Manchester City will continue their defence of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon, as they welcome Fulham to the Etihad Stadium. Scott Parker’s side sit third in the Championship, three points off of an automatic promotion spot, and will be eyeing up a trophy to match what has been an impressive campaign thus far.
Here’s all the essential information ahead of this weekend’s Fourth Round tie…
Guardiola confirmed on Friday afternoon that every player in the squad is fit to play, except for Leroy Sané.
Fulham are suffering from injuries to several key attackers, namely Anthony Knockaert and Aleksandar Mitrovic, the latter of which is Fulham’s top scorer with 18 goals in 26 games. Backup striker Aboubakar Kamara, holding-midfielder Harrison Reed, defender Maxime Le Marchand, and fringe midfielder Neeskens Kebano are all due to miss tomorrow’s fixture as well.
Head to Head
Manchester City’s record against Fulham in recent years makes for pleasant reading, having won all of the last eight games against Fulham, scoring 27 goals and conceding just three goals.
To find the last time these two sides met in the FA Cup, you have to go back to before the First World War, when Manchester City beat Fulham 2-0 in 1914.
The last time City lost against the Cottagers in any competition, Clint Dempsey netted a brace, while Steven Ireland’s opening goal was no use in a 3-1 defeat at the Etihad.
Manchester City go into Sunday afternoon’s game unbeaten in seven, with only a home draw against Crystal Palace obstructing the Blues from a perfect record in the new decade. Pep Guardiola’s team have scored an average of three goals a game across their last six, conceding an average of one.
Scott Parker’s side approach this Fourth Round tie having lost just one game in their last eight – a 2-1 defeat to Reading. Their third-round fixture saw them defeat Premier League opposition – Aston Villa 2-1 at Craven Cottage at the start of the month.
Scott Parker has organized his Fulham side in a 4-3-3 for most of the season, with a holding midfielder. Typically Harrison Reed has played behind the midfield but more recently Kevin McDonald has been operating in the number six role.
Fulham’s defence has been relatively consistent, featuring left-back Joe Bryan and central defenders, Tim Ream and Alfie Mawson, playing nearly every game. The Cottagers’ attack this season has prevalently featured Ivan Caveilero, who signed a deal with Fulham earlier this month, after playing on loan. Anthony Knockaert has featured on the right wing across from Caveilero, but will most likely miss tomorrow’s game, perhaps allowing Josh Onomah a start.
Fulham will most likely deploy Bobby Reid – the highly flexible attacking midfielder who can play almost anywhere in the attacking half of the field, to lead the line tomorrow.
Pep Guardiola has strayed a little from his typical 4-3-3 formation in recent weeks, utilising a three-man defence in a recent game against Everton, as well as twice against Sheffield United.
The return of Aymeric Laporte has opened up more defensive options for the Catalan, although he may be unlikely to feature tomorrow due to his recent return from injury.
Kevin Friend will officiate tomorrow’s match, while Gary Beswick and Edward Smart will manage the touchlines. Jonathan Moss will be the fourth official.
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