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2 vs 2
August 22, 2010 4:00 PM BST
Craven Cottage
Referee:‬ Peter Walton‎

Premier League Preview: Fulham – Manchester United

By Gill Clark

Mark Hughes (Getty Images)
Cottagers plot hat-trick of wins over United

manager Mark Hughes welcomes Manchester United to Craven Cottage as he takes charge of his new club for the first time at home in the Premier League.

Whilst the Cottagers have a good record against the Red Devils in recent seasons - they have beaten them twice in United's last two trips to west London (including last season’s 3-0 demolition) - Hughes has only beaten his former club as a manager once.

Fulham will have to go one better than last weekend when they opened their new campaign with a goalless draw away to Bolton Wanderers, in a game that was most notable for stand-in goalkeeper David Stockdale’s first class performance.

Stockdale could be called upon once again as Mark Schwarzer, whose future at the club remains unclear with Arsenal lurking, is still struggling with a back problem.

Golden oldies

The visitors, meanwhile, will hope to continue their perfect start to the season after following up their 3-1 win over Chelsea in the Community Shield with a 3-0 victory over Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Monday.

Once again it was 35-year-old Paul Scholes who inspired Sir Alex Ferguson’s men to victory with fellow veteran Ryan Giggs supplying the third goal to ensure he has scored in every single Premier League season since its inception.

Both men are likely to be involved again but United will also be looking to Wayne Rooney to return to form after a quiet start to the season, on a ground where he was sent off in the 2-0 defeat in 2009.

Indeed Ferguson has this week admitted his side have had a “topsy-turvy time” on their last two visits to Craven Cottage, including last season’s defeat when injuries forced him to field a back three of Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick and Richie de Laet, and he admits United have "a score to settle".

Overdue | Rooney without a goal since March



Mark Schwarzer is again a doubt and will have a late fitness test. Paul Konchesky could return to the starting line up having missed the opening day trip to Bolton.

Possible starting XI: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky; Davies, Etuhu, Murphy, Duff; Gera; Zamora.

Manchester United

The visitors continue to miss Rio Ferdinand, Anderson and Owen Hargreaves through injury. However, Michael Owen should be part of the squad having missed out altogether against Newcastle. Patrice Evra is fit, despite a collision with some advertising hoardings on Monday night, whilst Ji-sung Park could also get a first start of the season.

Possible starting XI: Van der Sar; O’Shea, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Scholes, Fletcher, Park; Rooney, Berbatov.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
13David StockdaleGoalkeeper
4John PaintsilDefender
18Aaron HughesDefender
5Brede HangelandDefender
3Paul KoncheskyDefender
16Damien DuffMidfielder
13Danny MurphyMidfielder
20Dickson EtuhuMidfielder
29Simon DaviesMidfielder
2Clint DempseyStriker
25B. ZamoraStriker
-Pascal ZuberbuhlerGoalkeeper
2Stephen KellyDefender
6Chris BairdDefender
17B. RiiseMidfielder
27Jonathan GreeningMidfielder
30Mousa DembeleStriker
22Zoltán GeraMidfielder
1Edwin van der Sar Goalkeeper
16John O'SheaDefender
15Nemanja VidicDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
3Patrice EvraDefender
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
24Darren FletcherMidfielder
18Paul ScholesMidfielder
13Ji-Sung ParkMidfielder
14Javier 'Chicharito' HernandezStriker
9Dimitar BerbatovStriker
29Tomasz KuszczakGoalkeeper
21Rafael SilvaMidfielder
12Chris SmallingDefender
11Ryan GiggsMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
10Michael OwenStriker
Probable Lineups
David Stockdale 13
John Paintsil 4
Aaron Hughes 18
Brede Hangeland 5
Paul Konchesky 3
Damien Duff 16
Danny Murphy 13
Dickson Etuhu 20
Simon Davies 29
Clint Dempsey 2
B. Zamora 25
Edwin van der Sar 1
John O'Shea 16
Nemanja Vidic 15
Jonny Evans 6
Patrice Evra 3
Antonio Valencia 25
Darren Fletcher 24
Paul Scholes 18
Ji-Sung Park 13
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez 14
Dimitar Berbatov 9
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Manchester City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Manchester City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Man Utd.
15 2