ten is due to their attacking quality, not defensive. Fernandes isn’t the attacking force he was when he first arrived in the league, as he has had to play a different role after the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo. However, he remains one of Manchester United’s biggest goal threats. This season, he has contributed two goals and one assist in the league. He will want to improve on this significantly after the World Cup.

Team news

As mentioned earlier, Mitrovic will be missing, as he tries to recover from a foot injury before the start of the World Cup. Bobby De Cordova Reid is back from suspension, but Harrison Reed and Kenny Tete will be suspended this weekend.

Fernandes is back from his suspension and he will return to the starting eleven. Ronaldo is a doubt with illness, while Antony faces a late fitness test to prove his own fitness. Both players are expected to be fine for the World Cup.

Verdict

Fulham are a different team without Mitrovic. They lack the goal threat that the Serbian provides and that isn’t easy to replace. Reed will also be a huge miss in midfield. Those absences mean that Manchester United should have enough to win this game. There are some unknowns, with the World Cup just a week away. Will some players take it easier than normal? Perhaps, but ten Hag will expect his team to take the three points from Craven Cottage.

Fulham 1-2 Manchester United