Manchester United - Fulham Preview: Van Persie looks to make first start for hosts against in-form Londoners
The former Arsenal captain came off the bench in the defeat at Everton, but he will be eyeing a starting role as Sir Alex Ferguson's men play their first home game of the season
By James Burford
Valencia, Carrick, Vidic, Evra
Nani, Cleverley, Kagawa, Young
Van Persie, Rooney
Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Riise
Ruiz, Diarra, Dembele, Duff
Manchester United's defensive woes are set to continue with Rio Ferdinand (groin), Jonny Evans (ankle), Phil Jones (back) and Chris Smalling (toe) all unavailable, meaning Michael Carrick will likely continue in central defence alongside Nemanja Vidic.
Darren Fletcher has returned to training, and featured in United's pre-season friendly at Aberdeen, but a Premier League return is still thought to be a while off for the Scot.
Robin van Persie may jump from the substitutes bench into the first team. The Dutchman came on against Everton to make his debut for the club but could be handed a first start at home to the Cottagers.
Martin Jol's main issue continues to be the enforced absence of Clint Dempsey. The American did not feature in Fulham's opening day mauling of Norwich City, and is not expected to play at Old Trafford as he seeks a move away from the club.
The Dutch manager's only injury worries are Kerim Frei (pelvis) and Phillippe Senderos (foot), but he is unlikely to change the side, after their opening-day 5-0 win over the Canaries.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- On two of the three occasions that Manchester United have lost on the opening day, they have gone on to win the title.
- Manchester United's last home game was a 2-0 victory over Swansea City, where Ashley Young and Paul Scholes (right) got the goals.
- Ryan Giggs is now entering his 22nd season with Manchester United.
- Fulham's last victory over Manchester United came in 2009 at Craven Cottage where Danny Murphy, Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff made it 3-0.
- The Londoners haven't been on the winning side at Old Trafford for nine years, since 2003.
- In 2012, John Arne Riise has assisted more Premier League goals than any other left-back.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester United 3-0 Fulham
- 20.25 %
Manchester United 2-0 Fulham
- 13.06 %
Manchester United 3-1 Fulham
- 10.74 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||9 Feb 2014||Manchester United 2 - Fulham 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||2 Nov 2013||Fulham 1 - Manchester United 3|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||2 Feb 2013||Fulham 0 - Manchester United 1|
|England - FA Cup (FA)||26 Jan 2013||Manchester United 4 - Fulham 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||25 Aug 2012||Manchester United 3 - Fulham 2|
|9 Apr 2014||FC Bayern München 3 - Manchester United 1||UCL|
|5 Apr 2014||Newcastle United 0 - Manchester United 4||EPL|
|1 Apr 2014||Manchester United 1 - FC Bayern München 1||UCL|
|29 Mar 2014||Manchester United 4 - Aston Villa 1||EPL|
|25 Mar 2014||Manchester United 0 - Manchester City 3||EPL|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
Times In IST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed