Martin Jol will be disappointed with his Fulham sides start to the season as the cottagers sit 18th in the table. Having eked out a 1-1 draw against FC Twente in the Europa League last Thursday night, there will be no respite for Jol’s men this Sunday afternoon as they host a high flying Manchester City side at Craven Cottage.
There are those who construe Fulham’s Europa League adventure as damaging to their domestic responsibilities, however, experienced team captain Danny Murphy sees things differently “I thought Thursday’s match was a good dress rehearsal for Sunday’s game. FC Twente may not have the same quality as Manchester City but they play the same type of football.”
It will take such an attitude and positive outlook for Fulham to cope with playing Thursday and Sunday, a consequence of their involvement in Europe’s second tier club competition.
The Cottagers will be without Simon Davies (knee) for this one, whilst Aaron Hughes (knock) and Dickson Etuhu (thigh) are doubtful. It is unlikely Fulham’s new signing Bryan Ruiz will be afforded his second competitive start for his new club as he struggled with the pace of the game in his first Premier League outing.
Manchester City, on the other hand, visits the Cottage in scintillating form. The 1-1 home draw against Napoli midweek may have tempered expectations a little; however City will be expected to come away with all three points.
James Milner (concussion) and Nigel De Jong (foot) are Roberto Mancini’s only casualties for Sunday’s clash. Carlos Tevez can expect to be confined to the bench this time out, as Mancini will restore Edin Dzeko to his starting line up having rested the Bosnian for the visit of Wigan.
With the triumvirate of Aguero, Silva and Dzeko working fantastically well together, City should manage a victory here. Fulham are notoriously difficult opponents on their own patch but will struggle to cope with the pace and flair of this City outfit.
Match Prediction: Fulham 1-3 Manchester City
Betting Odds: Fulham 11/2 (Bet 365) Draw 14/5 Manchester City 4/7