Three Key Battles of the game between Manchester City & Fulham
Champions Manchester City will look to keep close distance on early pace-setters when they face newly-promoted Fulham at the Etihad stadium. It will be an interesting game as the Cottagers are not the ones who will just sit deep and play for a point. Instead, Slavisa Jokanovic’s men are a front-foot team who will look to play their own game against the Cityzens.
Having spent a fortune on several new players this summer, Fulham do look a bit rusty partly because the manager is still unsure of his best line-up. He would be required to get his tactics spot on and defy whatever the champions throw at them.
For City, it will be all about finding the rhythm and continue winning, with the Liverpool game around the corner early next month. Guardiola is a fantastic manager and he will make sure there isn’t any complacency.
Here are the three key battles for the game on Saturday:
Manchester City’s attack vs Fulham’s defence
Manchester City’s attack is probably the best in the world at the moment, and Fulham will have to contend with that if they are to have any chance of getting something from the game. Solidity and communication at the back will be key for the Cottagers, along with making sure they do not get too deep and allow the opposition some easy possession around the box.
A good balance needs to be found out otherwise City can have an easy afternoon.
On paper, Fulham do possess some quality names in midfield to challenge the formidable line-up of Manchester City. The likes of Jean Michael Seri and Tom Cairney are high-class talents on the ball who can make things happen from tight spots. The only thing they need to do is to be disciplined off the ball and make sure City do not dominate the central areas of the pitch.
For the Champions, it will be a matter of passing it around with precision and remaining solid against a team who will, at times, press hard to win back possession.
Mitrovic vs Stones and Laporte/Kompany
Aleksandar Mitrovic has been in phenomenal form in front of goal this season, netting four in four appearances. The Serbian is expected to have a tough afternoon against a City team who will dominate possession and territory.
Hence, the striker needs to reach all the balls played towards him and wait for midfield runners to join before laying it off. Set-piece situations will also be very important for the away side.