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Manchester City vs Fulham in the F.A. Cup on Feb 5. 2022 - Odds & Prediction

Manchester City vs Fulham in the F.A. Cup on Feb 5. 2022 - Odds & Prediction

The F.A. Cup has a habit of throwing up interesting ties and the Etihad will arguably play host to the most interesting of this season’s Fourth Round pairings, as Premier League leaders Manchester City play host to Championship leaders Fulham.

With both clubs leading their respective leagues by some distance, they will look to carry on their positive momentum this weekend and although City will be favourites to advance, Fulham will fancy the test against top-tier opposition as well.

  • Kindly note that all information in this preview, including whether or not the events will take place, is subject to change due to Covid-19.
MarketPrediction
Leading After 30 MinutesMan City
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City Leading After 30 Minutes

With Manchester City being clear favourites to advance to the Fifth Round, a bet on that outcome alone, is not one that is going to give you an abundance of riches and therefore, I will need to dig deeper in terms of a top-quality tip.

One that comes in the form of the first 30 minutes and with City liking to get out of the block quickly, they will aim to have an advantage over Fulham within the first half an hour of Saturday’s encounter.

Which is why City to be leading after 30 minutes seems such an appealing bet to me and at odds of 91/100 with bet365, it is one that will look good on any weekend F.A. Cup accumulator that you place.

Manchester City Form, squad news, opinion

After making light work of 12 Premier League outfits in a row, 13 was very much the unlucky number for Manchester City and with only a draw for their efforts at Southampton, their incredible winning streak has now come to an end.

A streak which sees City just in the distance as far as Liverpool are concerned and although the title race has had an element of life breathed into it, the Etihad outfit will still be favourites to lift this season’s edition of the Premier League.

Of course, this weekend sees no league points up for grabs and with the Road to Wembley being the path that City will tread this Saturday; they will look to take one step closer to the home of English football.

As always, the decision for Pep Guardilola will be just which group of superstars he names in the starting eleven and after impressing in the previous round against Swindon, Cole Palmer could well be in for another appearance from the beginning.

Because like Phil Foden before him, Palmer is now being trusted with more and more minutes for the first team and if his career trajectory is at the same angle, then City may well have uncovered another homegrown talent.

In terms of injuries and suspensions going into the visit of Fulham, City will be able to call upon the services of Riyad Mahrez once again and his inclusion in the matchday squad will be a huge boost to Pep Guardiola’s title push.

Fulham Form, squad news, opinion

Although Fulham were held at home to Blackpool last weekend, you get the feeling that football was not the main thing on the players’ mind and after the sad passing of a supporter at Craven Cottage, dropped points at home are of little concern.

With that said, the Cottagers are still clear at the top of the EFL Championship and under the tutelage of manager Marco Silva, look in a strong position to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

In addition to that, their healthy buffer at the top of the Championship table, means they can also afford to have a fair crack at the F.A. Cup and not just look at the extra matches as something of an inconvenience.

Which means Marco Silva and his men will be up for the challenge that awaits them at the Etihad and although it will certainly be a tough one, this Fulham side are at least showing more of a swagger this season.

Admittedly that swagger comes from playing at a step below, but they are winning matches with regularity and if there is one thing that you need to bring to the Etihad, it is a considerable amount of momentum.

In terms of injuries and suspensions for the trip to Manchester City, Kenny Tete looks set to miss out after suffering a groin injury a few weeks ago. However, both Bobby Reid and Antonee Robinson will be available after their returns from international duty.

History

When it comes to the history of these two clubs and their encounters on the playing field, things have only really gotten interesting since the turn of the millennium and with both clubs landing an influx of cash from rich benefactors, they have both seen a rise up through the divisions.

In terms of their overall head-to-head record, Manchester City have won on 36 occasions, Fulham 17 and there have been 16 draws

About the Venue

The Etihad is often accused of being rather quiet and although they may have the best team in England, their supporters are a little shy when it comes to decibels. However, tell that to any diehard City fan and they will laugh at the suggestion that their ground is a quiet one.

With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in England, it means there is no longer the need to show a Vaccine Passport before attending the ground. Which means, match tickets are the only item that is required to be produced at the time of writing.

Conclusion

Two teams at the top of their respective league tables will always make for an interesting F.A. Cup sub-plot and this weekend’s clash between Manchester City and Fulham will certainly be no different.

Of course, City will go into this game as favourites and especially as they are also backed up by home advantage. However, their recent draw with Southampton does suggest that are at least human and Fulham will hope that another weakness is displayed by the hosts on Saturday.

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