FA Cup action returns this weekend, and holders Manchester City continue their quest to defend this trophy as they host Championship side Fulham on Sunday afternoon.
City dismantled Port Vale in the previous round 4-1, but could be in for a trickier test against a side who are in the midst of a promotion battle.
Fulham reached the fourth round after an impressive 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage against Premier League side Aston Villa, and are currently in good form as they sit in third in the Championship.
Here is 90min’s preview of the game.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 26 January|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||13:00 (GMT)|
|Where Is it Played?||Etihad Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BBC 1|
It is likely that we will see some changes from the Spaniard, but you can still guarantee that they will field an extremely strong starting XI.
A huge blow for Fulham manager Scott Parker is that top goalscorer and talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic is set to miss the tie with an ankle injury, which seriously dampens their chances of causing an upset.
Aboubakar Kamara and Anthony Knockaert are also unlikely to be risked with the pair just returning from injury.
|Manchester City||Bravo; Cancelo, Stones, Garcia, Zinchenko; Gundogan, D.Silva, Foden; B.Silva, Aguero, Sterling.|
|Fulham||Rodak; Christie, Hector, Mawson, Odoi; Arter, Onomah, McDonald, Cairney; Cavaleiro, Reid.|
Manchester City have played Fulham 66 times, with Guardiola’s men leading the head-to-head with 33 wins to their opponents’ 17 wins.
City have won all eight of their previous meetings, and are also unbeaten in their last 14 in all competitions against the Cottagers. Fulham’s last win against City came way back in 2009, as a Clint Dempsey brace helped them to a 3-1 away win.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides in the FA Cup since 1914, with City winning that game 2-0.
Despite performances being inconsistent and not up to the usual standard, City have won four of their last five game, with the return of Sergio Aguero giving Guardiola a timely boost.
Fulham are also in some good form, and are unbeaten in their last four games. Their good run of form in the Championship has meant that they have closed the gap on the top two and now sit in third place, just three points off Leeds United in second.
|Sheffield United 0-1 Manchester City (21/01)||Charlton 0-0 Fulham (22/01)|
|Manchester City 2-2 Crystal Palace (18/01)||Fulham 1-0 Middlesbrough (17/01)|
|Aston Villa 1-6 Manchester City (12/01)||Hull City 0-1 Fulham (11/01)|
|Manchester United 1-3 Manchester City (07/01)||Fulham 2-1 Aston Villa (04/01)|
|Manchester City 4-1 Port Vale (04/101)||Fulham 1-2 Reading (01/01)|
City aren’t going to field a weak team, and should simply have just way too much quality for Fulham. As well as that, Parker may not take this game too seriously especially with Mitrovic out, and will instead have his eye on promotion back to the Premier League rather than a cup run. This points to nothing else but a routine home win for City.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Fulham