Manchester United will be looking to head into the World Cup break on a high with victory away to Fulham later today, with Erik ten Hag’s side hoping to close the six-point gap on Tottenham Hotspur in fourth spot.
The Red Devils head into the meeting at Craven Cottage following a week of mixed fortunes across all competitions, having narrowly missed out on top spot in Group E in the Europa League last Thursday, before slipping up away to Unai Emery’s Aston Villa in the Premier League just a few days later.
Another encounter with the Midlands outfit sprung up an enthralling affair at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup in midweek, with the hosts running out 4-2 winners on the night following a barnstorming and breathless second-half.
Following that latest triumph, here’s how Football FanCast predicts that the visitors will line up in west London:
(4-2-3-1) – (GK) De Gea; (RB) Malacia, (CB) Lindelof, (CB) Martinez, (LB) Shaw; (CDM) Casemiro, (CDM) Eriksen; (RW) Garnacho, (CAM) Fernandes, (LW) Rashford; (ST) Martial.
The major team news heading into the game is that misfiring forward Cristiano Ronaldo – who has just three goals to his name this season – is set to be absent once again due to illness, while compatriot Diogo Dalot is out through suspension, having previously started every game across all fronts this term.
With that in mind, we predict that there will be six changes from the side that clinched victory on Thursday night, with undisputed number one David De Gea set to come back into the side ahead of recent debutant, Martin Dubravka.
The absence of the aforementioned Dalot could see summer signing Tyrell Malacia deployed as a makeshift right-back, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka having hardly received a show of confidence from his manager leading up to the game, while Lisandro Martinez could come in for struggling skipper Harry Maguire – the latter man culpable for Olle Watkins’ opener last time out.
The experienced midfield duo of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen should well return, while Bruno Fernandes will likely be restored to his favoured playmaking berth, following another “anonymous” display from Donny van de Beek in that role against the Villans, in the words of journalist Tom McDermott.
As for the attacking trio, the long-serving pairing of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford will seemingly be looking to add to their midweek strikes, while emerging superstar Alejandro Garnacho should have done enough to start after his two assists while on cup duty.
The electric 18-year-old – who has been described as a “full back’s nightmare” by MUTV pundit Febian Brandy – produced a scintillating cameo off the bench against Emery’s men on Thursday, with a starting berth no doubt deserved today, particularly with attacking options limited due to the absence of Jadon Sancho and Antony.