Beleaguered United need away-day boost at Fulham as City and Arsenal look to go top


Beleaguered United need away-day boost at Fulham as City and Arsenal look to go top

Beleaguered United need away-day boost at Fulham as City and Arsenal look to go top
Beleaguered United need away-day boost at Fulham as City and Arsenal look to go topAFP
So dire has Manchester United's home form been this season that perhaps the only saving grace as they prepare for the next match of a so-far torrid campaign is that it is away at Fulham.

Erik Ten Hag's stumbling United side were booed at half-time and fulltime on Wednesday as they surrendered the League Cup with a 3-0 home defeat by Newcastle United.

It was their second successive 3-0 home loss and they have lost five of their 10 home games in all competitions.

They are not exactly pulling up trees away from home either and fans will not have been fooled by narrow back-to-back victories at promoted sides Burnley and Sheffield United.

Fulham, in 14th place, will represent a far tougher assignment in Saturday's early kickoff than those two games even if Marco Silva's side have also struggled for consistency.

Eighth-placed United were savaged by the media, pundits and former players after Wednesday's capitulation with Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville at least showing some sympathy for Ten Hag.

"I don't know where he starts picking a side next, as none of them can really say they deserve to play," former United defender Neville told Sky Sports.

While the malaise at Manchester United is deep-rooted, Ten Hag appeared to have galvanised the squad last season, delivering the League Cup for a first trophy since 2017 and a third-place finish in the Premier League.

It is now looking like another false dawn for a club that has been in decline since former manager Alex Ferguson retired a decade ago.

Former Ajax coach Ten Hag sounded a defiant note after defeat by Newcastle and the majority of United fans still appear to be behind him, instead directing their ire on the structural failings that have eroded the club's standing.

Inevitably, however, the buck stops with the man hired to pick the team and he is running out of credit.

"If he doesn't get results in the next couple of games, fans' attitudes towards Ten Hag can change very quickly," former United striker Andy Cole told Sky Sports.

Premier League standings
Premier League standingsFlashscore

While United were being taken apart by Newcastle, Fulham were reaching the League Cup quarter-finals with victory over Championship high-fliers Ipswich Town.

They also earned an impressive point at Brighton last weekend and with Marco Silva penning a contract extension until 2026 there is a sense of stability and direction at Craven Cottage that is in marked contrast to United.

With surprise leaders Tottenham Hotspur hosting Chelsea on Monday, Arsenal and Manchester City could both move above them on Saturday. City will be expected to brush aside Bournemouth but Arsenal have a much tougher looking assignment as they travel to Newcastle for Saturday's late game.

Full round of fixtures
Full round of fixturesFlashscore

Arsenal suffered a chastening League Cup defeat at West Ham on Wednesday when their squad players failed to shine.

But the likes of Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka and captain Martin Odegaard will return at St James' Park.

"We have to use this defeat, this pain to prepare the best way to go to Newcastle and win," manager Mikel Arteta said.

Fourth-placed Liverpool travel to Luton Town on Sunday while fifth-placed Aston Villa are in action against Nottingham Forest.

In the bottom half, Everton will aim to maintain their recent upturn in form as they host Brighton.

Bottom club Sheffield United have suffered the worst start to a Premier League season by any club and will seek a morale-boosting win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at home on Saturday.

Follow the Premier League on Flashscore.


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