Preview: Manchester City v Fulham

Manchester City will be expected to maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League season when newly-promoted Fulham visit the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

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Premier League
15 September 2018
Gameweek 5
Kick-off: 16:00 (GMT+2)
Venue: Etihad Stadium

Referee: S. Attwell
Assistants: C. Hatzidakis, R. West
Fourth official: M. Atkinson

Head-to-head summary:


Man City 63 30 16 17
Fulham   63 17 16 30

Previous encounter:

Manchester City 5-0 Fulham (Premier League) 22/03/2014

Man City goalscorers: Y. Toure (26′ pen, 54′ pen, 65′), Fernandinho (84′), M. Demichelis (88′)

Players to watch:

Seven players have already found the back of the net for City in the league this term, but Sergio Aguero remains their biggest threat. The Argentine striker has three goals to his name in 2018/19 after bagging a hat-trick against Huddersfield, although he failed to score in the other three matches.

Aleksandar Mitrovic could prove a real handful for the Citizens. The Serbian striker has hit the ground running in the new campaign, registering four goals in his last three outings. Andre Schurrle has also impressed for the capital club with a goal in each of the games against Burnley and Brighton.

Team form and manager quotes:

The defending champions hit their stride early on with a 2-0 victory over Chelsea in the Community Shield followed by back-to-back wins against Arsenal (2-0) and Huddersfield (6-1) in the league.

However, City dropped their first points in a 1-1 draw with newcomers Wolves, before edging Newcastle 2-1 prior to the international break.

Citizens boss Pep Guardiola used the two-week respite to analyse the west Londoners and was impressed with what he saw.

“I was delighted by them. Usually, there is not too much time to watch opponents but in this case, we have had two weeks,” the Spaniard said in his pre-match press conference.

“I had time and I saw three games. I was really impressed. I understood when I watched them the reason why they are in the Premier League. They have really good players, experienced players and they try and (I like) the way they want to play.

“They want to make their own game, and I’m pretty sure Slavisa Jokanovic is going to make a good season.”

The Cottagers kicked off their campaign with successive derbies against Crystal Palace and Tottenham, both which ended in defeats.

However, they responded in style by beating Burnley 4-2, although manager Slavisa Jokanovic would have been disappointed to see his team squander a two-goal lead to be pegged back to a 2-2 draw by Brighton.

Jokanovic will be buoyed by the amount of goals in the for-column after four outings, but knows adding to that at the Etihad Stadium is going to take some doing.

“We were fighting for this kind of chance, and we must be ready for the fight, we must be ready for everything we’re going to find there,” he said.

“We must be ready to work off the ball, we must show humility and solidarity, and try and be at our highest level to have the opportunity to hurt them.”

Team news:

Raheem Sterling is available for selection, having overcome a back injury which saw him withdraw from the England squad for their games against Spain and Switzerland.

The visitors remain without skipper Tom Cairney, who has failed to recover from a foot injury he sustained against the Clarets on August 26.

Neeskens Kebano (ankle) and Tim Ream (thigh) are the other absentees for Jokanovic.