After ensuring top spot in their Champions League group on Wednesday evening, Manchester City return to the Premier League to face Fulham on Saturday, as they look to apply continued pressure on top three.
City travel to Old Trafford next Saturday for what is likely to be a crucial Manchester Derby but all focus will likely be on this weekend’s game against Fulham, after Scott Parker’s side managed to beat Leicester on Monday, to get out of the bottom three.
Pep Guardiola’s team showed their ruthless side last Saturday when they thrashed Burnley once again, as Riyad Mahrez scored his second ever Premier League hat-trick. The scoring struggles did seemingly return in midweek however, when City failed to convert any of their eighteen chances against Porto.
City do tend to have success when playing newly promoted sides at home, so ahead of Manchester City against Fulham, here is everything you need to know.
The City manager made seven changes on Tuesday to the side that beat Burnley and one would expect a similar number on Saturday given the players rested for the Champions League stalemate.
Aymeric Laporte has missed every game since the defeat to Spurs but is expected to return to the City eleven on Saturday, according to Sam Lee of the Athletic. The journalist reported that the Frenchman has been fit and that there is no suggestion of a rift between Laporte and Guardiola or fellow team-mates.
Sergio Agüero remains the Blues’ only injury concern with the striker still having issues with the knee which he had a surgery on in the back-end of last season. Nathan Aké made the bench in midweek and could feature, after returning to full fitness after picking up a hamstring injury on international duty.
Kenny Tete will be Fulham’s only absentee for their trip up North with the Fulham boss declaring that the rest of his squad is fit. That squad will likely include former Manchester City player Tosin Adarabioyo, who moved to Fulham for less than two million pounds in the summer transfer window. The 23-year-old has played six times for Fulham so far this season and will likely start on Saturday.
Head To Head:
It will be meeting 68 between Manchester City and Fulham in game week eleven, with the Blues having won 34, drawn 16 and lost 17 of the past fixtures with 146 goals scores and 98 conceded.
City have an outstanding record against Fulham with the Blues unbeaten in the past fifteen games in all competitions. Further to this, City could make it ten consecutive victories against the Cottagers with a 27-3 aggregate score from the past nine matches.
City last lost at home to Fulham in 2009, where they lost 3-1 and Stephen Ireland scored City’s only goal of the afternoon. Daniel Sturridge, Martin Petrov and Richard Dunne all played in the defeat.
Fulham haven’t visited the Etihad in the league since September 2018, where they suffered a 3-0 loss with Leroy Sané, David Silva and Raheem Sterling all on the score sheet. The sides did though meet in the FA Cup last season where City won 4-0 in the fourth round.
Manchester City moved up to 11th in the table with the win last weekend as they beat Burnley by a five goal margin for a fourth consecutive time. They remain one point behind United going into this weekend with the Derby a week away and just three points off the top four with a game in hand. In the league, City have won two of their past five games and have suffered defeat twice, despite the current unbeaten record in the Champions League.
Scott Parker’s unexpected 2-1 win on Monday against Leicester saw his side move out of the relegation zone by one point. It was just their second win of the Premier League campaign having already lost seven of their opening ten games. They also have the worst defensive record in the league, having conceded 19 goals to date.
Fulham have also had some disastrous form from the penalty spot in recent weeks with Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ivan Caveleiro and Ademola Lookman all having missed from twelve yards.
Jon Moss will take charge of Manchester City for the first time since refereeing their 2-1 victory over Bournemouth in the League Cup in September. The 50-year-old has shown 25 yellow cards in the eight games he's officiated so far and will be joined at the Etihad by assistant referees Marc Perry and Dan Robathan, as well as fourth official Darren Bond. Graham Scott will be the VAR and Matthew Wikes the AVAR.
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