United v Fulham: Opposition team news

Friday 17 March 2023 15:32

Fulham's squad has been hugely boosted going into Sunday's Emirates FA Cup quarter-final with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

After a week of preparation, while the Reds have been in Spain qualifying for the last eight of the Europa League, the visitors will welcome key midfielder Joao Palhinha back into their side.

The highly rated Portugal international has now served a two-match suspension, with Fulham failing to pick up a single point in matches where he has been absent this season. Most recently, the west Londoners suffered a 3-0 home reverse to Arsenal in the Premier League last weekend.

Cottagers boss Marco Silva declared at his pre-match press conference: "Joao is coming back from his ban.

Willian has recovered from a back injury and could be a key man for the Cottagers this weekend.

A lift has also been provided by Willian proving his fitness after a back problem, with the Brazilian being another of the most influential players in the squad.

"Willian will be available," confirmed Silva.

"Tom Cairney is going to be available as well. Shane Duffy is getting better but will not be involved."

Cedric Soares can play after being ineligible for the encounter with his parent club Arsenal, but Layvin Kurzawa and Neeskens Kebano remain absent.

Andreas Pereira and Daniel James looks set to feature against their old club, while Manor Solomon has been in fine goalscoring form, taking some of the burden off Aleksandar Mitrovic.

"I think we have been really serious in this competition," said Silva.

"Even from the beginning. I have changed some players during matches but it will be slightly different. There's no midweek game, we played last Sunday and play this Sunday so it's a normal week to prepare for the game.

Press conference part one | United v Fulham Video

Press conference part one | United v Fulham

Press conference | Erik discusses our FA Cup tie v Fulham, Rashy's form, Andreas Pereira and facing Sevilla...

"It's something different from the others [in this competition] as we played in the middle of the week, or with Premier League games in the middle, this will be a different one.

"It's a really important competition for us. Okay, the draw makes us play away from home against a very, very good side but we have our ambition, and we want to play in the semi-finals.

"In our game against them [United] at home, it was clear. We were the best team on the pitch but they got the three points. They can punish you with one moment."