Feb 9, 2014, 10:16 AM EDT
For the visitors, five points back in the relegation zone and matches with Liverpool and Chelsea on the horizon, it’s do or die time as manager Rene Meulensteen looks maybe in need of points to save not only Fulham’s Premier League status but his job as well.
With the serious threat of relegation, Meulensteen has shocked a few with his team selections, deciding to play a 5-4-1 utilizing two wing-backs.
Young Muamer Tankovic starts at the top, while record signing Kostas Mitroglou can’t make the squad for a side that has scored just a single goal in their last five matches across all competitions, and none in their last three in the league. Another youngster, new signing Ryan Tunnicliffe, starts as well against his former club.
The visitors also feature three other late-January signings in William Kvist, Lewis Holtby, and Johnny Heitinga, the latter of which makes his Fulham debut. Captain Brede Hangeland is dropped, as is Scott Parker.
Manchester United – De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Mata, Carrick, Fletcher, Young; Rooney, van Persie.
Bench – Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Giggs, Valencia, Kagawa, Januzaj, Hernandez.
Fulham – Stekelenburg; Riise, Burn, Heitinga, Riether, Richardson; Kvist, Sidwell, Tunnicliffe, Holtby; Tankovic.
Bench – Stockdale, Hangeland, Kacaniklic, Duff, Cole, Parker, Bent.
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