Having retained their three point lead over their great rivals at Anfield, Manchester United will be travelling to London looking to build further pressure on Liverpool with three points against a Fulham team who have proven to be obdurate opposition of late. They no longer top the table after Leicester City's 2-0 win over Chelsea and may also find themselves needing to leapfrog a Manchester City side who face Aston Villa earlier in the day.
Following on from their impressive 1-1 draw against Tottenham last Wednesday, Fulham held firm even when down to 10 men against west London rivals Chelsea until the 78th minute as Mason Mount robbed the Cottagers of a point that could have been vital in their battle against relegation. Taking anything off the league leaders would be considered a bonus for Scott Parker but the pressure for points is firmly on Fulham as the halfway point of their season approaches. Here is how you can watch and what you need to know.
- Date: Wednesday, Jan. 20
- Time: 3:15 p.m. ET
- Location: Craven Cottage -- London, United Kingdom
- TV: NBCSN
- Live stream: FuboTV (try for free)
- Odds: Fulham +500; Draw +320; Manchester United -182 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Fulham: In the early weeks of this season Fulham's defense was something of a "laughing stock", as Parker himself admitted. With 10 goals conceded in their first three Premier League matches this looked destined to be a repeat of their previous top flight campaign in 2018-19, when over $100million in spending left them with a squad more unfit for the Premier League than the one that had won the Championship playoffs.
However a switch to a back three by Parker has made for a far more solid Fulham side who could hold firm for nearly 40 minutes when a man down against Chelsea. "We were probably the laughing stock in terms of how people were portraying us - never was that the case in-house," said the Fulham boss. "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."
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Manchester United: If there was a cause for concern in the draw at Anfield on Sunday it was how tired Bruno Fernandes looked. In the near year since he arrived from Sporting he has played 2672 minutes of Premier League football; the only attacking player to have registered more is Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. This season he has played 91% of all United's top flight minutes.
"He's not tired, no chance," insisted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. "He is one of the players that runs and covers the ground in every single game, he's very good at recovering and recharging his batteries... He's not tired and if I ask him he'll say there's absolutely no chance that he's tired." Of course good management should go beyond just asking and perhaps now is the time to preserve Fernandes' energy for the run-in.
Fulham will certainly not make it easy for Manchester United but the attacking quality Solskjaer can unleash from the outset and from his bench ought to be enough to earn victory. PICK: Manchester United (-182)