World Football

Fulham vs. Manchester City: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  Yaya Toure of Manchester City celebrates scoring the sixth goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on December 14, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2013

In Matchday 16, Manchester City scored six goals against Arsenal, the top team on the Premier League this season and, to that point, the league's stingiest defense. Meanwhile, in 16 game, Fulham have scored just 15 goals. 

If those two facts don't tell you everything you need to know about this match or how heavily favored City deserve to be, nothing will.

Of course, this game is at Craven Cottage and Manchester City have been an entirely different team on the road this season, with just eight of a possible 24 points away from home and losses to Cardiff City, Aston Villa and Sunderland and a draw against Stoke City.

In other words, despite the huge talent disparity, City could still find a way to give up points they should easily take.

 

When: Saturday, December 21 at 10 a.m. ET/3 p.m. GMT

Where: Craven Cottage, London, England

Watch: NBC Sports Live Extra

Odds: Manchester City (64 percent), Fulham (16.4 percent) and draw (19.6 percent), according to Bloomberg Sports

 

Key Storylines

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  Ashkan Dejagah of Fulham competes with Seamus Coleman of Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Fulham at Goodison Park on December 14, 2013 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Fulham have earned exactly one more point at home than on the road, though they haven't earned many points in general, coming into this game with just 13 points and sitting a disappointing 19th on the Premier League table.

In other words, City's road woes might come to a close at Craven Cottage.

While it looks as though Clint Dempsey will return on loan—and boy, will he be a breath of fresh air for this club—Fulham will have to make do without him until January. Against the imposing Citizens, he certainly would have been a help.

Manchester City won't be at full strength, however. Both Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta are out until some point in January and both are key figures for the club. The loss of Zabaleta is particularly damaging—as good as Aguero has been, City are loaded at forward—as right-back Micah Richards is also sidelined.

Don't be surprised to see Fulham focus their attack down their left flank to take advantage of whichever fill-in City has to go with, likely either  Dedryck Boyata, Jack Rodwell or James Milner.

It's all enough to give Fulham hope that they might be able to pull off the upset, and that's exactly what they'll be gunning to do, as left-back John Arne Riise said (via Alex Fisher of Goal.com):

It's not a game people will expect us to win but we're prepared to go out to try and get the victory. We want to go off the pitch on Saturday having given our all.

City isn't an easy game and the three games after that [against Norwich City, Hull City and West Ham] are probably bigger for us as they're against teams around us in the table. Those three games are massive but we'll certainly be aiming to cause an upset against City.

Given City's away form, it isn't out of the question.

 

Prediction

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  Fernandinho of Manchester City celebrates with team mates after scoring their third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on December 14, 2013 in Manchester,
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

City may not be a great away team, but they are on excellent form at the moment, with recent wins over Bayern Munich and Arsenal. Even without Aguero and Zabaleta, they are one of the most dangerous teams in all of Europe and beating Fulham should be a formality.

It won't be, of course. The Citizens simply become average on the road. But Fulham have been so terribly below-average this year, they won't prevent City from earning the full three points.

It won't be pretty, but City win, 2-0.

 

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