Manchester United v Fulham – Match Preview
Men to watch:
What Fulham have is a team with a mix of fantastic players, and players who should just be making up the numbers. Andy Johnson, Simon Davies are two who would be squad players elsewhere, and Johnathan Greening who, in my opinion is the most undeserving owner of a Champions League winners medal ever, is another.
But countering that is quality. A great quality that runs throughout the squad, which reflects why Fulham got to a European final last season, and also says they should be higher in the league this time round:
- Mark Schwarzer: The former Bradford City and Middlesborough ‘keeper who performs unlikely heroics week in, week out after 15 years in English football. 38 years old, he’s been a keeper who’s had good days against United. In the way Brad Friedal does. A definite points winner for the Cottagers, and if is wasn’t for him, maybe they’d be languishing a little bit lower in the league. Hernandez scoring 11 times with 15 shots this year will hopefully be our way of slotting a few past him.
- Bobby Zamora: Missed most of this season after breaking his leg against Wolves, the day after signing a new four year deal with Fulham. Zamora is getting back in form though, scoring on his first game back against Blackburn Rovers. A player who’s always wanna be starting something that could lead to a goal, and he’ll be one of the most under-rated players that Vidic and Ferdinand will face this season
- Dickson Etuhu: Nigerian midfielder, who has been an effective and influential performer for Fulham since his arrival from Sunderland in 2008. A tall, athletic player, who has defensive capabilities too, he’ll be an obstacle for the United midfield on Saturday, and should Fulham come away with anything, you can bet he’ll have had some say in the game.
They will give us a game, they always do. And I’m sure that these are one of the teams that Sir Alex always under-estimates. Remember the time he fielded a fringe team against them in 2003? It happens!
- United have only beaten Fulham once in their last four Premier League games
- Referee’s are telling the home side to ‘beat it‘ in their penalty appeals against Fulham. They’re yet to concede a spot kick away from home all season, and are the only Premiership team to do so
- Fulham have only lost two of their last 11 games, but United have taken 49 out of 51 points on home turf this season.
I think we’ll beat Fulham this weekend. By a solitary goal. Just another part of me thinks that if we’re not quite on our game, Mark Hughes’ team will nick a point, but after recent media events a siege mentality is kicking in. Like we used to have.
Wherever you’re watching it, enjoy the game.
Follow Steve on Twitter: @stevecrab
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