Premier League leaders Manchester City host Championship leaders Fulham in what is sure to be an exciting fourth-round FA Cup tie at the Etihad Stadium. The southwest London club will hope this is not a case of history repeating.
Manchester City swept aside Fulham in this same round of the FA Cup in 2019/20 by a score of 4-0. The Citizens have made light work of the West Londoners in recent times. They have won their last 11 matches against Fulham, dating back to 2012.
The aggregate score in that winning run is an incredible 32-3. Fulham has only scored in two games during that stretch. This Fulham side will still be full of confidence, however.
They have been on a tear in the second tier of English football and currently sit atop the Championship division, five points clear of their closest challengers.
It bears mentioning that Manchester City sits atop the very whole of the entire English footballing pyramid, some 9 points ahead of their nearest challengers.
Manchester City vs Fulham FYIs
When is it? Kick-off time? 3 PM, Saturday 5th February 2022
Team News: go here
Where is it? Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Who’s in form? Man City (WWWWD) Fulham (WWWWD)
What are the odds? Man City (-650) Fulham (+1500) Draw (+800)
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Let’s look at what a potential Manchester City starting XI may look like for this fourth-round FA Cup clash. With Zack Steffen still struggling with a back injury and Ederson likely to have only just have returned from international duty with Brazil, I am picking Scott Carson to double his tally of fist team appearances for the club he has trained with since 2019.
The 36-year-old is no slouch. He picked up 4 international caps for England in his heyday.
That is where the cup selections will end mostly, though. The defense will be a pretty strong one, with Kyle Walker lining up at right-back and Joao Cancelo starting as the left full-back.
The center of defense will probably see some slight rotation with a rare start handed to Nathan Ake, likely alongside John Stones.
Club captain Fernandinho will get a start here. He is very much a cup player at this stage of his career. Ahead of him, I am picking Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan. Silva is having a career-best season and Gundogan continues to be one of the most underrated midfielders in world football.
Riyad Mahrez will line up on the right-wing, hoping to put the nightmare of Algeria’s horrid AFCON run behind him.
England’s most expensive ever footballer Jack Grealish will start on the left-hand side of the attack with Phil Foden playing centrally in the false nine role.
This match has the potential to be the most entertaining of the weekend. I think both teams will play positive football and there will be goals. Fulham will probably fall victim to the fact that Manchester City rarely loses.
Prediction: 3-2 City.Follow paulmbanks