Fulham will be without former Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov as they prepare to face the Premier League leaders for the second Saturday in succession. Martin Jol will also be without Eyong Enoh and Stanislav Manolev as they both await their work permits, although fellow deadline-day loan signing Urby Emanuelson is included in the squad.
Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez were both on the score sheet when Manchester United met Fulham in the FA Cup last weekend.
The Fulham boss has spoken of his satisfaction with his business in the January transfer window, which acts as a further boost after a much-needed 3-1 victory at home to West Ham on Wednesday. It will take something special, though, to overcome a United side that inflicted a comprehensive 4-1 defeat on them last week.
United’s only activity in the transfer window was to sign and then loan back Wilfried Zaha and manager Sir Alex Ferguson has every right to believe that his squad is suitably equipped to regain the Premier League title.
After coming through a hard-fought match with Southampton on Wednesday, 2-1, Ferguson said on Friday that he was happy with the players at his disposal.
“We're quite healthy in terms of the players available,” he explained, according to Manchester United’s official website. “Ashley Young's the one that's still not available. Hopefully Jonny [Evans] trains today, which would give us another defender. That's good news. I'll make one or two changes tomorrow. Rio Ferdinand will play. Definitely.”
United have won six and drawn one of their last seven meetings with Fulham.
D: Riether, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise
M: Duff, Karagounis, Sidwell, Rodallega
Manchester United (probable)
G: De Gea
D: Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra
M: Carrick, Cleverley
Valencia, Kagawa, Rooney
F: Van Persie
Prediction: Manchester United have taken an incredible 32 points from the last 36 on offer and it is hard to bet against them right now. Emanuelson should make a positive impact on Fulham’s midfield, although he will take some time to get up to speed having made just one appearance for Milan in the past six weeks.
Without Berbatov, Fulham may struggle to pose an attacking threat even if United decide to rest Nemanja Vidic. A comfortable away win looks to be on the cards.
Fulham 0-2 Manchester United
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League game will kick-off from Craven Cottage at 12.30 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by the Fox Soccer Channel, with an online stream available later in the day via Fox Soccer 2Go.
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