Jack Stroudley previews the visit of current Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday at Craven Cottage.
Tuesday night’s game at Villa Park was probably the most drab game from a Fulham perspective all season. A 0.09 xG was all that Marco Silva’s side could muster thanks to an ambitious Andreas Pereira overhead-kick inside the opening 20 seconds. The loss of Willian in the warm-up and Harry Wilson inside the opening 20 minutes left Fulham devoid of any ideas and resulted in a comfortable night for Aston Villa.
It doesn’t get any easier though, as we now welcome treble-chasing Manchester City. Results in midweek ensured Fulham’s Premier League status next season so while there is officially nothing to play for, can Fulham upset the applecart and get a result against (arguably) the best team in the world?
Similar to my article previewing our trip to the Etihad in November, Manchester City need no introduction. Pep Guardiola’s side have strength and depth in abundance with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Rodri, Ruben Dias and of course, the Norwegian robot Erling Haaland who has forty Premier League goal contributions this season. City have peaked at the right time as well and are arguably even better than they were in November with one defeat from their last 13 league games.
City are pushing Arsenal all the way in the league, in a good position in the Champions League and are in an all Manchester derby FA Cup with the prospect of the treble looking quite likely. So how do Fulham ‘try’ and get a result?
How do we prepare?
Following the injuries of Willian and Harry Wilson in midweek, Marco Silva has said in his press conference that the Welshman is back and ready to play while the Brazilian’s injury was described as “‘”more difficult”, here is how I’d line-up on Sunday.
The only change I feel we will make is bringing in Manor Solomon for the injured Willian. Tosin has been phenomenal over the last few weeks, but Silva has shown in the past he isn’t opposed to rotating between him and Diop when fixtures start to get congested so we may see the Frenchman come in.
Manchester City are going to be aggressive from the off so having some pace up-front with Dan James to try and break on the counter will cause more issues than Vinicius who will want to hold the ball up and slow things down.
The final verdict
I’d love to sit here and say we’re going to be up for it, press from the off and cause Manchester City a lot of issues. Sadly, I think it will be quite the opposite with the visitors controlling the vast majority of the ball and creating chances at ease over the course of the ninety minutes and inevitably pickup another three points. Fulham 0-3 Manchester City.