|Fulham is capable of heaping more misery on Manchester United but will Erik Ten Hag and his players stand up to the test? (Photo credit: GOAL)|
Manchester United need some reprieve, but it’s left to be seen if they will get one away from home in front of the Craven Cottage audience when they travel to London to play Fulham.
The Red Devils collapsed badly at Old Trafford to Newcastle in midweek to surrender their Carabao Cup title; conceding three goals at home isn’t exactly new as it’s a familiar feeling from last weekend, but would they make it a norm?
Fulham is having an indifferent season, but they’re not afraid to take on the big boys. The Lilywhites earned a valuable point against Brighton last weekend and followed that up with an impressive 3-1 win away to Ipswich in the League Cup.
Fulham’s form explains how their season has panned out so far: two wins from the last five, two losses, and a draw, leaving them in 14th on the log, and a win by any margin will take them level on points with United in 8th position.
Manchester United lost at home to Manchester City last weekend, and it was a game in which they gave absolutely nothing. They had it in them to trouble their visitors, as they have done in the past, but they offered nothing of note on a night they were meant to pay tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton.
Injured players are coming back gradually; Rafael Varane is fit to start and Aaron Wan Bissaka returned in midweek, but the news of Casemiro’s long-term injury broke out on Friday, which means United will have to make do with Sofyan Amrabat and Scott McTominay.
Fulham will be without Tosin Adarabioyo, Adama Traore, and Issa Diop, but they should have enough to field a decent eleven that will give a fight. Both sides need the points as Fulham tries to steer clear of the drop zone while United’s title ambitions, if they had any, will disappear into thin air if they don’t win here.
Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes have underperformed this season, both struggling to impact games and heaping pressure on the manager. Antony is available, and so is Mason Mount, but the real question would be in the midfield battle, where Joao Palhinha would lead the charge for the hosts.
Alex Iwobi is a man to watch out for in the final third of Fulham. Raul Jimenez can’t buy a goal even if he has the money, but the manager has decided to stick by him and offer him all the support he needs. Will he find the back of the net against United?