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Fulham vs. Manchester United Premier League Preview & Pick: Prop Market Full of Value

Fulham vs. Manchester United Premier League Preview & Pick: Prop Market Full of Value article feature image
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Photo by AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Rashford.

Fulham vs. Manchester United Odds

Fulham Odds +290
Man United Odds -116
Draw +275
Over/Under 2.5 (-160 / +125)
Day | Time Sunday | 11:30 a.m. ET
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Manchester United close the pre-World Cup portion of their schedule with a tricky trip to Fulham on Sunday afternoon.

United are coming off of a 4-2 home victory over Aston Villa in the third round of the League Cup on Thursday night, avenging a 3-1 league defeat to the same side in the same venue last weekend. The fifth-place Red Devils entered the weekend three points back of fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur, with a match in hand.

Fulham absorbed a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to 10-man Manchester City last weekend in a game decided by Erling Haaland’s penalty deep in second-half stoppage time. The Cottagers should still feel confident sitting ninth and only four points back of United coming into the match. However, they are still without injured leading scorer Aleksandr Mitrovic.

United took four points from six against Fulham in the 2020-2021 season, and they haven’t lost a game to Sunday’s London foes since the 2009-10 league campaign.

How Key is Missing Fulham Player?

Mitrovic will will miss a second consecutive game on Sunday, and it’s hard to know just how much of an impact the absence has.

The Serbian World Cup call-up has started all but two of his team’s first 14 league matches, scoring nine times in the process. Fulham’s first game out without him came on the road against defending league champions Manchester City. That’s not a fair stage to judge how a team is in attack  without a key player.

Analytics suggest his importance might be slightly overstated on account of his role as penalty taker. He’s scored 39% (9-of-23) of Fulham’s goals, but only 32% (6-of-19) of his team’s non-penalty goals. He’s also responsible for 41% of his team’s xG, but only 32% of their non-penalty xG.

Even so, Fulham haven’t picked up points in a game where Mitrovic has missed out. It’s probably safe to assume there will be at least some negative impact.

Manchester United Dealing With Intricate Situation

Give manager Erik ten Hag credit for allowing Cristiano Ronaldo a chance at redemption.

It was less than four weeks ago that the Dutch manager suspended the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for refusing to come into a game and then leaving the field early in a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. By last Sunday, the 37-year-old was named captain for a league fixture.

Manchester United lost that match 3-1, but Ronaldo was hardly to blame on a day the Red Devils failed to match the early energy in Unai Emery’s Villa managerial debut

It was a continuation of United’s away issues overall. Despite improvement in the first year under ten Hag, Man U have yet to win an away match by multiple goals.

Bruno Fernandes was suspended for the Villa Park clash, but should be available after going all 90 minutes and scoring the winner in United’s League Cup victory on Thursday night.

Whether he starts is a different question, given the turnaround of less than 72 hours between matches and the travel involved.

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Fulham vs. Manchester United Pick

It’s tempting to play Fulham here on a double-chance wager. Their 0.0 home xGDiff is better than United’s -1.3 away mark. They’ve lost only once at Craven Cottage this season as well.

But, Mitrovic’s absence is one of two reasons not to. The second is that Fulham’s stiffer challenges have come during the away portion of their schedule, skewing those home xG numbers. The best team to visit the Cottage so far is Newcastle United, who hammered Fulham 4-1 and won the xG battle to a similar degree.

There’s probably some value playing Fulham on the +1.5 handicap, as unsexy as -200 odds are, given United’s away form. But for a better payout, try backing the trend of a total of 3 or 4 goals scored at +138 odds and an implied 42% probability.

That wager that has hit exactly half the time between Fulham’s home and United’s away games, and slightly over 50% (14-of-27 times) with these teams overall.

It’s a good way to get value on a higher total than the traditional over/under when United’s away form and Mitrovic’s absence makes a contest with five or more pretty unlikely.

The Pick: 3 or 4 goals, Multi-goal Total (+138)

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