Fulham perspective: Dan Crawford, Hammy End
Martin Jol made three late loan additions deadline day, bringing in Urby Emanuelson from AC Milan, PSV Eindhoven’s Stanislav Manolev and the Ajax midfielder Eyong Enoh. His biggest headache ahead of the visit of Manchester United will be whether Dimitar Berbatov will fit enough to face his former employers after injuring a hamstring against West Ham. Both his potential understudies – Hugo Rodallega and Mladen Petric – scored against the Hammers.
The win over West Ham was our first since the new year’s day defeat of West Brom and lifted us to the relatively dizzy heights of 12th in the Premier League table. It also ended a six-week wait for a home win. Fulham’s form has been patchy for much of the winter as memories of an impressive start to the season had faded and Jol has already spoken of the importance of using the momentum from Wednesday’s win to fuel a strong second half of the season.
Despite recording two wins over Manchester United in the Roy Hodgson era, Fulham’s recent record against the Red Devils in painful. Martin Jol won’t want to recall the 5-0 thrashing at Craven Cottage last Christmas or last week’s FA Cup exit. Fulham’s last victory against United came in March 2009 through goals from Danny Murphy and Zoltan Gera.
Over 2.5 goals at 1.62. Games between these sides have produced plenty of goals already this season, so this could well be rewarding.
Wayne Rooney to score first at 4.80. The striker regularly torments Fulham and this is a nice price.
Hugo Rodallega to score at 3.90. The Colombian grabbed a vital goal against West Ham in the week, so will be full of confidence.
Score prediction: Fulham 1-1 Man United (7.75)
Man United perspective
We have no new injury worries heading into the Fulham game after coming through Wednesday’s win against Southampton unscathed. The side was heavily rotated with a trip to Madrid in the Champions League coming up, and I expect to see the same for this game too. Rio Ferdinand will start the game having been used as a sub on Wednesday, but Ashley Young and Jonny Evans will miss out once more.
Despite the performance against Southampton being a little shaky, United are in good form at the moment, picking up win after win as we look to recapture the title. Undefeated since November, we have drawn just twice and won eight of our last ten games.
Manchester United have a good record against Fulham, last tasting defeat against the Cottagers in December 2009 when a depleted side went down 3-0. Since then we have won five and drawn one, with the last visit to Putney yielding a 5-0 thrashing.
Wayne Rooney to score at 1.92. The England forward has scored twice in his last three appearances against Fulham, so I would expect him to find the back of the net again tomorrow.
Over 3.5 goals at 2.45. There have been five goals in two of the last three league meetings between these sides, as well as five last week in the FA Cup. Expect goals.
United clean sheet at 2.65. Fulham will be without star player Dimitar Berbatov, decreasing their goal threat. Could United keep a rare clean sheet against Martin Jol’s side?
Score prediction: Fulham 1-3 Man United (12.50)
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