When Manchester United hosts Fulham at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, they will want to win by as many points as possible for their fifth straight Premier League encounter.

Manchester United vs Fulham game on K24 TV on 24th February 2024
 

This is the first meeting between the two sides since November 4, when the Red Devils defeated the opposition 1-0 at Craven Cottage thanks to a goal from Bruno Fernandes in the 91st minute.


According to new minority stakeholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Manchester United is "a long way behind" in terms of taking rivals Manchester City and Liverpool "off their perch," but hopes of finishing in the top four have strengthened in the wake of an amazing four-game winning run.

 

Following victories against West Ham United, Aston Villa, and Wolverhampton Wanderers, the Hatters defeated Luton Town 2-1 last weekend. The game saw in-form striker Rasmus Hojlund score twice in the first seven minutes before Carlton Morris gave the home team a late goal in the fourteenth.

Even though Erik ten Hag's team was unable to extend their advantage at Kenilworth Road, they managed to hang on for all three points and maintain their sixth-place standing in the Premier League. 


Man United is presently putting pressure on Tottenham Hotspur, who are just three points ahead of them in fifth place and will not be playing this weekend. Meanwhile, Aston Villa, who are currently in fourth place, have a five-point lead over the Red Devils.

 

Although the Manchester derby is imminent, Manchester United's focus must first turn to their match against Fulham on Saturday. They will be optimistic about winning since they have defeated the Cottagers 13 times and drawn three of their previous 16 Premier League encounters.

 

If Manchester United won, they would have won all five of their league games played at Old Trafford this month, their first since August of last year. This would give them a 100% winning record in a month in which they have participated in at least five top-flight games.


Following two wins at home against Bournemouth (3-1), a 2-2 draw at Burnley, and four points from their first two games in February, Fulham suffered their 12th league loss of the season last weekend when they lost 2-1 at home to Aston Villa.

 

Before Rodrigo Muniz scored his fourth goal in three games to give Fulham hope for a comeback in the last half-hour, Ollie Watkins struck twice before halftime to put the visitors ahead. The Cottagers were forced to accept their first loss at Craven Cottage in 2024, however, as they were unable to find an equalizer.

 

The only time Marco Silva's team has won back-to-back games this season was at the beginning of December. As a result, they are now in mid-table, eight points above Newcastle United in eighth place and the bottom three.

 

This weekend, Fulham travels to Old Trafford with the second-worst away record in the Premier League; only Sheffield United, the bottom team, has picked up fewer points away from home than the Cottagers (seven). They have lost seven of their past 11 away games and have not won since defeating Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park in their season-opening encounter back in August.

 

Fulham has also struggled to find success at Manchester United, losing 13 of their previous 16 away games against the Red Devils. Their only win during this time came in October 2003, when they defeated the Red Devils 3-1 behind goals from Lee Clark, Steed Malbranque, and Junichi Inamoto, all played under former manager Chris Coleman.

 

Luke Shaw's complications of a muscle injury sustained in Man United's victory over Luton last weekend have cost the team "a few months" of play; Aaron Wan-Bissaka (unspecified), Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia (both knee), Anthony Martial (groin), and Mason Mount (calf) are also out for Man United.


Shaw's left-back replacement is most likely to be Victor Lindelof, while Sofyan Amrabat is also a possibility since he has experience playing on the left side of defense. Harry Maguire, Diogo Dalot, and Raphael Varane are anticipated to make up the back four.


For the sixth straight league game, Ten Hag is likely to remain with the same midfield and attack lineup, with Casemiro, Kobbie Mainoo, and Bruno Fernandes lining up behind Alejandro Garnacho, Marcus Rashford, and Hojlund.

 

With 10 yellow cards this season, Fulham's top midfielder, Joao Palhinha, will serve a two-match ban. Harrison Reed, Sasa Lukic, or Alex Iwobi will fill in for him in the center of the pitch with Tom Cairney.

 

In addition, Kenny Tete (calf) and Chelsea loanee Armando Broja (sickness) will be evaluated before starting after missing the team's loss to Aston Villa last weekend. The Cottagers will also be without attacker Raul Jimenez (thigh).

Willian plays on the left, Muniz most likely starts up front, and Calvin Bassey will be vying to return to center-back ahead of Issa Diop. Meanwhile, Harry Wilson and Adama Traore will square off against Bobby De Cordova-Reid for a starting spot on the right side.

 

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