Premier League leaders Manchester City welcome Championship leaders Fulham to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday as football resumes with their FA Cup 4th round clash. The blues will be looking to continue their unbeaten run against a Fulham side who aren’t doing that badly themselves and look on course for an immediate return to the Premier League after suffering relegation last season.
It will be the third time these two have met in the competition, with City winning two and losing one. Only once was a reply required and that was when the teams drew 1-1 at Hyde Road in 1908. Fulham won the replay 3-1. They last met at this stage two years ago, with City running out 4-0 winners.
The Cottagers are in free-scoring form at the moment and have scored seventy-four league goals from twenty-eight matches. High-scoring results have included two 7-0 away wins at Blackburn and Reading, and recently recorded two home wins over Bristol City and Birmingham, both by a 6-2 scoreline.
Fulham have suffered one defeat in their last eighteen matches, a 1-0 loss at home to Sheffield United, and have only lost four matches all season. Their last match at home to Blackpool finished 1-1, ending Fulham’s five match winning run, in which they scored twenty-three goals.
In the last round, Fulham knocked out Bristol City to set up their fourth-round clash with the blues. The Cottagers are the second-best away team in the Championship, having won eight of their thirteen matches on the road, scoring an impressive thirty-seven times and conceding thirteen.
Former Newcastle man Aleksandar Mitrovic has been scoring for fun at Craven Cottage this season. From twenty-seven games, he has knocked in twenty-eight goals from his ninety-six shots, the highest by a mile in the Fulham team. His goal conversion rate is 29%, but his shot accuracy is a high 60%.
Harry Wilson is not so much hot on Mitrovich’s tails, rather just chugging along behind with nine goals. Neeskens Kebano is on eight goals while Fabio Carvalho is on seven. The latter has the best shot accuracy with 69%.
Assists have mainly been provided by Wilson, who has ten so far. 723 completed passed from 885 attempted from twenty-five games gives him a pass accuracy of 82%. And with forty-nine, Wilson has created the most chances in the side. Mitrovic is second on the list with seven assists, while the player with the best pass accuracy is Tom Cairney with 92%. He has only played fifteen matches this season but provided four assists.
Tim Ream has attempted the most passes with 2,061 and has completed 1,807 from twenty-five games, a pass accuracy of 88%, the third best in the team.
Who’s the Boss?
Former Hull, Watford and Everton boss Marco Silva is the man at the helm at Craven Cottage. The Portuguese took to the Fulham hot seat in July 2021 and has turned the team around. From thirty-one matches in charge, Silva has won nineteen and lost just four, giving him a win percentage of 61%.