Pep Guardiola was able to rest several significant first-team stars in Wednesday’s come-from-behind 3-1 humbling of Sevilla, which sealed the Cityzens’ top-place finish in Champions League Group G.
Superstar striker Erling Haaland was in the stands and now faces a race against time to regain full fitness for Fulham’s visit after missing out on Man City’s narrow 1-0 league win at Leicester City last weekend.
The Norweigan’s absence blunted the reigning champions’ cutting edge at the King Power Stadium, which is nothing to wonder about, considering his brutal 17-goal tally from 11 Premier League appearances.
While Guardiola remains hopeful of having his talismanic marksman back in the fold, City’s improving defensive performances, featuring three consecutive clean sheets, can make him smile.
Speaking of defensive improvements, Fulham’s goalless home draw with Everton last weekend marked their second shutout in three Premier League outings (W2, D1).
After only registering one clean sheet in the opening ten Premier League rounds, the Cottagers seem to have rediscovered a much-needed defensive resilience at the best possible moment.
Marco Silva’s men will have to play out of their skins at the back if they’re to contain the league’s most prolific attack and carry on their impressive top-flight start (W5, D4, L4).
According to the Daily Express, Guardiola is still undecided whether to phase Haaland back into the starting line-up against Fulham amid talks of Man City’s inability to break teams down without their new No 9.
Haaland’s free-scoring Premier League start accounts for 46% of Man City’s top-flight goals this season (17/37), explaining why Guardiola wants to force the Norwegian’s return to action.
But based on the Cityzens’ outstanding 114-game Premier League form against Fulham (W11, D3), including a five-game winning run without conceding, should douse fears in the home camp.
Adding to Man City’s confidence, they’ve won their last ten home league outings, scoring at least three goals on each occasion, and could become the first top-flight side to make it 11 such triumphs on the trot since 1931.
It’s debatable whether Fulham can do anything to hinder City’s imperious home form despite going unbeaten in four consecutive league games in the run-up to this trip (W2, D2).
The Cottagers have lost each of their last 12 meetings with Guardiola’s team in all competitions while conceding at least two goals in 13 straight H2Hs.
On top of that, Fulham have been winless in 13 of their last 15 Premier League away encounters against reigning champions (W2, D2, L11), though they did win their most recent such contest at Liverpool in 2021.
Manchester City vs Fulham Potential Line-ups
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; John Stones, Manuel Akanji, Nathan Ake, Joao Cancelo; Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo Silva; Phil Foden, Julian Alvarez, Jack Grealish.
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Kenny Tete, Issa Diop, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson; Harrison Reed, Joao Palhinha; Daniel James, Andreas Pereira, Willian; Aleksandaar Mitrovic.
How to Watch?
Man City vs Fulham, alongside all other fixtures in England’s top flight, is available to watch online via live Premier League streams.
Manchester City vs Fulham Prediction
After scoring against Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, amongst others, Fulham will fancy their chances in the front third, but it’s hard to expect them to stay sharp at the back.
Visiting sides have found it impossible to hold Man City at bay at the Etihad as we back Guardiola’s side to make history on Saturday.
Manchester City 3-1 Fulham
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