Whisper it quietly, but could this be the season that Manchester United win another treble? The Red Devils are five points clear in the Premier League table, have a strong chance of beating an off-colour Real Madrid in the Champions League and Fulham at home in the FA Cup isn’t that bad a draw.
Sir Alex Ferguson will be mindful of next week’s match against Southampton which means Robin van Persie, Nemanja Vidic and Michael Carrick could be among the players rested for this encounter, although there is still enough quality in the squad to make this a relatively comfortable passage into the fifth round of the FA Cup.
It’s a view echoed by the bookmakers who offer a best price 3/10 (BetVictor) about the Red Devils reaching the last sixteen of the competition, having narrowly escaped an exit at the hands of West Ham in the previous round.
Wayne Rooney is currently playing second fiddle to RVP and it’s a situation that won’t sit well with a player who has been the main man for United since Cristiano Ronaldo left the club, although here is a great chance for the England forward to fill his boots.
Rooney is a best price 7/2 (Paddy Power) to score the opening goal as he did against the Hammers in a recent replay before missing a penalty which could mean he’s relieved of spot kick duties for this particular occasion.
Fulham are really offering little on the road at the moment, although the FA Cup is a competition that Martin Jol takes seriously, even if the Cottagers aren’t too many points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.
The visitors were a touch unlucky to lose 3-2 at Old Trafford back in August although Moussa Dembele has since departed the club and it remains to be seen whether they have the belief to win at Old Trafford, with bet365 prepared to lay 11/1 about that happening.
The draw is priced at 5/1 (BetVictor) to force a replay that neither club would want, although Fulham would very much like to get a second bite of the cherry against a United team which would surely consist of reserve team players should another game be forced.
This match marks a return to Old Trafford for Dimitar Berbatov who was used pretty sparingly during his time with the Red Devils and he would love to score the winning goal for his team in this game, even if recent body language suggests he is less than impressed with his team-mates.
The Bulgarian is on offer at 12/1 to break the deadlock and is also the subject of a Ladbrokes money back special who will refund selected bets if Berbatov scores the first or last goal of the game.