Fulham vs Manchester City: Preview and Prediction

Manchester City will aim to reclaim the top spot in the Premier League standings when they take on Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

We are in the endgame now in the 2023/24 season. The penultimate round of fixtures in the Premier League kicks off on Saturday, with almost every race going down the wire. And Manchester City will aim to leapfrog Arsenal to the top of the table when they lock horns with Fulham at Craven Cottage in the weekend’s first game.

Fulham would have hoped to steer clear of the dreaded “second season syndrome” while heading into the 2023/24 campaign. While the Cottagers have not been as good as last term, they have ensured stability in the top flight, hardly ever looking like potential contenders for relegation. And Marco Silva’s men have faint hopes of finishing in the top half of the standings.

As for Manchester City, they have not been the juggernaut of last season when they won the treble. However, Pep Guardiola’s men can never be away from the top step of the podium in most competitions and can end the campaign with two trophies. But the reigning Premier League champions cannot slip up, with Arsenal a point ahead after playing a game more.

The reverse fixture saw Manchester City cruise to a 5-1 win over Fulham, with Erling Haaland scoring a match-winning hat-trick. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics


Marco Silva barely has any fitness issues hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Manchester City on Saturday, the Fulham manager might only be bereft of the services of one first-team player.

Silva is sweating over the fitness of Harrison Reed, who has been struggling with a minor issue in the last few days. However, the 29-year-old should be fit and available to take on Manchester City this weekend.

Bernd Leno will take his usual spot between the sticks, with Fulham lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Manchester City. The backline should feature Timothy Castagne, Issa Diop, Tim Ream, and Antonee Robinson.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Joao Palhinha and Sasa Lukic in the double pivot. The duo will form a dynamic partnership in the middle of the park. Andreas Pereira should reprise the no. 10 role, with Alex Iwobi and Willian being the two wide attackers. Finally, Rodrigo Muniz will lead the line for Fulham on Saturday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Leno; Castagne, Diop, Ream, Robinson; Palhinha, Lukic; Iwobi, Pereira, Willian; Muniz

Manchester City

Like his counterpart in the Fulham dugout, Pep Guardiola does not have any issues to deal with ahead of the trip to Craven Cottage. And unlike the Portuguese tactician, the Manchester City manager has a full-strength squad.

Manchester City will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Fulham, with Ederson Moraes being an automatic pick in the goal. The backline should feature Kyle Walker, Manuel Akanji, Nathan Ake, and Josko Gvardiol.

As for the midfield unit, Rodri will sit as the single pivot, allowing the five attackers the freedom to express themselves. Finally, Erling Haaland should lead the line for Manchester City, with Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, Julian Alvarez, and Bernardo Silva completing the numbers in the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Ederson; Walker, Akanji, Ake, Gvardiol; Rodri; Bernardo, De Bruyne, Alvarez, Foden; Haaland

Key Stats

  • Fulham have won just one of their 15 Premier League home games against Manchester City, beating them 2-1 in November 2005 under Chris Coleman.
  • Manchester City have won their past 15 meetings with Fulham in all competitions, the joint-longest winning run any team has had against another in competitive English football history, with City also having 15-game runs against Bournemouth and Watford.
  • Fulham have won just one of their last seven Premier League games. In addition, they are without a victory in their three most recent outings at Craven Cottage (D1 L2).
  • Manchester City are unbeaten in their 20 Premier League games (W16 D4). They have won their last six in a row, scoring four or more goals on five occasions in that run.
  • Rodri has not lost any of his most recent 47 Premier League games in which he has featured for Manchester City; only three players have ever had a longer unbeaten run in the competition’s history – Sol Campbell (56 from November 2002 to October 2004), Kolo Toure (48 from May 2003 to October 2004) and Thierry Henry (48 from May 2003 to October 2004).

Player to Watch

Erling Haaland

Embed from Getty Images

No one would have fathomed Haaland not finding the back of the net more than 30 times this season. While the Norwegian international has endured a few fitness issues, he has not produced his best performance levels at many stages this term. However, he roared back to form in style by finding the back of the net four times in the 5-1 trouncing of Wolverhampton Wanderers last week.

Meanwhile, Haaland has scored five goals in his three Premier League games against Fulham, including a hat-trick in the reverse fixture. He has also scored a penalty in all three games. No player has ever scored from the spot in four consecutive Premier League appearances against a specific opponent. We cannot put it past Fulham to concede a spot-kick, which Haaland should bury.


Fulham 1-3 Manchester City

Fulham might have the chance to finish in the top half of the Premier League table. However, they will come up against the mighty Manchester City, with the juggernaut in full flow. And all signs point to the Cottagers going a fourth successive game without winning at Craven Cottage.

The reigning Premier League champions seldom drop points at this stage of the season, let alone lose a game. So, we should not encounter any surprises on Saturday, although Fulham might find a way past Ederson Moraes. The Hard Tackle predicts a straightforward 3-1 win for Pep Guardiola and his charges, a crucial result to build pressure on Arsenal ahead of the Manchester United game on Sunday.

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