Manchester City entertain Fulham as the attempt to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup at the expense of the Championship leaders. City reached the fourth round after claiming a 4-1 win at League Two side Swindon Town, while Fulham won 1-0 at Bristol City to set up the clash in Manchester.
It will be the fourth time the two have been drawn together in the FA Cup, with City winning two to Fulham’s one. Their first meeting was back in 1908 when the two sides drew 1-1 at Hyde Road. Fulham won the replay 3-1 and they only had to wait six years before they met in the same competition.
Once again, the tie was played at Hyde Road and City gained their revenge with a 2-0 victory. 106 years separated their next FA Cup meeting and, once more it would be a meeting in Manchester. Scott Parker’s Cottagers arrived in Manchester and found themselves 2-0 down after just 14 minutes and City threatened to run riot against the Championship side. However, invoking the memories of journalists who had berated the ‘disrespectful’ City side a year earlier (9-0 against Burton Albion), the blues eased up and scored just two second half goals through Gabriel Jesus to record a 4-0 victory.
City will book their seventh consecutive appearance in the fifth round should they beat Fulham on Saturday, and the last time the blues failed to get past the fourth round was 2015, when the suffered a surprise 2-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough.
Fulham have only reached the fifth round once since 2011, when their journey was ended with a 3-0 home defeat to Spurs. They have exited the competition six times in the fourth round and on three occasions, they failed to get past the third round.
City have made the final of the competition eleven times and won six of those final appearance, while Fulham’s only final appearance came in 1975 when they were beaten 2-0 be West Ham at Wembley.
Overall, City and Fulham have faced each other 67 times since their first meeting in 1908, with the blues winning 36 to Fulham’s 17. City’s biggest win over Fulham was 5-0 in March 2014, while Fulham’s biggest win is their 5-1 victory over City in March 1984 at Craven Cottage.
City are unbeaten in 17 matches in all competitions against Fulham and have won their last eleven home and away against the Cottagers. Over the course of their 17-match unbeaten run, City have scored 45 goals compared to Fulham’s 11, and the blues have not conceded to the Cottagers in their last seven meetings.
With both teams free scoring, will the blues manage to keep an eight consecutive clean sheet, or will the visitors end the rot?