George Pitts has seen little to suggest Fulham can upset Man City on Saturday, but he has found some appealing prices at just over 2/1 to consider for the early kick-off.
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Fulham v Man City (1230 GMT kick-off)
- Sky Sports Premier League, Craven Cottage
With the FA Cup and international break covering much of March, it seems like an age since Manchester City played in the Premier League.
Pep Guardiola's side return three weeks after their last fixture and the title chasers can send an early statement to Liverpool by returning to the top.
The Reds currently lead the way by two points, but they have played a game extra and have a tough fixture at home to Tottenham on Sunday.
The Citizens are currently odds-on favourites to lift the trophy in May. Win their eight remaining games and it's theirs, simple as that. But, with involvement in the latter stages of the FA Cup and Champions League threatening to take some of their focus and with such little margin for error, Guardiola will look to take it one step at a time.
Their opponents have a similar approach but in extremely different circumstances. When Scott Parker replaced Claudio Ranieri at the start of the month, the Cottagers' caretaker boss said he will take a game-by-game approach for the rest of the season and go from there.
With the Londoners 11 points adrift of safety with seven games to go, it is looking a tough ask to survive and in the shorter term, games do not come much tougher than this one.
Prediction: Fulham 0-3 Man City (Sky Bet odds: 6/1)
Since that shock defeat at Newcastle in January, City have won six in a row in the Premier League and it is hard to see anything but them adding a seventh here. Fulham are down and out, looked poor against an off-form Liverpool before the international break and have shown little to suggest they can beat the champions on home turf, no matter how much preparation has gone into it.
Best bet: Man City to be leading after 15 minutes at 9/4
It can often be difficult to find value in a City win but the price available on them to be leading after 15 minutes makes particular appeal. Guardiola's side have scored 15 goals in the opening quarter of an hour of league games this season and can start strong here after the international break. Fulham should be nervous and anticipating an onslaught from the Citizens, but stopping them is an incredibly tough task for Parker's men.
Goals/Stats: Sergio Aguero to score two or more at 5/2
There was a temptation to back Aguero and Sterling to both have 1+ shots on target in the first half at 2/1, but the preference is to back City's Argentinian forward to bag a brace at Craven Cottage. The 30-year-old is firmly in the hunt for the Golden Boot, leading the way with 18, while he has three in his last two games for City in all competitions. He averages nearly four shots per game in the Premier League this term and should not be short of opportunities in west London. Considering he is odds-on to score, this option could be good value for a small play.
- Fulham are winless in 13 games against Manchester City in all competitions (W0 D3 L10) and have lost the last seven consecutively.
- Man City have won their last six Premier League meetings with Fulham, scoring 19 goals and conceding just three since drawing 2-2 – after being 2-0 ahead – in September 2011.
- Fulham have lost seven consecutive top-flight matches against an opponent on one previous occasion, losing eight in a row against Man Utd between 2005 and 2009.
- Man City haven’t failed to score against Fulham in all competitions since a 0-0 draw in March 2004, netting 51 goals in their 23 games since.
- After a run of six straight Premier League wins in London, Man City lost their last such game against Chelsea in December. They’ve not lost consecutive games in the capital since December 2015 (vs Spurs and Arsenal).
- Fulham have lost 25 of their last 26 Premier League matches against the ‘big six’, drawing the other 2-2 at Old Trafford against Manchester United in February 2014.
- Fulham have conceded at least twice in each of their last 11 Premier League games, a record in the competition. The last top-flight side to concede more than once in more consecutive games were Newcastle between May-October 1977 (14 games).
- Man City’s Sergio Aguero has been involved in six goals in his last four starts against Fulham in the Premier League (4 goals, 2 assists), netting three times at Craven Cottage.
- Since his debut for Fulham in January, Ryan Babel has been involved in more Premier League goals than any other Cottagers player (2 goals, 2 assists).
- Since the start of the 2011-12 season, Man City striker Sergio Aguero has been involved in more Premier League goals against newly-promoted teams than any other player (34 – 28 goals, 6 assists).
Odds correct as of 1200 GMT on 29/03/19