Preview and odds for Premier League clash
The weekend’s Premier League action gets underway in West London, where Fulham host Manchester United at Craven Cottage.
This one could have ramifications at both ends of the table. Claudio Ranieri’s Cottagers desperately need points in a bid to avoid relegation, while in-form United are hoping to maintain their push for a top-four finish.
We’ve got all the key info and odds for this one, which comes live on Sky Sports Premier League, kicking off at 12:30pm…
Fulham have been one of United’s favourite teams to play in the 21st century. The Red Devils have won 20 of the duo’s 27 Premier League meetings. The pair have played out five draws, with the Cottagers left to collect just two wins.
United ran out 4-1 winners in Decembers’ reverse tie at Old Trafford, in one of the few highlights of Jose Mourinho’s final days at the Theatre of Dreams.
The recent formbook doesn’t offer Fulham much hope either. The Cottagers have lost four of their last five league games, and have only kept two clean sheets all season.
That’s bad news against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rejuvenated Reds. United have won nine of their 10 games in all competitions under the Norwegian, scoring 25 goals in the process.
Fulham’s gameplan revolves around supplying Aleksandr Mitrovic. The Serbian will be supported in attack by Ryan Babel and Andre Schurrle on the flanks.
Ranieri has opted to utilise Jean Michel Seri and Calum Chambers in a defensive midfield duo, in front of what is effectively a back five.
For United, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard have been Solskjaer’s go-to guys. The Norwegian has a plethora of options, however, with Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata in the frame too.
If Solskjaer sticks with his usual plan, then Rashford will start up front, with two of Martial, Sanchez and Lingard in support. Paul Pogba, who has been in fine form under the new United boss, will dictate play in midfield alongside Ander Herrera.
Fulham have the leakiest defence in the Premier League. But they must somehow find a way to stop what has become the most potent attacking side in the league.
It won’t be easy. The pace and movement of Rashford and Martial will draw defences out wide and into difficult situations.
The Pogba > Rashford combination has been devastatingly effective of late too, so Seri and Chambers have a job to shut down the French World Cup winner.
Even then, Fulham will need to contain Ashley Young and Luke Shaw in the wide areas.
But all hope is not lost. Mitrovic will enjoy a tussle with Victor Lindelof and/or Phil Jones.
The Serbian is plenty capable of keeping United’s defence on their toes, while ex-Liverpool winger Ryan Babel also has the quality to cause problems if he’s in the mood.
United go into this one as the 6/10 favourites. There’s 17/4 about Fulham grabbing a much-needed win, with 3/1 saying it ends in a draw.
Lukaku heads up the first goalscorer betting at 7/2, with form-man Rashford in close attendance at 4/1. There’s also 4/1 about Martial to break the deadlock, ahead of Sanchez and Pogba at 9/2.
Mitrovic is deemed Fulham’s most likely first goalscorer at 9/2, ahead of Andre Schurrle at 15/2 and Ryan Babel at 9s.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing
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