Manchester United desperate for win against bottom club Fulham


Manchester United come off the back of consecutive 2-2 draws and welcome an indifferent Fulham side to Old Trafford.

Early in this congested period United have already shown their weaknesses and some of their strengths. Jose Mourinho’s side came back from 2-0 down against Southampton at St. Mary’s to draw the game, and also recovered twice against Arsenal to salvage another draw.

Defensively the Red Devils are struggling to keep clean sheets, even the seemingly unbeatable David De Gea has made nervous mistakes in recent games, but the side has shown a strength in mentality to come back strong in both fixtures.

Fulham have had three fixtures under new manager Claudio Ranieri, resulting in one win, one draw and one loss. The Italian started life at Craven Cottage with a much needed 3-2 victory over Southampton, but a loss to Chelsea and a tough draw against Leicester City have kept Fulham feet on the ground in their battle to survive the drop this season.

Aleksandr Mitrovic is still scoring goals, and Ryan Sessegnon is growing into life as a Premier League player with every game, but defensively Fulham have struggled. Maxime Le Marchand has found it tough in defence and is becoming a clear weakness in the backline. Whilst Callum Chambers has recently been deployed in a defensive midfield position to give them more protection, but needs time to adapt to a new role.

The visitors have just two injury concerns, Kevin McDonald and Floyd Ayite both have knocks but may be available for the trip to Manchester this weekend, if so, Claudio Ranieri will be thrilled to have an entire squad to choose from.

Mourinho, meanwhile, has concerns over Anthony Martial. The Frenchman was injured against Arsenal and the intense schedule may mean this match comes too early to risk him.

Luke Shaw and Phil Jones join Martial in that category, both taking knocks and require a late check to see if they can make the starting XI. United continue to be without Alexis Sanchez, Victor Lindelof and Antonio Valencia, with Sanchez the only player whose 2018 is over on the pitch.

Both teams have just one win in their last five Premier League games, but United have lost just once, to bitter rivals Manchester City. Fulham have failed to beat Manchester United since 2009, but did claim a point at Old Trafford in their last Premier League meeting with Darren Bent equalising for a 2-2 draw in the 94th minute.

Mourinho’s side should have too much for struggling Fulham this weekend, and can finally kick off their Christmas period with a win at home. Fulhams defence could be in for a torrid day, but know United are suspect at the back themselves.

Prediction: Manchester United 3-1 Fulham


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