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Manchester United face tricky away test against Fulham after last weekend’s disappointment
Manchester United to win 2-1
Tournament: Premier League 2022-2023 | Venue: Fulham, London, Craven CottageBet Now
Manchester United’s push for the top four suffered a surprising setback when they fell to defeat against a rejuvenated Aston Villa last weekend.
Perhaps due to their Europa League encounter three days beforehand, or due to a lack of effort entirely, Erik ten Hag’s men looked off the pace from the first minute to the last.
Consistency has become a problem for United, particularly in the league. Although that was their first defeat in 11 games, they haven’t won consecutive league games since September. They must rebound strongly here.
Fulham are a tough prospect to consider, especially at Craven Cottage. Their form under Marco Silva has been largely positive this season, predominantly due to the sharpness of Aleksandar Mitrovic upfront.
While Fulham sit in 9th place, a win here would take the Cottagers to within a point of Manchester United.
Their home form is strong, and you would expect them to put on a show for their fans with this being their last chance to do so before the World Cup break.
Reasons to be cheerful:
Three wins and three draws from their seven home games this season
Have outscored Manchester United by five goals so far
Reasons to be fearful:
Have won just two of their previous 25 meetings with United
Their 24 goals conceded is the most in the top half
Fulham were narrowly beaten by a 10-man Manchester City last weekend, only losing to a penalty in the final minute of the game.
The Cottagers had a man advantage for much of the game and will perhaps kick themselves that they didn’t have the belief to go on and win the game at the Etihad.
Perhaps they will believe they can inflict damage of City’s neighbours here, especially at Craven Cottage where they have a strong record this season.
They don’t have a strong record against Manchester United, to be sure. They have lost each of their last five home games against United and have won none of their last 13 regardless of venue.
However, they will look at Aston Villa’s result over United last weekend, their first win over them in almost 30 years, and perhaps take some encouragement.
Star Man – Aleksandar Mitrovic
With nine goals in 12 appearances, Mitrovic is one of the league’s most efficient strikers. He hasn’t scored in either of his last two, however, which means he is probably due one here.
Reasons to be cheerful
A win could take them level with Spurs in 4th
Great record against Fulham over the years
Reasons to be fearful
Have lost three away games in the league this season
Haven’t been scoring enough goals in the league
For Manchester United, the focus must be on securing three points here to ensure that they go into the World Cup in a positive frame of mind.
Their away form has not been great this season, losing three of their seven games and conceding 15 goals in the process.
In terms of goals scored, they haven’t done well enough in any of their matches recently. They have scored just five goals in their last five league games.
It’s a stat that has hampered their form recently and means they have dropped points when they shouldn’t, against the likes of Chelsea and Newcastle where they had chances to win.
They will be made to work hard for anything away to Fulham, and if they come away with three points they will have played very well.
Here, Cristiano Ronaldo may be fit enough to take part having been ill during the week, while Diogo Dalot misses out through suspension.
Star Man – Marcus Rashford
The England international is looking at his sharpest right now and has deserved his callup to the England squad for the World Cup. His goal in the midweek cup game shows that he is in good form.
Will be a tight game
One goal to separate the teams
Could be a nervy ending
Fulham usually create chances in front of their own fans and we should expect them to do the same here, especially with Mitrovic’s goal record so far this season.
Manchester United should come here with a point to prove after a disappointing result last weekend.
Fulham will make it tough for United to play and we could see a tense game heading into the final period.
United, with their quality, probably just edge it, but it’ll be close.
Manchester United to win 2-1
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