The international break is now over and the Whites return to action in a game which on paper should be the toughest away trip of the season, with possibly only Anfield aside. The squad are visiting the Etihad stadium to face the all-conquering Manchester City. The reigning champions broke all number of records last season, from being the first ever team to reach 100 points, to the most number of consecutive wins at 18. Stopping them is a tough ask, and will require Fulham to be at their defensive best, (which hasn’t been too regular this season) and to take the likely few chances that will come their way.
Before the squad went out on national duty, a trip to the South coast provided the club with a point, but with the general consensus that they should have returned to London with all three. As Mitrovic struck his fourth goal of the season to put Fulham two nil up, the prospect of being the first club to win at the AMEX since January seemed a forgone conclusion. However the Whites became the architects of their own downfall, as two sloppy defensive mistakes meant their lead was lost and only a point accrued. This left Fulham with 4 points from 4 games, which is still a solid start.
In contrast, Man City have started the season as well as they finished the last, picking up 10 points. However, by dropping points to newly promoted Wolves, Fulham fans have a sense of optimism that something can be taken from this game.
As well as their embarrassment of riches up front including Aguero, De Bruyne, Jesus, Sane, both Silva’s and Sterling to name a few, arguably the two players to most watch out for are their full backs in Mendy and Walker. Not only are they defensively excellent, but also a huge weapon in attack with their crossing and dribbling ability. This is illustrated by the fact Mendy has already racked up 5 assists, whilst Walker scored the winning goal in their previous game.
These raids forward mean that Fulham’s wingers must track back to nullify their threat, and a 4-5-1 formation may be utilised rather than the usual 4-3-3. Set pieces may be one of the few ways City are vulnerable, so making the most of these are essential, especially with Mitrovic and Mawson excellent in the air.
Predicted line-up: Bettinelli, Fosu-Mensah, Odoi, Mawson, Bryan, Zambo Anguissa, McDonald, Seri, Sessegnon, Mitrovic, Schurrle
Predicted score: Man City 3-1 Fulham