Manchester City aiming for back to back wins against improved Fulham
Manchester City to win 3-0
If a team were looking for back to back fixtures to get their season back on track, facing Burnley and then Fulham would be a dream scenario for most of the top six.
That’s exactly the situation which has presented itself to Manchester City, who are in need of a good run of form to take them back towards to the top of the table after an unusual opening nine games.
They dispatched Burnley with a 5-0 thrashing which looked like a City performance of the last few seasons, rather than those which we have seen so far this campaign.
Fulham will be worrying that they could suffer the same fate as their fellow strugglers, though have at least shown better form of late to climb out of the bottom three.
The Cottagers will not see this game as crucial to their chances of survival, whatever the result, which may free them up to play better football.
Either way, Manchester City are heavy favourites.
Form Guide (all comps): DLWWD
Reasons to be cheerful:
5-0 thrashing of Burnley shows City are near their best
Champions League qualification means they can focus on the Premier League
Reasons to be fearful:
Still need to show improved consistency
Fulham have played better recently
Another week, another thrashing for Manchester City to dish out against a team struggling for Premier League survival?
That is certainly the likelihood, though Pep Guardiola will want his players to avoid complacency, even after a great performance last weekend against Burnley.
Their forward players are starting to click once again, after struggling to create too many chances earlier in the season – Riyad Mahrez and new signing Ferran Torres are impressing in wide positions, while the return of Gabriel Jesus has given them a focal point.
Kevin De Bruyne remains as phenomenal as ever, running the show against a Burnley side who looked clueless as to how to contain his genius.
City only have one league win from their last three, but will now be hoping to kick on with back to back victories.
Star Man – Riyad Mahrez
A hattrick last weekend showed he is at the peak of his powers right now.
Form Guide (all comps): LWLLW
Reasons to be cheerful
Two wins in the last five games represents good form for Fulham
Anything from this game is a bonus
Reasons to be fearful
Could be in for a thrashing like Burnley last weekend
Too big a defeat could harm morale
This is one of those fixtures where, from Fulham’s point of view, anything other than a defeat is a bonus.
Matches against those at the bottom of the table will define their season to a far greater extent than those at the top and manager Scott Parker will be happy that they currently sit outside the bottom three.
That could all change very quickly, especially if West Brom or Burnley manage to win their respective fixtures.
At least The Cottagers are now playing with more spirit than earlier in the season. They’ve scored four goals in the previous two matches, with their attacking players gelling together better.
Against City, the longer they can keep the game at 0-0 the better. If City strike early, then it could be a very long afternoon for them.
Star Man – Ademola Lookman
You have to respect how he recovered from his shocking penalty miss a few weeks ago to pick himself up and score in the win over Leicester last weekend.
City are heavy favourites to win this
Likely to win by a margin of two goals or more
Fulham must try not to be too negative
This match is likely to be decided as much by Fulham’s positivity as it is Manchester City’s.
If The Cottagers are too negative and just sit back waiting for the inevitable, this could be another thrashing on the scale of last weekend.
City are too good and will be happy to pick them off.
Manchester City to win 3-0