Fulham - Manchester United Preview: Visitors looking to add to six-game unbeaten run against the Cottagers
The hosts still languish in the bottom half of the league table going into the clash, while Sir Alex Ferguson's men will be hoping to maintain a seven-point lead at the top
By James McManus
Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Riise
Dejagah, Sidwell, Karagounis, Kacaniklic
Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra
Valencia, Cleverley, Carrick, Kagawa
Rooney, Van Persie
Fulham manager Martin Jol will be without Simon Davies (knee), Kerim Frei (groin) and Mahamadou Diarra (knee) for the clash with the league leaders at Craven Cottage.
Kieran Richardson also remains a doubt with a calf injury and star man Dimitar Berbatov will miss the game against his former club after picking up a slight hamstring tear during the win against West Ham.
The club's two January transfer window loan signings, Urby Emanuelson and Emmanuel Frimpong, could also be involved at some stage from the substitutes bench.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will be missing Darren Fletcher, who is out until the end of the season with illness, while Ashley Young (knee) and Jonny Evans (hamstring) are also both doubtful to make the trip to Craven Cottage.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Fulham's 3-1 win against West Ham was their first in eight league outings.
- The hosts have picked up eight points from their last five home games in the top flight, winning two, drawing two and losing just one.
- They have failed to find the back of the net on just six occasions this term in the league.
- The two teams met as recently as January 26, with United winning 4-1 at home in an FA Cup fourth-round clash.
- Manchester United have been ahead at both half-time and full-time in their last five meetings with the Cottagers.
- Sir Alex Ferguson's side are unbeaten in their last six games against Fulham.
- Manchester United's points tally of 62 from 25 games is the most they have ever achieved at this stage in the campaign during the Premier League era.
- They are yet to have a player sent off this season.
- Robin van Persie (pictured, right) is the Premier League's top goalscorer this term with 18 goals so far.
- The eight victories the Red Devils have posted on the road this season is more than any other side in the division.
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Top 3 Predictions
Fulham 1-3 Man Utd.
- 23.92 %
Fulham 0-3 Man Utd.
- 16.82 %
Fulham 0-2 Man Utd.
- 10.4 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Feb 9, 2014||Man Utd. 2 - Fulham 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Nov 2, 2013||Fulham 1 - Man Utd. 3|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Feb 2, 2013||Fulham 0 - Man Utd. 1|
|England - FA Cup (FA)||Jan 26, 2013||Man Utd. 4 - Fulham 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Aug 25, 2012||Man Utd. 3 - Fulham 2|
|Apr 19, 2014||Tottenham 3 - Fulham 1||EPL|
|Apr 12, 2014||Fulham 1 - Norwich City 0||EPL|
|Apr 5, 2014||Aston Villa 1 - Fulham 2||EPL|
|Mar 30, 2014||Fulham 1 - Everton 3||EPL|
|Mar 22, 2014||Manchester City FC 5 - Fulham 0||EPL|
|3||John Arne Riise||Defender|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|14||Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez||Striker|
The one thing that Manchester United lack above all else is a holding presence in midfield, meaning the space between the middle of the park and the back four is there to exploit. That is something which the Costa Rica international, with his clever runs and uncanny ability to find a yard, specialises in.
With nine goals in his last nine games for the club, the England international is hitting something of a purple patch in front of goal at the moment. He netted twice during the Red Devils' recent league victory against Southampton and will need watching just as keenly as Robin van Persie.
The visitors are in the habit of winning at the moment, having emerged victorious in five of their last six league games, and they look capable of scoring from all areas of the pitch. Fulham have responded well of late to their poor form around the festive period and they remain a tricky side to get the better of on home soil, but their inability to keep clean sheets, with just four this season, will surely count against them when faced with such a strong attack.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed