Manchester City – the Premier League leaders meet Fulham – the Championship leaders in the 4th round of the FA Cup this Saturday. The match will be played on the Etihad pitch and no prizes for guessing who the favorites are heading into this one.
Manchester city under pep Guardiola has won many trophies but have failed to exert their dominance in this competition. They may have left their trademark on the League Cup, but have failed to replicate the same on the oldest club competition in football – The FA Cup.
They would prefer to change that fact this season, as the next hurdle on the road is Championship leader, Fulham.
The blues and the London Club have met each other 3 times in the competition. Man City has won 2 of those with the most recent win coming to a couple of years back. In that game, Man city thrashed the whites by a scoreline of 4-0. The only time Man City lost was in 1908.
In that game, Fulham won by 3-1 in a reply. The first match ended in a 1-1 draw at Hyde Road (former home ground of Manchester City).
Fulham is currently on a scoring spree, having scored seventy-four league goals in twenty-eight games. High-scoring results have included two 7-0 away triumphs at Blackburn and Reading, as well as two 6-2 home winners over Bristol City and Birmingham.
Fulham defeated Bristol City in the previous round to set up a fourth-round meeting with the Blues.
Manchester City on the other hand has also been in their normal form – which means fabulous.
Man City is coming off with a victory against Arsenal, Chelsea, and Brentford in the Premier League. And it’s only recently that, Leicester was thrashed 6-3, Newcastle was thrashed 4-0, and Leeds was humiliated 7-0.
Manchester City is top of the table, into the Champions League RO-16, and is looking very strong. Although in their last game, just before the international break, Man city drew against Southampton 1-1. Leaving that anomaly aside, Man city has been in scintillating form and is the clear favorite to win this tie.
Man City won against Swindon Town in their previous round. Playing away, they won by a scoreline of 3-1.
A] Manchester City has won all 11 prior matches between these two clubs. This is their third-longest streak of straight victories over a single team in their history.
B] Fulham have failed to make it past this round in 6 of their previous 7 attempts. Having made it past this round only in the 2016/17 campaign.
No genius is required here to predict who are the favorites to progress into the next round. Manchester City is not only the favorites for this round, arguably they are the favorites to win the whole thing.
Fulham can only hope that Manchester City rests a few of their important players. However, the quality and depth of Manchester City’s team are such that they may rest 5 key players and still have equally talented players take the slot.
It is hard to see anything but a Manchester City win especially when they are playing at home. Fulham can only hope to squeeze an early goal in and then defend like their life is at stake!