Fulham fans surely won’t feel confident coming to Old Trafford. After all, they’ve seen their team lose their last two games, one of which was a 3-0 home defeat against Swansea. From Fulham’s point of view, it will be a case of damage limitation on Monday night, particularly as Antonio Valencia is back and Wayne Rooney keeps finding the net. Wayne had a strange season in 2010/11 but he’s put that behind him now and, as one of the team’s most experienced players, he seems to be relishing the extra responsibility.
I had expected United to be two points behind City by the time Monday’s game kicks off. City missed a big opportunity to put pressure on United when they only drew at Stoke on Saturday.
On that point, the order of games – who plays first on any given weekend – definitely makes a difference at this stage of the season. After United beat Wolves they pulled away at the top by four points, which definitely had an impact on City’s game against Chelsea, both in the media and inside the stadium on the night. The pressure was piled on City to win and I don’t think you would have seen the same sort of celebrations at the final whistle from the players or the fans had the game been played simultaneously with a United match. Whoever plays first has the upper hand: nobody wants to be left playing catch-up.