Match Previews

Match Preview: Manchester United vs Fulham

Following a slightly improved yet frustrating display on Wednesday night, a the stuttering United host a struggling Fulham side on Saturday afternoon – in a golden opportunity to get back to winning ways.

Both these sides drew in midweek as José Mourinho remains under pressure; whereas Claudio Ranieri is only just beginning at the helm.

On paper, there should only be one outcome – but twists and turns are not out of the realm of possibility.

Kick-off: 15:00 [GMT]
Venue: Old Trafford
Referee: Lee Probert

The Cottagers

Position: 20th

Form: DLWLL

Top scorer: Aleksander Mitrović [7]

Most assists: Luciano Vietto [4]

One to watch: Jean-Michaël Seri

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Floyd Ayite – groin (unknown)
  • Timothy Fosu-Mensah – ineligible (next match)
  • Kevin McDonald – hamstring (unknown)

Expected lineup

(4-1-4-1) Sergio Rico; Christie, Odoi, Mawson, Le Marchand; Chambers; Schürrle, Cairney, Seri, Sessegnon; Mitrović.

Key quote

“I think Manchester United are getting better. For us, it will be difficult. We have to make a perfect performance. [They] are one of the best teams in the Premier League, also in the Champions League they made a very good job. It’s a fantastic team, a fantastic team. We want to make a point there. We know it’s hard but nothing is impossible.” Claudio Ranieri

Next match: West Ham United [H] (15/12/18)

The Red Devils

Talking points

A wild Wednesday affair contained some positives; with the returns of Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo pleasing JMourinho as they ‘left their souls on the pitch.’

The change in system to match Arsenal man-for-man allowed for a slightly different approach; however, United cannot press Fulham while keeping 11 men behind the ball when they are likely to have the vast majority of possession, so may revert back to a familiar formation.

A knock to Anthony Martial is a concern but the displays from Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford midweek make his expected absence less negative.

Paul Pogba remains a puzzle as he was again left out of the starting XI midweek.

The constant omission of £52m summer signing Fred has confused fans, as Mourinho says he is taking it “step-by-step” – likely to feature when the defence is stronger.

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Victor Lindelöf – hamstring (two weeks)
  • Phil Jones – unknown (doubtful)
  • Anthony Martial – knock (late fitness test)
  • Alexis Sánchez – hamstring (five weeks)
  • Chris Smalling – knock (late fitness test)
  • Luke Shaw – knock (late fitness test)

Expected lineup

(4-3-3) De Gea; Dalot, Bailly, Rojo; Young; Herrera, Matić, Fellaini; Lingard, Lukaku, Rashford.

Key quote

“I want to be positive and say we are going to win, but we have to give credit to them, it will not be 11 against zero. It will be 11 against 11.” – José Mourinho

Next match: Valencia CF [A] (12/12/18)

Potential key battles

Marcus Rashford vs Alfie Mawson

Jesse Lingard vs Callum Chambers

Chris Smalling vs Aleksander Mitrović

Match facts [credit: FotMob]

  • United are winless in their four Premier League outings, while unbeaten in four in all competitions
  • Fulham have lost 21 of their last 23 encounters at Old Trafford
  • The Red Devils produced a whopping tally of 81 cross in the last version of this specific fixture in 2014 (the game finished 2-2)
  • The Cottagers boast a record of win, loss, draw under their new manager – which has kept them bottom of the table

Enjoy the match!

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top