Match Preview: Man City


Image: Sky Sports

Our Focus turns to the 4th Round of the FA Cup this weekend as Fulham travel to the Etihad Stadium to take on the holders Manchester City…

Head To Head

  • Fulham Wins 17 | Draws 16 | Man City Wins 33.
  • This is the first FA Cup match between Fulham and City since 1914.
  • The clubs have met in the FA Cup twice in the past with one win a piece, Fulham’s win in 1908 coming via a replay.
  • Fulham’s record against City at the Etihad Stadium reads 3 Wins | 4 draws | 7 defeats.
  • We have failed to beat Man City in the last 14 attempts, losing 11 of those games, including the last 8 in a row.
  • We haven’t scored in our last 4 games against them.
  • In the New Millennium, we have kept one clean sheet against the Sky Blues in 29 matches. A 0-0 draw in March 2004 at the then City of Manchester Stadium.
  • Following on from that 0-0, from August 2004 – September 2011, both teams scored in all 16 matches.
  • Our last victory at the Etihad was in 2009, when a Clint Dempsey brace and a Dickson Etuhu strike sealed a 1-3 win.
  • Not forgetting one of the greatest matches in our history, coming from 2-0 down to win 2-3 during the great escape in 2008.

Manchester City in 2019/20

  • League Form: WDWWW
  • Goals: 107 (65 League)
  • Conceded: 35 (27 League)
  • Average Possession: 60.7%
  • Top Scorers: Aguero (16), Sterling (11), Jesus (9).
  • Discipline: 57 Yellows | 4 Reds
  • Clean sheets: 12 (9 League)
  • Both teams have scored in 24 of their 36 matches in all competitions.

Manchester City Losses 2019/20

  • Norwich City 3-2 (a)
  • Wolves 0-2 (h)
  • Liverpool 3-1 (a)
  • Manchester United 1-2 (h)
  • Wolves 3-2 (a)

Did You Know?

  • Fulham haven’t defeated two top-tier teams in the same FA Cup season since 2002-03 (Birmingham & Charlton Athletic).
  • Man City have only failed to make it through to the fifth round of the FA Cup twice in the last decade.
  • Fulham have only made it past the fourth round three times in the last 10 attempts.

Players in Common

Image: Ben Radford/ Allsport

Kit Symons

Fulham: 129 apps, 14 goals.

Man City: 141 apps, 5 goals.

Peter Beardsley, Wayne Bridge, Michael Brown, Andy Cole, Dickson Etuhu, Seko Fofana, Niclas Jensen, Rodney Marsh, Martin O’Neill, Pat Roberts, Kit Symons.

Tom’s View (‪@tstewartsports‬)

It wasn’t exactly the inspired performance we were hoping for on Wednesday night at The Valley, but the fact remains that heading into Sunday’s FA Cup tie, the Whites have kept three straight clean sheets and sit just three points short of the second promotion position with a favourable schedule heading into February. Considering all, including recent displays, we are ending January on a positive note.

A dismembering of the Addicks would have unquestionably sparked some much-needed confidence heading into this weekend’s tie, instead Parker will now have to rally his troops around our solid defensive play of late as our source of morale as we prepare for the English Champions.

There is no doubt that facing Manchester City away from home is an uphill task and a challenge that even the very best teams find tricky. So, whatever happens on Sunday, it’s important that we keep perspective and don’t let it impact on our main focus for the season and our vital match against Huddersfield next weekend. Of course, whichever side Scott picks will on paper be inferior to Pep’s first choice eleven and that has been made all the more challenging with the long-list of untimely injuries we’ve suffered over the past few weeks. Couple that fact with some apathetic performances from Cairney and others in our mid-week derby and the question arises, who and how do we set up?

Most fans will probably be thinking to themselves, that given our injury problems at present, we can’t afford to risk anymore injuries this week. It would make sense to give the fringe players some game time and wrap our first team regulars in cotton wool with a nice rest so that they are mentally and physically prepared for the next league game. On the other hand, the FA Cup is a special competition and one that has been plagued with disrespect for a long time, with teams having a defeatist attitude and not taking it seriously. Sure, our chances are slim but it’s eleven vs eleven on the day and if I was Parker, I would show the team videos of the incredible great escape comeback where the impossible became the miracle to make them believe that they can compete.

Manchester City play in the League Cup semi final on Wednesday. Is there a chance they will rest the first team and underestimate us? It’s been widely reported for a long time that they are desperate for Champions League success so regardless of the Premier League being out of their grasp, is the FA Cup important to them? It’s impossible to know which eleven either side is going to play on Sunday but Scott Parker did say before the Villa win that he was a big fan of the FA Cup. Maybe he’ll take this game more seriously than most expect. If he does that then I see two players being key to us getting any kind of result.

Key Players

Bobby Reid: This may be Bobby’s biggest test of the season. An opportunity to solidify himself as a legitimate option alongside Kamara & Mitro upfront. We’ve seen it in flashes this season, his two-goal performance against Luton followed by his game-winning goal vs Stoke to end December, demonstrated that he is more than capable of being depended on, offensively speaking. His speed could be the x-factor in Sunday’s match. If he’s able to be effective off the counter attack, he should find some opportunities at goal, which we’ve seen him take advantage of before.

Michael Hector: Hec has been an absolute god-send since he arrived at the Cottage. The 27-year old has seemingly resolved a lot of the defensive issues that plagued us throughout last season and into December of this year. If we are to eliminate City Sunday, it will start with another near-flawless outing from one of our brightest of late. This game will be a contrast to our typical possession dominating displays with City being on the front foot and enjoying most of the ball. We will need to be organised and resilient at the back and any chance of a result will depend on how we defend, in that respect, Hector will have to be at his very best once again.

Score Prediction: 2-1