A close 1-0 loss to Aston Villa in the middle of the week has all but put an end to Fulham’s late push for an unexpected top seven Premier League (PL) finish and the miraculous European qualifying that comes with it. The team under Marco Silva will likely aim for a top half finish, which would be a great accomplishment given that their last three Premier League campaigns had resulted in relegation.
With six losses in their previous nine matches in all competitions, the Cottagers, who are currently in tenth position, may need to play smarter rather than harder if they want to at least hold their ground. Due to their recent home H2H record (D3, L7) against title chasing Manchester City, Craven Cottage may be dreading their arrival.
After defeating Arsenal 4-1 in what may be the title decider on Thursday, City would likely trade the majority of those victories for the full three points if they won this game. That was their seventh straight Premier League victory, demonstrating their dominance with six of those victories coming by a score of two goals or more. They have reclaimed control of the league.
With an FA Cup final and UEFA Champions League semifinal on the horizon, it’s difficult to fathom anyone can prevent City from completing the treble. Pep Guardiola will be aware that history is being made one game at a moment, but with 15 of their 20 points this Premier League season lost away from home, they shouldn’t be looking past the threat Fulham poses to their potentially historic run.
Andreas Pereira of Fulham scored in the 2-1 loss in the first meeting, giving him six of his last eight goals while also setting up his team’s first goal. But the player everyone is talking about is none other than Erling Haaland of City, who broke the record for the most Premier League goals in a 38 games season with his 33rd league goal against Arsenal.
Daniel James will continue to play in attack for Fulham while Aleksandar Mitrovic serves an eight matches suspension, while Manor Solomon is also anticipated to keep his spot in the starting lineup.
Layvin Kurzawa is still out with a knee injury, Harry Wilson and Willian are questionable for the match on Sunday, and Bobby Decordova-Reid is probably going to get back into the starting lineup.
Harrison Reed and Joao Palhinha will continue to serve as the midfield’s anchors, and Andreas Pereira will try to add to his season total of five goals and six assists.
On the other hand, Nathan Ake is the lone injured member of Manchester City, thus Pep Guardiola has an embarrassing amount of resources at his disposal.
Erling Braut Haaland, who has scored 49 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions this season, will continue to direct the attack, with Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez likely to play on the wings.
In place of Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji, and Aymeric Laporte in midfield, Guardiola might switch back to the 3-2-4-1 configuration that has performed well recently. John Stones would then join Rodri in that position.
Both Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez are competing for a spot in the starting lineup, but they might only get to play this weekend as substitutes.
Fulham possible starting lineup
Leno, Tete, Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson, Reed, Palhinha, James, Pereira, Solomon and Decordova-Reid.
Manchester City possible starting lineup
Ederson, Akanji, Dias, Laporte, Stones, Rodri, Mahrez, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish and Haaland.
We predict: Fulham 1-3. Manchester City
We anticipate Manchester City to win the Premier League for the eighth time in a row by defeating struggling Fulham, who have dropped six of their previous eight games overall.
Fulham will be hoping to score on Sunday because Man City have only maintained two clean sheets in their last 11 league games, but Haaland and company should have no trouble getting past the Cottagers’ defense.