Opposition Focus: Man City

Craven Cottage, Saturday 30th March, 12:30pm


16/03/19 – Swansea 2-3 Man City (FA Cup)
12/03/19 – Man City 7-0 Schalke (UCL)
09/03/19 – Man City 3-1 Watford
02/03/19 – Bournemouth 0-1 Man City
27/02/19 – Man City 1-0 West Ham


Pep has used his 4-3-3 to great success this season. His attacks turn into a 2-5-3 diamond, with Walker coming in central and Delph staying wide, but both can play the inverted fullback role, but the work in the centre by Fernandinho is pivotal. Anyone who suits up for City can score, but of course look no further than Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. Both Sterling and Sane scored goals during the international break, and it would be no surprise to see Guardiola start them against us.

Battle to Watch

Mitrović vs Kompany: It’s still a scoring drought for Mitrovic, not only for us, but it’s been the same for country. The chance of him ending it against City is not helped by the fact that Vincent Kompany was put through the paces during the break. Kompany is known for his physicality, but also his decision making. Considering we tend to isolate Mitro, it will be important he manages to hold off Kompany, or any of the City centre-backs, as long as possible for our attack to have a chance in reaching their defensive third.

Danger Man

Sergio Aguero was not involved in any national team duties, so he will be fresh as can be on Saturday, however, one cannot deny the current momentum that Raheem Sterling has, and will be sure to add to his tally of overall goals scored this month of March alone.

Last 5 Meetings

01/11/18 – Man City 2-0 Fulham (EFL Cup)
15/09/18 – Man City 3-0 Fulham (PL)
22/03/14 – Man City 5-0 Fulham (PL)
21/12/13 – Fulham 2-4 Man City (PL)
19/01/13 – Man City 2-0 Fulham (PL)


Fulham wins 17
Draws 16
Man City wins 32

Stats & Facts

  • Fulham have failed to win any of their last 13 meetings with Man City in all competitions, losing the last seven and ten in total (D3).
  • The Whites have failed to score in five of the last seven meetings with Man City in all competitions, scoring just three times in that period through Mladen Petric’s penalty, Vincent Kompany’s own-goal and Kieran Richardson.
  • Fulham have failed to keep a clean sheet in the last 23 meetings with Man City in all competitions since a 0-0 Premier League draw at the Etihad Stadium in March 2004.
  • The Cottagers have not beaten City at home in eight attempts since a 2-1 Premier League win at Craven Cottage in November 2005, courtesy of Steed Malbranque’s first-half double either side of Lee Croft’s equaliser.
  • Fulham have lost their last seven Premier League games. It is their worst ever run of successive defeats in the Premier League-era.
  • Fulham have lost their last seven Premier League games. It is their worst ever run of successive defeats in the Premier League-era, and their worst run since a club record 11 straight league defeats in Division One between December 1961 and February 1962.

Players in Common

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

Magic Moment

In September 2007 during the opening months of what would become the Great Escape season, Fulham drew 3-3 with Sven Goran Eriksson’s Man City who were in the early stages of progressing to the dominance we are now used to today.

It was a topsy turvy encounter with both sides cancelling each other out. But the standout moment of the match came in the second half when forgotten wideman Hameur Bouazza rifled home a free kick from just outside the box. It was hit with such power that it’s lucky there was a net in place to protect the fans in the Hammersmith End as the keeper had no chance.

I’m surprised the impact didn’t dislocate his arm again!

Opposition View (@MANCITYFANTV1)

A lot of Fulham fans have noticed a massive change and turnover in supporters since we joined the Premier League. More tourists and “neutral” spectators. Are Man City still the same club to the die-hard fan or has something been lost in that aspect in order for the club to take their ‘leap to stardom’?

OK – where to start on this one… whenever you have a large capacity stadium like The Emirates, Old Trafford, The Etihad, etc. there will always be opportunities for spare tickets for what you call the ‘tourist’ or ‘neutral’ fan. Furthermore, when you are successful, as City have been for the past 7 seasons and your club is smashing all Premier League records and playing what some may describe as the best football the Premier League has seen, people will want to come and watch that team. It has happened at every successful club. Why do United and Liverpool have a massive following in Ireland and Scandinavia? They’re not expats, they’re natives to that country because of their success in the past. It’s a by-product and I don’t mind it.

The next part is with regards to ‘has something been lost’… absolutely not. The hardcore fans still turn up week in week out. Amazingly, most of the ‘Emptihad’ jibes are from opposition fan Millenials who have never even been to watch their own club they support! Here’s something that these fans should realise about Manchester City fans (see Tweet below).

