WEMBLEY TRAIL SET TO CONTINUE?
While City have been prolific Carabao Cup winners during the past decade, the FA Cup has proved more elusive.
Indeed, the FA Cup final win over Watford in 2019 is our only success in the competition during Pep Guardiola’s reign – despite reaching the semi-final on a further three occasions, losing against Arsenal (twice) and Chelsea.
It’s a trophy that means a lot to the City boss and players – and a sell-out Etihad is proof the FA Cup has lost none of its lustre for our supporters.
Victory today would see City into the last 16, though it is likely most of the big hitters – Manchester United apart – will still be involved at that stage.
But that wouldn’t particularly worry this Manchester City team!
Entertainment guaranteed against free-scoring Fulham?
Championship leaders Fulham have scored an incredible 77 goals in all competitions this season and are the nation’s top goal-scorers.
Marco Silva’s side have hit 37 goals on the road in the league, bagging seven away to Blackburn Rovers and Reading, as well as beating Huddersfield Town 5-1 and Birmingham City 4-1.
Of course, a visit to the Etihad is a different matter entirely, but in Aleksandr Mitrovic, they have an experienced striker who has already scored 27 times this season.
Whether Silva just 'has a go' this afternoon, knowing promotion is their main target, remains to be seen.
But if the Cottagers do come to attack, they are more than capable of making this an end-to-end game and their record suggests they have one goal, maybe more in them in this tie.
If they do adopt a gung-ho attitude, that will leave gaps to exploit – and there are few better sides than City able to punish any side that plays that way.
One thing seems certain; it won’t be dull and there will be goals!
- Including replays, this will be the fifth FA Cup match between Manchester City and Fulham, with City running out 4-0 winners most recently in the same round in 2019-20.
- In the club’s history, only against Watford and West Brom (14 each) have City recorded a longer sequence of consecutive wins than their current 11-match winning run over Fulham, which began in 2012.
- City have kept a clean sheet in each of our last seven encounters with Fulham in all competitions, their joint-longest run of clean sheets against an opponent in their history (also vs Notts County in 1915 and Wigan in 2013).
- Fulham have failed to win in their last 17 matches against Man City in all competitions, since a 3-1 win in the Premier League in April 2009 (D3 L14).
- City have found the back of the net in 19 of their last 20 home games against Fulham in all competitions (47 goals), with the exception being a 0-0 draw in March 2004.
- Since Pep Guardiola took charge of the club, Manchester City have won 41 domestic cup matches across the League Cup (20) and FA Cup (21), four more than the next side – Chelsea (37).
- Only Harry Kane (11) has scored more FA Cup goals than Gabriel Jesus since the Man City striker’s debut in the competition (10), four of which have come in round four – his most prolific stage in the FA Cup.
- City have won 14 of our last 16 home FA Cup games, losing the other two. We have kept nine clean sheets in those 16 games, while scoring 58 goals in the process (3.6 per game).
- City have progressed from 15 of our last 17 FA Cup fourth round ties, with their only eliminations at this stage in this run coming vs Sheffield United in 2007-08 and Middlesbrough in 2014-15.
- We have won our last eight home games in all competitions by an aggregate score of 26-6. Indeed, City have suffered just one defeat in the last 16 games at the Etihad (W14 D1 L1).
- Phil Foden has been directly involved in nine goals in his 12 FA Cup appearances for City (6 goals, 3 assists), though hasn’t scored or assisted in his last three games in the competition.
- Kevin De Bruyne has had a hand in 10 goals in his last 10 FA Cup matches, scoring four goals and assisting six more, including assisting last time out vs Swindon.
- Fulham have failed to progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup on six of the last seven occasions they’ve played in round four – managing to do so in 2016-17. This comes after progressing from 10 straight fourth round ties between 1998-99 and 2010-11.
- Fulham have lost four of their last five FA Cup games against top-flight teams (W1), failing to score in each of the four defeats in this run, one of which was a 4-0 drubbing by Man City in January 2020.
- Fulham have won three of their last four away games in the FA Cup (L1), one more than they’d won in their previous 11 away games in the competition (W2 D5 L4).