Manchester City v Fulham Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
September 11, 2018
Etihad Stadium - Premier League
After going into the intentional break in third place, Manchester City resume their campaign against a newly-promoted Fulham side. The Cottagers have recovered from a poor start to the season, but have yet to show any defensive rigour, which will be a problem against the Premier League Champions.
The sides last met in the Premier League back in March 2014, with the result providing little positivity for Fulham. Manchester City emerged with a 5-0 victory on the day, thanks to a Yaya Toure hat-trick, with the Whites suffering relegation less than two months later.
Pep Guardiola is unlikely to make many changes to the side that beat Newcastle two weeks ago, although may give Bernardo Silva a rest after the winger suffered a knock on international duty. Likewise, Leroy Sane may be granted leave after the birth of his first child.
For Slaviša Jokanović, there is a decision to be made over whether to change his side to shut out the opposition, or to play to his side's strength an go for the jugular. Wolves proved that Manchester City are vulnerable on the counter, but Fulham's defensive capabilities have left a lot to be desired. With the manger attempted to lock down his first XI, he may elect to leave his team as it is.
Manchester City v Fulham Preview and Predictions
After dropping points against Wolves, it was vital that Manchester City showed their ability to unlock a stubborn defence against Newcastle, and they did so in fine form. With any doubts over the champions' title credentials reassured, they face a very different side in Fulham this weekend.
Having started the season poorly, with defeats to London rivals Crystal Palace and Tottenham, Fulham have reassured fans, winning seven points from their last three games. However, worries persist for the Cottagers over their ability to defend, with the side conceding four in those games alone, and five more in the two losses. Against Manchester City, who they are highly likely to outscore, this is a serious issue, and one that Jokanović must solve if he is to keep his side clear of relegation.
Against the lower-table sides, the attacking prowess of the rejuvenated Aleksander Mitrovic, who is currently the joint-top-scorer in the league, should bag them enough points, but the Serbian striker may well falter against stronger defences. It will be an interesting test of the striker abilities when he comes up against Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, with neither of City's centre-backs able to match the forward's physicality.
However, in all likelihood, this match-up will probably take second-stage, with Guardiola's impressive attacking quintet likely to possess the ball for the majority of the match. The manager revolutionary 4-1-3-2 formation allows both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus to play, supported by three attacking midfielders of a quality that Fulham haven't encountered in a long time. If Jokanović is to have any hope he will have to stop all five of City's forwards, not to mention the attacking threat of the defenders!
Over 3.5 goals at 4/5
City should have far too much in their arsenal for a shaky Fulham defence.
Manchester City to win both halves at 9/10
Guardiola will want a quick start to dispel any doubts.