Fulham face Man City in the English Premier League on Sunday afternoon. The Cottagers have lost five of their last seven matches and face a City side on fire with seven league wins in a row and who are scoring goals for fun. Pep Guardiola’s side won the reverse fixture back in November despite playing 74 minutes with ten men.
The Cottagers had a great run of form after the World Cup, taking 20 points from 10 league matches with six wins. With 39 points on the board, they seriously took their foot off the pedal. Four successive defeats followed with nine goals leaked. After a 2-1 loss at Bournemouth, they were beaten at home by a West Ham side who had just one away win at that point.
With a few changes to the XI, Marco Silva managed to get his side focused again to some extent. They went to Goodison Park and beat Everton 2-1 before a 2-1 home win against struggling Leeds. In their last match, they lost 1-0 at Aston Villa with just one shot and 0.10 xG put up.
Fulham Team News
Fulham are without top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic due to a long suspension. Marco Silva has been trying various options up front in his place but Dan James should get the nod in this one. Willian missed the Villa defeat after a hamstring injury in the warm-up.
Harry Wilson went off with illness at Villa Park and may not be risked so Bobby Decordova-Reid could be recalled down the right. If Marco Silva wants to freshen up his side, then Cedric Soares and Issa Diop are options in defence. Sasa Lukic could get an opportunity to start in central midfield too.
Considering City’s form right now, Fulham would be delighted with a draw from this match. In reality, they may be satisfied to keep the score close and avoid thrashing.
In recent weeks, Fulham have looked ‘on the beach’ and motivation may not be at its best.
Man City Form
City are in sensational form and looks like real contenders for a treble. They’ve won seven successive league matches and 12 of their last 13 in all competitions. They’re in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals having beaten Bayern Munich 4-1 on aggregate. They’re also in the FA Cup final having beaten Sheffield United 3-0 last weekend.
The goals have been flowing freely on late as they put four past Liverpool and Southampton, and beat Bayern 3-0 and Leicester 3-1. After a 1-1 draw in Munich to secure progression, they won their FA Cup semi with Riyad Mahrez netting a hattrick. In midweek, they outclassed Arsenal in a 4-1 victory with 2.03 more xG than their opponents with four ‘big chances’ created and none conceded.
Man City Team News
Nathan Ake missed the midweek win vs Arsenal and could again be missing for this one. Manuel Akanji superbly covered in the left centre-back role and is set to play there again in preference to Aymeric Laporte.
With a busy schedule that sees matches every three days until the Real Madrid tie, Pep Guardiola looks likely to do some rotation. Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, and Julian Alvarez are candidates to come into the front four places. It’ll most likely be the same team otherwise unless Laporte comes in for Ruben Dias or Kyle Walker.
Man City Motivation
City looks 100% focused right now. Physically, they appear to be in top condition too. Nothing but a win will do in this match even if they could technically afford to lose one match and still win the title by winning their other six league fixtures.
They will look to summon a fast start and get a goal or two ahead. They may take their foot off the pedal in the second half to retain some energy.
Fulham have lost 5 of their last 7 EPL matches
Fulham have conceded in each of their last 8 league matches
Man City have won 12 of their last 13 matches in all competitions
Man City’s Haaland has scored 15 goals in his last 8 matches
Man City have won 13 matches in a row vs Fulham
City comes off a key win and should be able to find the focus for another win. I can see them looking to win this match early before taking off some key men. A decent goalscorer option could be Riyad Mahrez with the Algerian likely to get a start.