Two teams who enjoyed radically different opening games will collide as Fulham travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United on Saturday.
While The Cottagers started their season with a ruthless 5-0 demolition of Norwich, Manchester United lost 1-0 to Everton after failing to create enough opportunities to penetrate the Toffees' defence. Now, however, they will be looking to bounce back as soon as possible for their first home game of the season.
Manchester United will be negated by a swathe of defensive injuries, with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Rio Ferdinand and possibly Jonny Evans all absent. The game will have a slight sense of deja vu from when United suffered a similar crisis against Fulham in 2009, forcing them to field Evra and Carrick at centre-back, where they were soundly defeated 3-0. Carrick is likely to be deployed in that position again, unless Evans can make a surprise recovery.
AN attacking game, then, will suit United and Fulham alike: both teams invested heavily in attacking players over the summer, and Manchester United are likely to hand a start to new signings Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa, while Fulham are highly likely to deploy Mladen Petric after his hugely impressive debut. Fulham's record at Old Trafford may not be the best, but with the relative starts of both teams and United's defence, anything could happen in a game that promises to be an absorbing encounter.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, 10:00 a.m. ET, 3:00 p.m. local
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
TV: FOX Soccer (U.S.), Setanta (U.K.), Sportsnet Regional (Canada)