It was only a few years ago that both of these sides were seen as very similar in standing, but of course that is definitely not the case now. Having unexpectedly lost their last fixture, some supporters at Man City are starting to get slightly worried as neighbours Man Utd edge closer. Fulham on the other hand are sat in a very comfortable position, with the Cottagers occupying 13th spot and in no danger of being pulled into a relegation dogfight.
A lot of people thought Man City had the title well and truly wrapped up several weeks ago, although as experienced Premier League followers should know, it is certainly never wise to think like that. Having lost their last game 1-0 to Everton, City are now level on points with 2nd place Man Utd and it is just goal difference that is keeping them in top spot. A lot of people were surprised to see City fail to make any substantial purchases in the January transfer window, instead recruiting veteran David Pizzaro who is sure to provide competition as Yaya Toure serves his national country. It is clear that Toure’s absence is having an extremely negative effect on Roberto Mancini’s men though, with the club losing three of their last six games since he departed for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Fulham meanwhile are experiencing another comfortable season and it looks as though the Cottagers are set for a moderate mid-table position. With nine points separating them from the drop zone and thirteen from the European places, it looks as though Martin Jol’s men will have to be contempt with an uneventful campaign. Their recent form can be described as reasonably impressive, with the Craven Cottage outfit losing just one of their last six despite opponents including Newcastle, Chelsea and Arsenal. Their form away from home is slightly suspect though, with the club’s last away victory occurring in October.
As for team news, Roberto Mancini is sweating on the fitness of Vincent Kompany and Micah Richards who have both been struggling with knocks over the past week. Mario Balotelli remains suspended, but Mancini could decide to hand a debut to new signing David Pizzaro. Fulham on the other hand have several absentees, with Steve Sidwell and Andy Johnson both injured while Pavel Pogrebnyak is ineligible. On a more positive note, Martin Jol will be able to select Mark Schwarzer and Mousa Dembele who have both recovered from their spells on the treatment table.
In terms of a prediction, our tip is going to be the obvious. Man City have been very impressive throughout the campaign and while there have been a few shaky moments in recent weeks, they are up against a Fulham side who struggle on the road. With that, we expect a comfortable 2-0 victory for Roberto Mancini’s men.