It’s the champions’ turn to go first in the title race this week, as they head to Craven Cottage for Saturday’s early kick-off. We look ahead to the game with our Fulham vs Manchester City prediction and preview.

Fulham vs Manchester City Stats: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta Supercomputer is backing Manchester City to go top of the Premier League table on Saturday, with the champions given a 61.6% chance of overcoming Fulham.
  • City have won their last 15 games against Fulham in all competitions – the joint-longest winning run any team has recorded against another in English football history.
  • Erling Haaland has netted five goals in three Premier League matches against Fulham, scoring a penalty in each of those games. No player has ever scored from the spot on four successive Premier League appearances against a single opponent.

Match Preview

Manchester City have spent the last few weeks responding to Arsenal in the Premier League title race, but on Matchday 37, they have a chance to put the Gunners under pressure when they go to Craven Cottage for Saturday’s early kick-off. City’s ominous form has their rivals praying for a favour, but history suggests Fulham may not be the team to provide one.

Man City have won their last 15 matches against Fulham across all competitions, the joint-longest winning run any team has ever recorded against another in English football history, with City also enjoying 15-game streaks against Bournemouth and Watford.

Pep Guardiola’s side have not shown any signs of blinking thus far, crushing Wolves 5-1 last time out to make it six league wins in a row while also chipping away at Arsenal’s superior goal difference. Having returned from injury with a goal at Nottingham Forest one week earlier, Erling Haaland scored four times within 54 minutes in a devastating display. Only Gabriel Jesus has ever had four goals at an earlier point in a Premier League game, doing so within 53 minutes as City beat Watford 5-1 in 2022.

Fulham are another of Haaland’s favourite opponents, with the Norwegian netting five times in three league games against them, including a hat-trick as City won the reverse fixture 5-1 in September. He has scored a penalty in all three of those games; no player has ever converted from the spot in four straight Premier League matches against a single opponent.

Haaland has also been involved in 11 goals in his 11 previous Premier League games in London, scoring nine and assisting two, while only failing to record a goal involvement on three of his trips to the capital thus far.

Rodri was another of City’s star performers against Wolves, recording two assists including a hanging cross for Haaland’s excellent second – a back-post header that gave José Sá no chance. Rodri failed to assist multiple goals on any of his first 161 Premier League appearances, but he has now done so twice in his last eight (also versus Man Utd), teeing up six goals in total during that run.

City have not lost any of their last 47 Premier League games in which the Spaniard has featured. Only three players have ever enjoyed a longer unbeaten run in the competition; Sol Campbell went 56 matches without defeat between November 2002 and October 2004, while both Kolo Touré and Thierry Henry had 48-game runs between May 2003 and October 2004.

City enter this weekend with a clean bill of health, with the likes of Rúben Dias, John Stones and Jérémy Doku eyeing starts after being benched last week.

A run of just one win from seven Premier League games (three draws, three defeats) has surely put a top-half finish beyond Fulham, who are now jostling for position with Brighton and Hove Albion, Wolves and a resurgent Crystal Palace in mid-table.

Marco Silva’s men were left to rue wasted opportunities as they played out a goalless draw with Brentford last week, with Raúl Jiménez missing a glaring chance worth 0.4 expected goals (xG) and Alex Iwobi striking the crossbar.

Only Liverpool (24 times) have hit the woodwork more often than Fulham (18) in the Premier League this season, while Fulham’s own woodwork has also been struck more than that of any other team (19 times).

Fulham’s drop-off has coincided with the goals drying up for Rodrigo Muniz, who scored eight times in eight Premier League appearances through February and March but has since netted once in his last six – in a 1-1 draw with Palace last time out at Craven Cottage.

Muniz is a high-volume shooter, his average of 4.24 non-penalty attempts per 90 minutes this season putting him second to Darwin Núñez (4.7) among all Premier League players. City have not quite exerted the same level of control this season as they did in 2022-23, so he may get opportunities on Saturday.

City have faced, on average, 10.1 shots per away Premier League game this season, four more than they have given up at the Etihad Stadium (6.1). Only four teams in the competition have a bigger difference between shots faced on the road and at home, though the Citizens’ average of 17.8 shots attempted on their travels is a league-high figure.

Fulham vs Manchester City Head-to-Head

Fulham have won just one of their 15 home Premier League games against City (five draws, nine defeats), with Chris Coleman masterminding a 2-1 triumph over Stuart Pearce’s team in November 2005.

They felt hard done by in September’s reverse fixture as Nathan Aké’s goal was controversially allowed to stand amid appeals for offside, putting City 2-1 up after Tim Ream had cancelled out Julián Álvarez’s opener.

City pulled clear in the second half, though, with Haaland’s hat-trick handing them a 5-1 win.

City have scored on all 15 of their previous Premier League trips to Fulham. It is the joint-most any team has faced another on the road without ever failing to score in the competition’s history, with Man Utd also netting on all 15 of their visits to Middlesbrough.

Recent Form

City are unbeaten in their last 20 Premier League games (16 wins, four draws). They have won each of their last six while netting four or more goals in five of them – against Aston Villa (4-1), Palace (4-2), Luton Town (5-1), Brighton (4-0) and Wolves (5-1).

Since losing 1-0 at Villa in early December, which remains their most recent defeat in any competition excluding penalty shootouts, City have won eight of their nine away Premier League games, only slipping up in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

Fulham, meanwhile, are winless in three league games at Craven Cottage (one draw, two defeats), their longest run without a victory at home this campaign.

Silva’s side have, however, earned 29 of their 44 Premier League points at home this season. Only the league’s current top seven have bettered their tally of nine wins on their own turf in 2023-24.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off on Saturday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Fulham vs Manchester City Prediction

The Opta supercomputer is not forecasting any surprises on Saturday, with City triumphant in 61.6% of match simulations conducted ahead of kick-off.

Fulham are given just a 15.0% chance of victory, while the likelihood of a draw – which could mean goal difference comes into play in the title race – is rated at 23.4%.

Ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, City are assigned a 67.2% chance of defending their title, with Arsenal dethroning them in 32.8% of scenarios.

Fulham, meanwhile, remain 13th in 49% of the supercomputer’s season simulations, dropping to 14th in 26% and only pushing into the top half in 1.9%.

Fulham vs Manchester City Prediction

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