What are your feelings about a potential two season Champions League ban?

Who is going to give us a two-season Champions League ban? First I’ve heard of that. Just being facetious. Fans, in general, need to understand a few things about UEFA/FIFA bans. Firstly, no charges have been brought against Man City by UEFA over FFP. That’s a fact. Secondly, the rumour about a transfer ban was from journalists interpreting what FIFA may do (nothing to do with Champions Lleague) over the Sancho payment and signings made to U16 players. The actual ban Chelsea received for their 29 offences – was over 2 transfer ‘windows’, not seasons. We are being investigated for 9 players. Therefore, IF found guilty of offences that City claim have been approved by the FA/Premier Lleague…. then the FA/Premier League will also be fined/suspended for failing FIFA rulings. At the most, if true, it’ll be 2 transfer windows, not 2 seasons. FIFA have said that Chelsea cannot suspend the charge whilst it’s being challenged – no doubt that challenge is happening as we speak before the summer window opens.

Is Guardiola the real deal or has he just inherited the best team in the league like he did at Barcelona and Bayern Munich?

Ask Sir Alex Ferguson (who many say is the best manager EVER) what his thoughts on Guardiola are (See Guillem Ballague’s book PEP – Another Way of Winning) – he wrote the Foreword to it. First, there was Cruyff, now there’s Guardiola.

When Pep inherited the Barca team from Rijkaard, it was full of Galactico’s with a young Lionel Messi. He got rid of the problem players who didn’t want to change and brought through the likes of Busquets, Pique and Iniesta, switching Messi to a different role. His Barca team are still considered the greatest ever – consider what Barca had won before Pep took over to when he left them. At Bayern, he changed the philosophy of the Bayern Munich approach, to play more attractive football… making players like Kimmich into world class full backs. Apart from the Directors and Doctors at Bayern, you’ll rarely hear anything but praise for Pep from the Bayern players. At City, you only have to look at what he did last season, and again, still in with a chance of the quadruple and we’ll probably smash our goal record of last season.

You’re still on for the quadruple and good luck with it. But if you could only win the Premier League or the Champions League this season, which would it be and why?

I’m old-school. Premier League every day of the week. Champions League is a cup competition where there are so many variables. Injuries, poor referee decisions (see last years Quarter-Final vs Liverpool), a one-off bad game etc. The Premier League is over 38 games. It requires consistency and know-how. Especially this season as we could be the first team in over a decade to win it back-to-back.

Fulham are proof that spending money doesn’t guarantee success. Considering the stick Man City have received since Sheikh Mansour took over, what did you think when we became the first promoted club to spend over 100 million? (Only Liverpool spent more than us!)

I don’t care about it. It seems that only opposition fans worry about what you spend. The cult that are Liverpool fans are living proof. Their Manager even more so. Moaned and whined about others spending money, said he would never do it… 18 months later they spent £75m on a ‘keeper and the same on a center-back… they’re all hypocrites. Just keep filling up your car, that’s all I’ll say!

Look for a great computer graphic on Twitter that shows the top spending clubs in Europe since the Premier League inception. United and Liverpool were in the top 4-6 nearly every year until Chelsea and City came along and they claim money doesn’t bring success? Nonsense.

How do you see the game panning out?

We’re hopeful De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Stones and Mendy will be back. So I think it will be a tight one, as I’m not sure if this game isn’t too soon for some of them.

Score prediction – Fulham 1-3 Man City

Predicted Line-up – Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko, Bernardo, Fernandinho, D. Silva, Sterling, Aguero & Sane.

Thanks to Andy (@AviationBlue) from Man City Fan TV for answering our questions. Check out their YouTube channel.

Match Prediction

We’re well past the new manager bounce now and it’s time to see what Parker’s tactical set up is going to look like knowing what Manchester City is all about. Enough negatives have been said about Anguissa this season, which is why it was great to see a flood of positives for the young man after his Man of the Match performance against Liverpool.

Positive performances only get you so far, and as we are a team battling relegation, we need the points more than City do. Unfortunately, it is hard to not think we are merely a speed bump on the way to the top of the Premier League.

One can be dangerous and hope though. Just maybe we’ll be the ones scoring off their mistakes and maybe Mitro will bag his own hat-trick. We have been written off but I believe in the concept that you are more than the sum of your past mistakes. We have made a lot of them but maybe this is the time to forget that, take on the rest of the matches, and maybe City is our speedbump towards safety. Boldly, I say a 2-1 victory with Babel scoring the tying goal, and an own-goal by Walker wins it for us. COYW!!

Predicted Lineup