With a healthy gap established between ourselves and the relegation places, Mark Hughes takes his side to Old Trafford this Saturday, to face the champions elect in Manchester United. Sadly, with our away form being what it is, it`ll need a titanic effort to get anything from a fixture where we traditionally struggle.
With our record, at Old Trafford, leaving something to be desired in recent years not many are expecting us to get anything from this fixture. Mark Hughes would beg to differ though and has threatened to have a right go at Old Trafford when he remarked at the pre-match pres conference,
“We`re playing well so why not have a go? From our point of view it`s about playing to the best of our abilities and making sure we cause problems for Manchester United.”
Go for it Sparky!
Manchester United Team News:
Manchester United have been suffering from an injury crisis in recent weeks but just as we pitch up on the door-step matters have improved considerably.
Rio Ferdinand has made his comeback, as has Vidic, and to cap it all Wayne Rooney is once again looking like the class striker he was last season, but, thankfully, Rooney courtesy of the expletives uttered at Upton Park last week will be absent from the United line-up.
We could possibly take small consolation from the fact that Jonny Evans remains suspended and that Rafael limped off at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening and might be rated as doubtful.
Otherwise it`s us against the cream that Sir Alex has on offer.
Player to watch: Chris Smalling
If Rio Ferdinand isn`t risked for a second successive match then it`s more than likely that Chris Smalling will take his place. Having been signed from us, for a fortune, it`ll be interesting to see how much Chris has improved since joining the bigger-boys
Fulham Team News:
Mark Hughes will be hoping that, for his return to his old stomping ground, that his squad haven`t picked up any injuries in training this week.
If that is the case then that only leaves Philippe Senderos as not being available.
Bobby Zamora is likely to start and will be hoping he can add to the two goals he notched up last week,
Barring any late disasters we expect Fulham to line up as follows:-
Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Salcido, Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Dempsey, Zamora and Dembele.
Player to watch: Dickson Etuhu
The midfielder was invaluable last week, against Blackpool, breaking up the play and distributing the ball. If Fulham are to get anything at Old Trafford Dickson will need to be at his best to prevent united dominating the middle of the park.
Match Facts & Stats
Old Trafford is another ground we struggle to win at with our last victory coming way back in October 2003.
But the last four games, against Manchester United, have seen us remain unbeaten!
The men in charge are:-
Referee – Mark Jones
Assistants – Stuart Burt and Scott Ledger
Fourth Official – Michael Oliver.
Old Trafford is a tough place to visit. This season United have dropped very few points on home soil. Couple this with the fact that our away form is on the poor to very poor side, when it comes to results, and it doesn`t take a genius to work out we`re big under-dogs for this fixture. Perhaps ‘Lady Luck` will smile on us and perhaps we might just come away with a point. Anything more than that would be deemed a miracle!
Another away trip follows with Fulham taking on Wolverhampton Wanderers a week on St George`s Day!