Being the last team in action was supposed to be a disadvantage for Manchester United, but with Manchester City slipping up, their Monday night clash with Fulham presents a chance to open up a three-point lead…
This fixture could not only provide Manchester United with an opportunity to build a formidable advantage at the top of the table but to close their neighbours’ four-strike superior goal difference too.
Fulham have had a torrid time at Old Trafford since enjoying an unlikely victory there in 2003, tasting defeat on their last eight visits and faring progressively more miserably.
They have failed to score on their last four trips up to face the champions, conceding ten in the process and that dismal record carried over to Craven Cottage earlier in the campaign where the title favourites were 5-0 winners.
Fulham’s away form this season offers even more evidence that the usual pattern will be sustained in their latest encounter. Martin Jol’s side have scored a divisional low of eight goals on their travels, firing seven blanks.
With Manchester United keeping 14 clean sheets, more than any other top-flight club, the 5/6 available on them triumphing to nil is arguably more appealing than they 2/9 that they claim all three points as expected.
Fulham have undermined a respectable defensive record by conceding three or more on six separate occasions, showing that when they do have an off day, things can get ugly, as was clear to see in the reverse fixture.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have prevailed 3-0 in two of the last three collisions between the two at Old Trafford, and with the hosts netting ten times across their last three Premier League games, that looks a good bet again at 7/1.
Wayne Rooney was first of the mark in two of their last three domestic matches and is 9/4 to break the deadlock again.