Manchester United v Fulham: Struggling Londoners can upset odds
Dan Fitch thinks rock bottom Fulham can have some success against a beatable Manchester United side.
"Fulham might be improving defensively, but they have still conceded five goals in three games. United come into this match off the back of two consecutive 2-2 draws."
Manchester United [1.37] v Fulham [10.0]; The Draw [5.7]
Saturday 8 December, 15:00
Mourinho still failing to find winning combination
Increasingly, Jose Mourinho's team selections and tactical decisions seem to be influenced by his own desperation.
It is practically impossible to second guess Manchester United's starting XI, as the manager has no idea what his best team is and flits between personnel and systems, as he hopes to land upon a winning formula. On Wednesday, Mourinho opted to play with three central defenders and two wing-backs against Arsenal, but his team still defended terribly in a entertaining 2-2 draw.
Considering that so much of Manchester United's season has been far from entertaining, the game was something of a high point, even though the team failed to win at home. United do tend to look better against opponents that seek to attack them, rather than those that are content to sit back and challenge Mourinho's side to break them down and the good news is that Fulham seem likelier to fall into the former category than the latter.
A worry for Mourinho is the fitness of the in-form Anthony Martial, who was substituted with an injury after scoring against Arsenal. Martial and Luke Shaw face fitness tests and may join the injured Victor Lindelof and Alexis Sanchez on the sidelines.
Fulham improving yet still in trouble
Fulham can be pleased with their start under new manager Claudio Ranieri, but are still in dire need of points.
The Cottagers are rock bottom of the Premier League, with the worst goal difference in the top flight, despite only losing one of their games in the brief Ranieri era (P3 W1 D1 L1). Four points from a possible six at home is encouraging, with a 3-2 victory over Southampton being followed by a midweek 1-1 draw with Leicester, that saw Fulham concede a second-half equaliser.
Leicester are in good form and the fact that Fulham kept them at bay for so long, points to an improvement in defence. So too does the respectable 2-0 defeat away at Chelsea last weekend. Prior to Ranieri's arrival, that is a match that they might have lost by a bigger margin.
The injured Floyd Ayite and Kevin McDonald are unavailable to Ranieri, who will also be without the on-loan Timothy Fosu-Mensah who is ineligible to play against his parent club.
United way too short
Manchester United are the [1.37] favourites, with the draw at [5.7] and Fulham out at [10.0].
It's an awfully short price for a United side that are without a win in their last four Premier League matches. They have drawn three of these games, with two coming against sides in Crystal Palace and Southampton who were in poor form.
The draw certainly looks generously priced and as Fulham have no reason to be meek against a beatable United side, another bet to consider is the away team in the Double Chance market at [3.7].
Goals will flow
Fulham might be improving defensively, but they have still conceded five goals in three games. United come into this match off the back of two consecutive 2-2 draws. Clearly there is the potential for goals.
Both teams to score looks likely to land at [1.91], while over 3.5 goals is [2.52].
Mitrovic value to add to his tally
Romelu Lukaku is the favourite to find the net at [2.0], but was on the bench against Arsenal. With Martial's fitness in doubt, Marcus Rashford may be the best bet amongst United's players at [2.3].
For Fulham, their top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic looks a big price at [3.8] to add to his seven Premier League goals this season.
Dan Fitch 2018/19 Season P/L
Staked: 276.00 pts
Returned: 290.83 pts
P/L: +14.83 pts
Back Manchester United and Fulham to draw at [5.7]
Back both Manchester United and Fulham to score at [1.91]