ulham vs Manchester United LIVE!
Man United are aiming to retake top spot in the Premier League as they travel to west London to face Fulham this evening.
Leicester City’s 2-0 win over Chelsea last night saw the Foxes go top of the table, but United play their game in hand this evening and will leapfrog Brendan Rodgers’ men with a victory.
As for Fulham, Scott Parker’s side have looked more impressive of late after a poor start to the season, but they are struggling to turn draws into wins as they sit four points away from safety – albeit with games in hand over fellow strugglers Brighton and Newcastle.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United are likely to meet a stern test tonight despite Fulham’s position in the table – and the Cottagers’ recent draw at Tottenham will serve as a warning that they can compete with some of the best forwards the League has to offer.
With kick-off at 8:15pm GMT, follow all the latest team news and match action with Simon Collings live at Craven Cottage.
Premier League table as it stands
Here are how things look tonight…
Parker: Goals now the key
Parker says the next task for Fulham after tightening up their defence is to start putting the ball in the back of the net.
“We’ve got draws, we now need to turn some of those draws into wins. That’s the next big challenge for us. We’ve been able to stay in games, give ourselves a platform, become a lot more solid.
“The fine margins of this division, you need to take your opportunities when they come. To do that, you’ve got to do the hardest thing in the game and that’s put the ball in the back of the net.
“We have one recognised striker in the building in Mitrovic. We understand where we are a little bit light. But this window is a tough window and time’s not on our side, really. We’ll work relentlessly hard to try and improve our attacking play.”
Parker: Fulham no longer a ‘laughing stock’
Scott Parker thinks Fulham have been transformed from a Premier League “laughing stock” to the battling side they are now.
“We’ve done remarkably well considering where we were at the start of the season,” said Parker. “We were probably the laughing stock in terms of how people were portraying us – never was that the case in-house.
“We’ve done remarkably well to be fighting and punching away like we are – not just with determination and grit, but with a real style about us. It’s clear that you can see a real drastic improvement in our overall game.
“There was a narrative around us at the start of this season and that narrative was probably helped by the previous time we were in this division. We lost two games by more than two goals, that narrative was instantly in people’s heads, ‘Oh look, it’s the same Fulham’.
“I just think people were blurred a little bit by the last time we were here. I can understand why. It was certainly an area we needed to address.”
Solskjaer impressed by Shaw
One player who has gone under the radar a little at United recently is Luke Shaw, who has kicked on and improved following added competition from Alex Telles – including an excellent display against Liverpool at Anfield last Sunday.
Solskjaer said of the left-back: “Luke has immense quality. He has got very good technique, good quality.
“You see the few times against Liverpool he takes the ball and drives forward. It’s something that I’ve pushed him more to do because we know he can do it.
“It’s generally down to the boy himself. He’s mentally very good at the moment. He has become a dad, he’s physically very good, his fitness is so much better. He keeps beating his high intensity stats, his total distance stats.
“I think he’s been consistently up there with what a full-back should be doing. And when you have the talent of Luke, when that fitness and mental bit is sorted, you are always going to get good performances.”
Bruno Fernandes expected to start
So, will Bruno Fernandes get a rest tonight? It doesn’t sound like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to bench his star man…
Speaking on Tuesday, Solskjaer told reporters: “His form is very good, He was just voted Player of the Month. He’s not tired, no. No chance. He is one of the players who runs and covers the ground in every single game. Very good at recovering, very good at recharging his batteries.
“If he’d scored his free-kick or just had a little air on the ball when Luke (Shaw) put the cross in, he would have been lauded as the best player in the Premier League again.
“Since he’s come in, he’s been absolutely immense. No, he’s not tired. If I ask him there’s absolutely no chance he’ll say he’s tired.
Head to head (h2h) results
Last meeting: Fulham 0-3 Man United (09/02/2019)
Prediction: 2-0 Man United win
Fulham have been in good form of late, but have struggled to turn draws into wins. While Parker will fancy his chances of frustrating United, it has been a gruelling run of games, and Solskjaer is bullish that his key players like Bruno Fernandes are fresh – and an away win looks likely.
Man United team news
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ruled Phil Jones and Brandon Williams out of Wednesday’s match through injury, while the United boss suggested January acquisition Amad Diallo would not be called upon just yet.
Solskjaer was bullish when asked whether Bruno Fernandes needed a rest, so expect the Portuguese and a few more star players to start rather than rotate.
Man United squad from: De Gea, Henderson, Grant, Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw, Telles, McTominay, Fred, Matic, Van De Beek, Pogba, James, Fernandes, Lingard, Greenwood, Rashford, Martial, Cavani, Ighalo.
Fulham team news
Scott Parker will have Mario Lemina and Aleksandar Mitrovic available. Midfielder Lemina has overcome an unspecified injury problem, while Serbia striker Mitrovic has recovered from a minor hamstring issue suffered in the FA Cup win at QPR on January 9.
On-loan midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek also returns to contention having been ineligible for Saturday’s defeat to parent club Chelsea but defender Antonee Robinson and forward Bobby Decordova-Reid are suspended while Terence Kongolo (hamstring) and Tom Cairney (knee) remain sidelined.
Fulham squad from: Areola, Rodak, Tete, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Aina, Hector, Odoi, Ream, Bryan, Reed, Anguissa, Onomah, Lemina, Loftus-Cheek, Kebano, Cavaleiro, Lookman, Kamara, Mitrovic.
How to watch Fulham vs Man Utd
TV channel: Tonight’s match will be shown live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate, with coverage beginning at 8pm.
Live stream: Subscribers can watch the match online via the BT Sport website and BT Sport app.