Man City vs Fulham Predictions: In-form Mahrez ready to fire on return
Premier League leaders Man City host Championship table-toppers Fulham at the Etihad on Saturday afternoon in what is expected to be an entertaining FA Cup fourth round encounter between two in-form teams where winning has been the norm this season.
Man City’s quest for another domestic treble may be over, but they will still be confident that they can secure the Premier League and FA Cup double, and maybe even that elusive Champions League trophy. Pep Guardiola has, perhaps surprisingly, only lifted the FA Cup once since arriving in England, something he’ll be looking to change this season.
City beat Swindon 4-1 in the third round, yet will likely face a sterner challenge - and potential banana skin - against a free-scoring Fulham side who are enjoying a sensational season under Marco Silva. The Cottagers, who beat Bristol City in the third round, have lost just once since the start of October, scoring 6+ goals in three of their last five games.
Successfully predicting a Guardiola starting-11 is akin to completing a Wordle on your first guess, yet the Spaniard went surprisingly strong in the third round win at Swindon, and given that City haven’t played in two weeks he’ll no doubt be eager to give many of his star names a run out to keep them fresh ahead of the mid-week clash with Brentford.
Fulham are likely to give Liverpool’s on-loan Neco Williams his debut, while Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fabio Carvalho, and Harry Wilson will all be expected to feature.
Man City are as short as 1/9 to win in 90 minutes, Fulham can be backed out at 20/1 to spring a surprise, with the draw at the end of normal time priced at 8/1.
Man City vs Fulham Tips
While Man City were held by a spirited Southampton in their last outing, the draw did at least extend their unbeaten run to 14 domestic matches. Now back on home soil, they’ll be bidding to record their ninth straight in front of their own fans, and their eleventh consecutive triumph over Fulham spanning back 11 years.
A win for Pep’s juggernauts is obviously minuscule at 1/9, yet there’s value to be had in a Man City win and both teams to score at 7/5 with Bet365.
After all, it’s a game that screams goals. Whatever team Pep opts to play will be drenched in attacking talent, and you fear the worst for Fulham if the hosts click into gear early doors.
However, it’s not often City face a side that’s outscored them this season but that’s the case when they lock horns with Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
The free-scoring Cottagers have been absolutely sensational in front of goal this season. A staggering return of 74 goals in just 28 Championship games is not only absurd but nearly 30 more than anyone else. Silva’s sizzlers have scored seven goals twice, six goals twice, they’ve had a five-goal haul, and bagged four on a further four occasions. Mitrovic alone has 28 goals already, an exceptional tally - he’s 3/1 to score at the Etihad.
Fulham are brimming with confidence and don’t have anything to lose on Saturday. It’s a free hit against the best team in Europe. The focus is very much on securing promotion back to the Premier League but, while we don’t expect them to shock City, Saturday’s trip north provides an exciting opportunity to see how far they’ve progressed from a disappointing 2020/21 season. Given their fire power and sky-high self-belief we believe they’ll find the back of the net, at least once.
After returning from AFCON, Riyad Mahrez is primed for a starting spot on Saturday.
The Algerian has been in excellent form at club level, bagging five goals in his last five appearances, while he has 13 goals to his name this season.
In the Premier League, he has the same goal conversion rate as Mo Salah - both 27% - whereas his record of 0.64 goals per 90 is second only to the Egyptian king.
We’ve paired Mahrez finding the back of the net (8/11) with a yellow card for Neco Williams (11/2) to produce a 10.24/1 double with Betfair.
Williams is expected to make his Fulham debut following his loan move from Liverpool, given that Denis Odoi darted off to Club Brugge.
While there’s no doubting Williams is a promising young talent, Man City away is the toughest fixture out there and whoever he faces - whether it’s Mahrez, Foden, Sterling, De Bruyne, Jesus, Grealish…or all of them - he’s going to be tested to the absolute maximum.
Back in the summer, Williams was sent-off for Wales against France, while last season he was booked in one of his rare starts for Liverpool (against Wolves). The 20-year-old has only played five times this season, and his lack of game time coupled with the fact Fulham won’t have much of the ball against a side you have to be at your best against mentally, means he could well get caught out at some point during the 90 minutes.
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