The stakes are high for relegation-threatened Fulham as they entertain Premier League pacesetters Manchester City at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
The hosts are chasing their first top-flight home win against this opposition in the 21st century, having lost seven of their 13 encounters this millennium (D6).
Fulham’s Premier League status is hanging in the balance, as they currently sit in the drop zone but level on points with 17th-placed Brighton & Hove Albion.
Meanwhile, the Cityzens will be looking to extend their winning run against the Cottagers to 11 matches in all competitions and move a step closer towards lifting the Premier League title.
Low scoring has been a common theme in Fulham’s recent Premier League fixtures, as all of the last eight have featured under 2.5 total goals.
The clean-sheet theme remains equally significant, as eight of their previous ten top-flight matches have seen one or both sides fail to get on the scoresheet.
Scott Parker’s men have won three of their last six Premier League games (D2, L1), one more than they had in their first 22 in the competition this season (W2, D9, L11).
However, it will be a daunting task for the Cottagers to keep their form going against a side they have failed to defeat in their last 13 Premier League meetings (D3, L10).
Indeed, Fulham have lost their eight top-flight head-to-head clashes in a row by an aggregate score of 3-23, drawing a blank in each of the last four.
The runaway Premier League leaders bounced back from a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United with a 5-2 thumping of Southampton in midweek.
Pep Guardiola’s men currently enjoy a seven-match winning streak away from home in the Premier League, having returned a +16 goal difference from that run (GF:19, GA:3).
Although just 38.46% of their away Premier League fixtures this season have produced 2+ goals before half-time, the Cityzens have bagged a league-high 16 first-half goals on the road.
Starting well will boost City’s chances of winning here, knowing they have won 94.12% of the Premier League games in which they were leading at half-time this term (GP18 – W17, D1).
They were 2-0 ahead at the interval in both of their previous top-flight trips to Craven Cottage, subsequently winning both of those encounters by a two-goal margin.
Out: Tom Cairney, Marek Rodak.
Out: Nathan Ake
Fulham (4-4-2): Alphonse Areola; Kenny Tete, Joachim Andersen, Tosin Adarabioyo, Ola Aina; Bobby Reid, Mario Lemina, Harrison Reed, Ademola Lookman; Josh Maja, Ivan Cavaliero,
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Kevin de Bruyne, Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan; Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling,