Game: Manchester City v Fulham
Competition: Third Round, League Cup
Venue: City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester
Time: 15:00 GMT
Manchester City host Fulham for the second time this season already. Their first meeting in the Carling Cup saw City win in extra-time thanks to a Kolo Toure header. But Fulham were resting many key personnel for that game. City have had a seven-day break between their last game and this one, while Fulham have already played twice after City’s last game. Fatigue could be a telling factor.
Form guide (Man City- last five games)
v. Wigan (Draw) 1-1 (Petrov)
v. Aston Villa (Draw) 1-1 (Bellamy)
v. West Ham (Win) 3-1 (Tevez*2, Petrov)
v. Fulham (Win) 2-1 (Barry,Toure)
After jumping quickly off the blocks, City’s form in recent games has been scratchy to say the least. They have dropped points away to Manchester United, Villa and Wigan. But at home, they have a 100% record. City tend to play attacking football at home and with a strong squad to choose from, they should be favorites to secure a home win.
Robinho and Nedum Onouha are long term absentees. Pablo Zabaleta is suspended following his red card at Wigan. There will be late fitness tests on Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor and Craig Bellamy. Vincent Kompany is set to return after a long spell on the sidelines and could start for the first time this season.
Form guide (Fulham- last five games)
v. Roma (Draw) 1-1 (Hangeland)
v. Hull City (Win) 2-0 (Zamora, Kamara)
v. West Ham (Draw) 2-2 (Gera, Murphy)
v. Basel (Win) 1-0 (Murphy)
Fulham have played the most games amongst all the Premier League teams this season. Their European excursion has left them lagging behind in the League. Their performances after European nights have not been spectacular and a trip to CoMS should be a challenge.
Simon Davies, Andy Johnson, Dickson Etuhu are all injured for the Cottagers. Danny Murphy is a big doubt with a knee injury.
Match verdict: City have won all four at home so far. And I’d go for another City win. They have not won in two – and a win would again establish their position in the Top 4, for at least the early part of this season.
Manchester City 2-0 Fulham (Tevez,SWP)