MANCHESTER CITY V FULHAM – ETIHAD STADIUM AT 15:00 (UTC/GMT)
Premier League Champions Manchester City will host the Fulham Cottagers on Saturday, September 15, at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England. The pair has met a total of 63 times in all competitions. City triumphed on 30 occasions, while Fulham had 17. City last played the London outfit way back in March 2014, winning 5-0, also during the Premier League. Both teams are vying for automatic promotion to the top-flight.
– City’s Kevin De Bruyne is a long-term absentee after having a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) lesion.
– Fulham’s Tom Cairney, Tim Ream and Floyd Ayite are also in doubts, while Neeskens Kebano (ankle) is not expected to return until the end of September,
– City’s Claudio Bravo is also unavailable due to his Achilles tendon injury. He underwent scans which confirmed a rupture in the tendon of his left foot.
– Manchester’s Danielo also remains doubtful with a foot injury which he got during the group stages of the World Cup, but City’s manager Pep Guardiola said the Brazilian is ‘doing well.’
Ederson, a remarkable goalkeeper for Man City, has been displaying a brilliant calmness under pressure which works to the advantage of City’s entire game plan. Ederson’s long-range passing to launch City on the counter-attack and beat any high press employed by opponents has been a consistent feature of the season, adding another defense to city’s fearsome attack arsenal.
David Silva has always been a key man for City. His performance level has arguably been higher than ever. He always plays a very consistent game. This midfielder has made City almost impossible to beat with his remarkable defense and attack.
Tim Ream was named as Fulham’s player of the season. He was the cornerstone of a back four who passed 46 goals in the regular 46-match campaign. He is Fulham’s most comfortable defender, having an average of 6.1 clearances and 0.7 blocks per game, which is the highest average of all Fulham players.
Ryan Sessegnon can play as a left-back, left wing-back, wide left-sided forwards, or as a striker. He has a great stability, footwork, and swiftness, with the capability to go past defenders/midfielders with and without the ball. Having a total of eight assists, Sessegnon was directly involved in almost 30 percent of Fulham’s goals.
Manchester City: 4-3-3
Man City might use the 4-3-3 formation, considering it’s City’s most effective formation for this season. Pep Guardiola deployed this formation on just three occasions but came out victorious in each one.
The same formation might possibly be used by the Cottagers. As can be seen from previous games, Fulham played in confidence with a fluid 4-3-3 formation.
PROBABLE STARTING XI:
Manchester City: Ederson Moraes, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte/Nicolas Otamendi, Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy, Fernandinho, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling/Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Aguero
Fulham: Marcus Bettinelli, Cyrus Christie, Tim Ream, Marcelo Djalo, Denis Odoi, Kevin McDonald, Tom Cairney, Stefan Johansen, Aboubakar Kamara, Ryan Sessegnon, Rui Fonte
Manchester City v Fulham: 4-1
Although Fulham usually avoids straying offside during matches, it is very likely that they will stray offside often during the game against Man City. Manchester City will possibly take control of the game in the opposition’s half, and with Man City’s style of attacking down the wingas, they will most likely score from a wingplay situation.
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