As if the pressure of competing for the Premier League title against your bitter local rivals wasn’t enough, the good old TV scheduler has the ability to heap on a whole load more. Man City missed the chance to close the gap on Man United to just two points on Tuesday night as they played 24 hours before the leaders. As it happened, QPR held firm and it was United who took advantage to pull even further clear at the top. This weekend it is United who have the opportunity to transfer the pressure on to City as they face Fulham on Saturday afternoon and City don’t play Liverpool until Sunday. It already looks like a must win game for City if they’re going to have a chance of winning the title, but if United can win 24 hours earlier they will open a whopping 10 point gap on their rivals.
Man United have carried on their strong form this year and have now taken an incredible 32 points from the last possible 36. In Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie they have one of the most prolific forward lines in the country (dare I say world?!) and Fergie will be thrilled to see these two combining so well. Away from this pair of headline grabbers, the United team is full players who are quietly playing some of the best football of their careers – Carrick, Cleverley, Rafael, and the goal machine at left back, Patrice Evra, for example. Of course, if the starting XI fail to produce the goods, SAF can call for back up in the shape of Hernandez, Welbeck and the wise heads of Giggs and Scholes.
This weekend, Fulham are the hosts with last week’s 4-1 FA Cup defeat at Old Trafford still fresh in the memory. Fulham will have taken some confidence and probably a huge sigh of relief after they final got three points against West Ham on Wednesday, which lifted them to 12th in the table and 8 points clear of the relegation zone. We think they’ll be even more grateful for that win after United have come and gone. Fulham’s defence has been leaky to say the least, without a clean sheet in their last 10 league games, and United can surely keep this barren run going. Sadly this weekend we won’t get the opportunity to watch Berbatov against his old side as he’s out with an injury and without their talisman Fulham may struggle for goals.
All in all, after what happened last season, there’s absolutely no chance that Fergie will let his side take their foot off the gas and we expect them to win at Fulham.
£25 – Manchester United win @ 1.63