Likely lineups, predictions, tactics, team news, and key stats
Manchester United will aim to return to victory when they host Fulham at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
There are only two rounds of matches left for the end of the 2020/21 Premier League season. The penultimate matchday begins this midweek, with action starting at Old Trafford, where Manchester United will host Fulham, in a game that will see fans return to the stadium.
Manchester United have taken positive steps to establish themselves as real Premier League title contenders. They may be well below neighbors and new Manchester City champions, but the signs of improvement are clear. The Red Devils, however, enter this game following successive home losses last week.
Fulham, on the other hand, have been one of the most resilient teams in the Premier League this season. At the same time, however, the Cottagers have been extremely timid for the most part, which in turn has contributed to their relegation to the Championship. Scott Parker & co. have also been in a bit of a rut lately, with their last victory coming in early March.
The reverse game, played at Craven Cottage in January, saw Manchester United come back from a goal to beat Fulham 2-1. Ahead of the final meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the meeting.
Team news and tactics
– Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 16, 2021
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer received a double boost on the squad news front ahead of Fulham’s visit. On Tuesday, the Manchester United boss will only have to do without a few players from the first team.
The main absent is once again Harry Maguire, with the Manchester United captain only due to be available for the UEFA Europa League final next week. The good news, however, comes in the form of the return of Daniel James and Anthony Martial, both in contention to feature.
Neither James nor Martial, however, is likely to start, with the attacking quartet choosing themselves pretty much on their own. Considering this game will see the fans return to Old Trafford, Solsjaer is likely to give Edinson Cavani a start again as the veteran striker experiences some semblance of the stadium atmosphere for the first time.
Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford should be the two wide men, Bruno Fernandes taking up his unusual. 10 role. Rashford’s return to the left wing means Paul Pogba will fall into the midfield double pivot, with Fred likely to give way, with Scott McTominay being his partner in the middle of the park.
Finally, in defense, the key decision concerns Eric Bailly and if he is again preferred to Axel Tuanzebe. The Ivorian is expected to get the sign of teaming up with Victor Lindelof at the heart of Manchester United’s backline, with Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka being the two full-backs. In goal, there is no glance behind Dean Henderson, although he wasn’t exactly impressive the last time around against Liverpool.
Probable programming (4-2-3-1): Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani
Like his Manchester United dugout counterpart, Scott Parker is set to welcome a first-team player again when Fulham visits Old Trafford. However, on Tuesday visitors will continue to be deprived of the services of three first-team players.
While Mario Lemina is back at Parker’s disposal after being ineligible to face parent club Southampton last weekend, Terence Kongolo (knee), Antonee Robinson (ankle) and captain Tom Cairney (knee) remain at away due to their injuries.
Parker has been tinkering with the formations in recent weeks and against Manchester United on Tuesday, the Fulham boss is expected to field his team in a 4-4-2 configuration, with Alphonse Areola an automatic choice between the sticks for the Cottagers.
Joachim Andersen, who has been linked with Manchester United among others, and Tosin Adarabioyo are likely to combine at the heart of Fulham’s defense, with Ola Aina and Kenny Tete being the two full-backs, who will remain largely stuck instead of bombarding forward. to provide width.
Leading in midfield, Lemina is expected to sit alongside Harrison Reed, with the duo being responsible for keeping tabs on Bruno Fernandes and his production. The two big midfielders are likely to be Bobby Decordova-Reid and Ademola Lookman, with the duo also remaining compact during the defensive stages, when Fulham will defend with twin banks of four.
Finally, the strike partnership is expected to be formed by Aleksandar Mitrovic and the impressive Fabio Carvalho, who will play against the Serbian striker. The save options for Fulham in the final third will be Josh Maja and Ivan Cavaleiro.
Probable programming (4-4-2): Areola; Tete, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Aina; Lookman, Lemina, Reed, Decordova-Reid; Carvalho, Mitrovic
- Manchester United have won 18 of their last 22 Premier League encounters with Fulham (D2 L2), and are undefeated in their last 12 against them in competition (W10 D2).
- Fulham have been winless in their last 16 Premier League appearances against sides starting the day in the top two (D2 L14) since defeating Manchester United 3-0 at Craven Cottage in December 2009. At the away, Fulham has just won. one of their 21 matches of this type (D4 L16), with this victory also against Manchester United (3-1 in October 2003).
- Manchester United’s Premier League games have seen more goals scored than any other team this season (112 – for 70 against 42). Meanwhile, Fulham’s games have seen fewer goals than any other this quarter (76 – F26 A50).
- Manchester United have lost their last two home games in the Premier League; they haven’t lost three consecutive league games at Old Trafford since February 1979.
- Marcus Rashford’s next goal will be his 100th of his senior club and country career (88 for Manchester United, 11 for England). So far, 50 of its 99 strikes have taken place at Old Trafford.
Player to watch
It has been a season that has promised a lot from Marcus Rashford, with the England international also getting on track to keep his promise. However, Rashford also tended to disappoint at times with his exit in front of goal, choosing to go for power over precision.
Still, the youngster is set to score the 100th senior goal for club and country and what better way to get to the monument than in front of a crowd at Old Trafford? A big game is on the horizon for Rashford and he will be eager to get back to his best before the UEFA Europa League final next week.
Manchester United 2-0 Fulham
As Fulham showed in the reverse game earlier in the year, they are by no means a side to be taken lightly. And, with Harry Maguire still unavailable, Manchester United will be suspect at the back – something the visitors hope to pounce on.
That said, Scott Parker’s men wereted enough in the final third and despite some shortcomings in Manchester United’s defense, Fulham is unlikely to find a way past Dean Henderson.
In stark contrast, Marcus Rashford is set to complete his century of senior goals while Edinson Cavani could score for the first time ahead of the Old Trafford loyalists. With that in mind, The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-0 victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer & co.