Manchester United are set to play their final match before the World Cup break, as Erik Ten Hag’s side is traveling to London to face Fulham. The Red Devils are in need of a positive finish in the league before the campaign resumes on Boxing Day, especially following the last weekend’s loss against Aston Villa.
Fulham will be at a disadvantage for this match, because their best player and top striker Aleksandar Mitrovic will not be ready to feature. He missed some of their previous matches, before which he managed to score nine Premier League goals. His foot injury means he will not play against United either and he might be in trouble getting ready in time for the World Cup matches with Serbia. Whatever might be case there, Silva will also be without Neeskens Kebano and Manor Solomon due to injuries. Harrison Reed and Kenny Tete are set to miss the match due to supsension, so that is five players Silva will have to do without.
On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo could miss out on another match this week, due to illness. Of those who are definitely out, Raphael Varane, Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams make the list due to injuries, while Diogo Dalot is suspended. This could mean interesting choices at right-back for Erik Ten Hag, while it will be also intriguing to see who gets the nod in attack.
Fulham have gone up from the Championship, as by far the best team in the league last season. But their return to Premier League has not seen them struggle as usual. In fact, Marco Silva’s team surprised many with their aggressive pressing and attacking intent, giving them a really strong start to the campaign. They have 19 points from opening 14 matches and are deservedly sitting in the top half of the Premier League standings. Sure, Fulham have won just one point from their last two games, but that does not tell the whole story. They drew 0-0 against Everton and lost 2-1 against Man City in the final minutes of the game. Prior to that, they won 3-2 against Leeds and 3-0 against Aston Villa. They are an interesting team which has not improved the squad as massively as many have expected, but have been doing well despite that.
United, on the other hand, returned to their winning ways in the League Cup, after getting a revenge on Aston Villa. The 3-1 loss in the league was hurtful, but a 4-2 win four days later against the same team has seen the Devils progress to the next round of League Cup. Now, in the final match before the World Cup break, United will want to get important three points, to not only remain in fifth place, but to get closer to the likes of Newcastle and Tottenham. With eight wins, two draws and only one loss in the last 11 matches, Ten Hag’s team should feel good about themselves.
Considering the situation in which Fulham are, we predict Manchester United will win 2-1 at Craven Cottage. This could be an interesting match due to Fulham’s aggressiveness and how well they made Man City struggle, despite losing in the end.