Did you know? In 1905, United faced Fulham in the FA Cup Intermediate Round at Bank Street, the first-ever match between the two clubs. A 2-2 draw prompted a replay at Craven Cottage where, incredibly, another stalemated forced a further rematch at Villa Park, which the Reds lost 1-0.
Opposition boss: Martin Jol was once offered the assistant manager’s job at Old Trafford but turned it down to manage Tottenham, before moving to Hamburg, Ajax and now Fulham. Surprisingly, the Dutch boss has never beaten United, though he perhaps should have done in 2005 when Roy Carroll infamously clawed a Pedro Mendes shot from well behind the goal-line. “I’ve had a few good games and draws,” Jol explains. “I can remember a game where it was 0-0, but we should have won because Mendes scored a goal that went over the line. So, in my mind I have beaten them once.”
Star man: Dimitar Berbatov, who else? The Bulgarian returns to Old Trafford for the first time since leaving in August and should receive a rousing ovation. Though often maligned for a laidback manner, Berba is a visionary artist with masterful control and yields a style that appeals to the purist. Such is his confidence, the charismatic striker recently revealed a t-shirt with the slogan ‘Keep calm and pass me the ball’ after scoring against Southampton.
Quote/unquote: "Berbatov is Fulham's best player. I don't think he was a failure here. He was a good player. At his age it's not easy to be not playing when I have lots of choices. He wanted first-team football and it was the right thing to do. I think he's doing well there." - Sir Alex Ferguson
Whistle-blower: Mark Clattenburg will be the man in the middle for this fixture, taking charge of his first United match since the Capital One Cup clash with Chelsea in October. This season, the experienced official has dished out 56 yellow cards and five red in 20 games.