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United Favourites for Fulham Clash

Fulham visit Old Trafford

Manchester United will be looking to take one step closer to another Premier League title with a win over Fulham.

United will be high on confidence following their 1-0 away win in the first leg of their Champions League quarter final against Chelsea. Sir Alex Ferguson will know that three points from this game will pile the pressure on the other teams chasing them in the top places.

There could be one or two tweaks to the defence for this match because Ferguson will be mindful of resting his main players for more important games. Rafael Da Silva will have to be replaced after he was stretchered off during the match with Chelsea. John O’Shea or Johnny Evans should come in and take his place.

Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have not played together in the heart of the United defence for a long time. Their display against Chelsea was superb and there seems very little reason for Ferguson to break them up. Ferdinand looked sharp against Chelsea and should be determined to stay in the side for the rest of the season.

Edwin Van Der Saar was in superb form during the game against Chelsea and made a string of world class saves that kept his team in front. It is remarkable that the Dutchman is still showing no signs of age and can bounce and jump around the penalty area with very little difficulty.

For one of the few times this season, Ferguson is blessed in terms of wide players who can play in this fixture. Any combination from Ryan Giggs, Nani, Antonio Valencia and Park Ji-Sung could play down the wings. Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher will be in line for returns but Michael Carrick seems to have cemented one of the central midfield slots in the team.

Up front there should be a change with Dimitar Berbatov coming into the side at the expense of Wayne Rooney. Berbatov has been out of the side in recent times but remains United’s top scorer in the Premier League this season. Berbatov will need to show why he deserves a regular place in the side.

On the injury front there could be a late fitness test for Fletcher if he is going to make it in time for the game. Owen Hargreaves seems like the only long term absentee but Rafael could join him for a lengthy spell in the treatment room if assessments do not go positively over the next few days.

United should be far too strong for their opponents in this game and will look to put the match to bed quickly. There is talent all over the pitch that could make it an extremely difficult day for Fulham.

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