Fulham will play host to Manchester United in the Premier League at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon (4.30pm). Can the Cottagers get back on the horse after their agonizingly late defeat at the Etihad last time out? Can the visitors win for the fifth time in six games?
Fulham’s fine run of form was oh so close being extended last time out, as they went to stoppage time at the Etihad locked at 1-1. Despite going a goal down against the most feared team in the country, Marco Silva’s men kept fighting, and when Andreas Pereira netted from the spot after 28 minutes, they got their rewards.
But for a 95th minute penalty from the new star of the Premier League, the Cottagers would have done what very few other teams do, and that’s return home from a trip to Manchester City with a point. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, but that effort combined with the fact that Fulham went into that game unbeaten in four should mean that the hosts approach this fixture feeling confident.
As for Manchester United, well, Sunday’s visitors had been moving forwards, but they were stopped in their tracks last weekend by a rampant Aston Villa side. They have since got back in the saddle by beating the same opponent in the League Cup, though that effort at Villa Park doesn’t exactly bode well. The visitors have tended to slip up on the road this season, winning three out of seven on their travels.
More than capable at home
What Fulham have shown this season is that they are very capable of mixing it with anybody at home. If they are going to remain in the division this time, then Craven Cottage needs to be something of a fortress, and so far, it has been. Silva’s men have lost just one out of seven in front of a home crowd, which is reasonably impressive given that they have faced top half teams such as Liverpool and Brighton.
It has not been a case of men behind the ball and hanging on either. Fulham have often played on the front foot, and they’ve been rewarded for doing so, scoring two or more in five out of seven. Currently, they are the sixth highest home scorers in the league. What is more, they also arrive here after back-to-back clean sheets at home, so we really shouldn’t be surprised if they make life tough for United on Sunday.
Up and down on the road
At home, Man Utd have offered plenty this season and they have generally been hard to face, but on the road, they’ve been very hit and miss. Defensively, they have often gone missing, conceding in five out of seven away games, shipping a total of 14 goals.
The most disappointing aspect of United’s away-day play this season is perhaps their lack of power in the final third. Sure, they have scored in six out of seven on the road, netting in each of their last six, but they’ve only scored more than once on two occasions, while their underlying numbers have been quite weak. Erik ten Hag’s men produced just 0.5 expected goals at Villa Park last weekend, while that number was only 0.8 in their previous away game at Chelsea. An overall away-day average of 1.14 xG for is hardly threatening, especially when they have surrendered an average of 1.33.
Not an easy fixture for the hosts
Traditionally, this fixture has been problematic for Sunday’s hosts, who have won none of their last 14 matches against Manchester United. Then again, when the teams last met, they drew 1-1 at Old Trafford, and when they last played at this venue, the visitors only won by a single goal. So perhaps the very recent history between the pair will spur the hosts on.
Interestingly, both teams have scored in five of the last six renewals of this fixture. Another interesting stat is that at least three goals have been scored in six of the last seven meetings between the teams at Craven Cottage.
Hope for the hosts
This could be the perfect fixture to take on Manchester United in the betting with the bookies. The recent travelling efforts of the visitors have been poor, while Fulham have impressed at home, so much so that they look a great price to get a result.
If we look at the attacking numbers, then the hosts have produced better at home than the visitors have on the road, averaging 1.55 xG for. Such an average looks good against United’s travelling average of 1.14. Fulham also narrowly come out on top in terms of xG difference too, which suggests they warrant a little more respect in the early betting.
There is plenty to suggest that Silva’s men could not only get a positive result but enjoy themselves offensively against the Red Devils. After all, they have already notched two more at home against Liverpool, Brentford, Brighton, Bournemouth and Aston Villa. With a striker such as Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has netted nine Premier League goals, leading their line, they’re fancied to do plenty of damage against a United side that has conceded multiple goals twice in the last week.
So these are our FFC vs MUFC betting tips, at best odds, for this EPL game preview:
- Fulham to win with the draw no bet @ 2/1 with BetVictor.
- Fulham to score over 1.5 goals (this is found via ‘Home Goals’ betting market with some bookies) @ 17/10 with BetVictor.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.