Dubai: Manchester United face Fulham in an all-Premier League FA Cup quarter-finals at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.
United advanced to this stage of the competition by coming from behind to defeat West Ham in round five, while Fulham overcame Leeds with a two-goal victory.
Erik Ten Hag’s United are still in the running for silverware in four different competitions this season. In their Europa League last-16 match against Real Betis on Thursday, they faced a barrage of attacks but managed to repel them all to secure their place in the quarter-finals. Marcus Rashford scored the crucial goal on the 55-minute mark, bringing his season total to 27 goals.
United already won the League Cup this season and are hoping to add the FA Cup to their trophy cabinet. The team has been in great form, winning three home matches against Everton, Reading and West Ham to reach the last eight. The Red Devils have won the FA Cup 13 times, although they have not lifted the trophy since the 2015-16 season.
Fulham have shown enough promise this season to threaten United’s hopes of a domestic cup double. The team is still in contention for European qualification via the FA Cup, having defeated Hull City, Sunderland, and Leeds to make it to the quarters. This is their best run in the FA Cup since the 2009-10 season when they were eliminated in the last eight by Tottenham. However, it has been over 20 years since the Cottagers last went further, reaching the semi-finals in 2001-02 but losing to Chelsea.
United will be without midfield stalwart Casemiro, who begins a four-match domestic ban following his sending off against Southampton in their most recent Premier League match. Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen remain sidelined, while Antony is a fresh doubt after missing the Betis second leg with an illness. Garnacho is also expected to spend a few weeks out of action with the ankle injury he sustained in that game, and Anthony Martial is still being slowly reintegrated following a hip problem.
Fulham will welcome back Joao Palhinha, their tough-tackling midfielder, who has served a two-game ban for yellow card accumulation and is expected to displace Sasa Lukic in the middle. Cedric Soares is also back after being unable to face his parent club, but Shane Duffy, Neeskens Kebano, and Layvin Kurzawa remain out. Willian missed the defeat against former employers Arsenal with a sore back but is expected to be available for this match, as is Tom Cairney, who is battling back from a foot concern.
Fulham have been going well this season and United could have their work cut out for them. However, even with Casemiro out of the picture, they should secure their spot in the final four.