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Cracking FA Cup Tie in Prospect at Theatre of Dreams

Manchester United vs Fulham

The magic of the FA Cup is set for Old Trafford this Sunday but who will benefit from such a feeling?

Certainly, Manchester United begin as firm favourites as the League Cup winners chase a quick return to Wembley.

Yet that lure is just as appealing for the Cottagers who have been a breath of fresh air since being promoted and currently sit ninth in the Premier League, confounding the doubters who tipped them to be involved in a relegation battle.

With a semi-final place up for grabs, the fourth and final tie of the weekend has all the potential hallmarks to deliver some FA Cup highlights.

Talking Points

Fulham need an in-form Aleksandar Mitrovic to win against Manchester United in the FA Cup
Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic arrives at Craven Cottage before their match against Arsenal

The key team news this weekend appears to focus on central midfield.

That is where the home side will be missing the influential Brazilian, Casemiro, as he begins a four-match suspension, joining the likes of Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek on the sidelines.

There are also doubts over the fitness of his compatriot Antony, while forward Anthony Martial is not ready to return.

While United lose a key figure in the centre of the park, Fulham will be delighted they can welcome back a vital member of their midfield.

Palhinha, who opened the scoring in their 2-0 victory over Leeds United in the previous round, has missed the last two league games through suspension and his absence has been keenly felt as a 3-2 defeat at Brentford was followed up by last Sunday’s home reverse to Arsenal.

After a below-par display, Fulham only came to life after the break when the game was effectively over.

There were mitigating circumstances with two of their most influential performers missing as Willian was also out with a back muscle injury.

If both can return this weekend, it will be a major boost for manager Marco Silva who will also be wanting to see a return to form for main marksman Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has 11 goals this season, but last found the net in January.

Fulham have had a week to prepare for this, while United’s European exertions took them to Spain where they completed a fine 5-1 aggregate success against La Liga side Real Betis.

They will be keen to sign off before the international break with another cup success and I expect an attacking contest and a cracking cup tie.

Premier League
Crystal Palace


United have won 53 of their meetings in history, few more dramatic than their most recent meeting in November when a last-gasp moment of magic from the exciting teenager Alejandro Garnacho won the day.

That compares to just 14 Fulham successes, while there have also been a further 20 draws.

The very first meeting took place in what was known as the intermediate round of the FA Cup in 1905.

In what sounded like quite a cup tie, played at Bank Street, Clayton, in Manchester, the sides drew 2-2 with Charles Mackie and Thomas Arkesden the home scorers.

The replay at Craven Cottage four days later ended goalless before Fulham finally prevailed by a solitary goal in a second replay played at Villa Park.

The very first League meeting came in the former Division Two in 1922 and also ended all square as the sides drew 1-1 at Old Trafford.

The last time they met at Old Trafford also ended 1-1 in a league match in May 2021 when Edinson Cavani netted a superb goal before Joe Bryan levelled for Fulham – by which time the west Londoners had been relegated.

It was actually the first fixture in more than a year in which spectators were allowed inside Old Trafford – around 10,000 of them – following Covid restrictions.

The last time Fulham beat United was a comprehensive 3-0 victory over the injury-hit Red Devils in 2009.

On that occasion, the scorers were Danny Murphy, Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff.

Betting Tip

It’s United all the way with the SBOTOP FA Cup betting odds.

The Red Devils are priced 1X2 @ 1.44 with Fulham well adrift @ 5.80.

Likewise, with Asian Handicap odds, the hosts can be backed -1.25 @ 2.01 with the boys from the Thames on offer +1.00 @ 2.19.

They are hardly any mugs though as they have shown on many occasions this season, ever since their opening weekend display took points of Liverpool at Craven Cottage.

That is why I am expecting another close contest.

I have considered another 2-1 United success which is available @ 7.20, along with over 3.00 goals @ 2.19, total goal 0-1 @ 3.85, 2-3 @ 1.91 and 4-6 @ 2.85.

In the end, I am plumping for a home win – just!

My *** prediction is Half Time Full Time Draw Home @ 3.85.



⭐⭐= €10 (CONFIDENT)


Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.




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