Manchester City v Fulham - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Saturday 22nd March 2014 at 15:00. Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

Odds: Manchester City 1/6, Draw 15/2, Fulham 18/1

Last season: 2-0

Preview & injury news

It's the favourites to win the title against the Premier League's bottom club as the home side are overwhelming favourites to take all three points on Saturday afternoon. Manchester City are currently fourth in the Premier League, six points behind Chelsea who are top with two games in hand. All they need to do to claim their second league title in three years is to keep on winning. They showed some great character in winning at Hull City last weekend after their captain Vincent Kompany was sent off early on - so after being knocked out of the FA Cup and the Champions League beforehand, they will feel they're now back on track.

Fulham last week got their first win under Felix Magath when they appeared to be dead and buried, and nailed on for Championship football next season. But their win over Newcastle United means they are within four points of safety though they have played a game more than some of their rivals but Magath believes that the Cottagers can remain in the Premier League.

On the injury front, City are still without Sergio Aguero who continues to struggle with a hamstring problem but he could return next week. There are still question marks over the fitness of Matija Nastasic who has been struggling with a knee problem whilst Stevan Jovetic has had a hamstring problem - so it is unclear whether either player will be available for this weekend. One man that is unlikely to be part of the City squad is Micah Richards who has a muscle injury.

For Fulham they have their fair share of injury problems. Kostas Mitroglou will miss out for the visitors with a knee problem after he made his first appearance against Newcastle United last weekend, but could return next week along with Scott Parker. Damien Duff also has a knee problem whilst Giorgos Karagounis has a muscle injury. Ashkan Dejagah and Dan Burn are set to miss out on the trip to the North West but the Cottagers could have Lewis Holtby available.

Key stats

Here are the two team's top scorers in the Premier League this season:

Sergio Agüero Man City FW 15 17 1,199
Yaya Touré Man City MF 13 26 2,253
Álvaro Negredo Man City FW 9 24 1,515
Steve Sidwell Fulham MF 6 30 2,550
Dimitar Berbatov Fulham FW 4 18 1,568
Jesús Navas Man City MF 4 25 1,480
Darren Bent Fulham FW 3 22 1,112
Ashkan Dejagah Fulham MF 3 15 966
Pajtim Kasami Fulham MF 3 24 1,590

Their average possession statistics:

NamePossession PercentagePlayed
Manchester City 57.44 27
Fulham 43.70 30

And the amount of clean sheets that both sides have kept this season:

NameClean SheetPlayed
Manchester City 11 27
Fulham 4 30

5 players to watch

Joleon Lescott - Lescott is likely to fill in for the suspended Vincent Kompany this weekend and it looks as if he hasn't been a favourite for Manuel Pellegrini, but Lescott will be keen to show he has a big role to play in this title chasing Manchester City team.

Johnny Heitinga - If Fulham are going to get a positive result from the Etihad Stadium they are going to need a good defensive performance from Heitinga and the rest. The Cottagers have only kept four clean sheets this season and it will take a big effort from them to make it five.

Edin Dzeko - The goals appeared to have dried up for City's strikers until Dzeko found the net at the KC Stadium against Hull City. The question is whether Dzeko can build on that as City look to land their second league title in three years. Will he get on the scoresheet against Fulham?

Lewis Holtby - Felix Magath has said that Holtby should be able to return to the side this weekend, and if anyone is going to conjure up a good chance for the visitors, with his qualities Holtby can certainly provide it.

David Silva - Silva has perhaps been the stand out performer in the Manchester City team in recent weeks. It was his wonderful goal against Hull City that turned the tide in their favour after they were reduced to ten men. Will he come up with goods again this weekend?

Earlier on in the season

Fulham 2-4 Manchester City, December 2013

It was a thrilling game at Craven Cottage as Manchester City were building a reputation for being one of the league's most entertaining sides. Yaya Toure gave the visitors the lead with a wonderfully taken free-kick from the edge of the area. City doubled their lead just before the interval thanks to Vincent Kompany - who tapped home after Maarten Stekelenburg saved from Martin Demichelis' header. Fulham came out looking bright in the second half as Kieran Richardson pulled one back for the home side just after the break. They were on level terms with 20 minutes to go as Kompany somehow managed to slice a clearance into his own net. Jesus Navas latched on to a through ball from David Silva to put the visitors in front again whilst James Milner rounded off the scoring as Fulham searched for another equaliser.

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