Mar 22, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Man CityManchester City
Toure (26' pen., 54' pen., 65'), Fernandinho (84'), Demichelis (88')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Amorebieta (26'), Sidwell (64'), Roberts (65'), Holtby (90')
Amorebieta (53')

Preview: Manchester City vs. Fulham

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini prior to kick-off against Blackburn during their FA Cup third round match on January 4, 2013
Sports Mole previews the Premier League meeting between title-chasing Manchester City and relegation-threatened Fulham at the Etihad Stadium.

The Premier League's best attack meets the worst defence on Saturday afternoon as title-chasing Manchester City host relegation-threatened Fulham.

While Liverpool's SAS attack has helped them bag 76 goals to City's 71, Manuel Pellegrini's side have played two matches fewer than the Reds and have a better goal-to-game ratio than their championship rivals.

It is these games in hand which make the Citizens, who are six points behind table-topping Chelsea having played three games fewer, title favourites with most of the major bookmakers again.

In contrast, Fulham are everyone's pick to go down despite a 1-0 win over Newcastle United last week - their first victory under Felix Magath - which kept the gap to safety at just four points.

The match winner against the Magpies, Ashkan Dejagah, is a doubt for the Cottagers as he nurses a groin problem, while £12m club-record signing Kostas Mitroglou has been ruled out with a knee injury.

Teenage striker Cauley Woodrow was chosen to lead the line last time out, and Magath must decide whether to stick with the rookie or recall the more experienced Darren Bent or Hugo Rodallega.

Scott Parker and Giorgos Karagounis are midfield absentees for the visitors to worry about, and so Steve Sidwell is likely to be joined by William Kvist in a holding role, with Lewis Holtby ahead of them.

City are without suspended captain Vincent Kompany, who was sent off 10 minutes into their battling 2-0 victory at Hull City last Saturday. Joleon Lescott will deputise and partner Martin Demichelis.

Stevan Jovetic, Matija Nastasic and Sergio Aguero are all nearing returns to fitness, but none is likely to recover in time to feature at the Etihad Stadium, where Pellegrini could revert to two strikers.

Javi Garcia will probably be sacrificed if Alvaro Negredo is recalled to start alongside Edin Dzeko, while City's Argentine boss will choose between Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov at left-back.

The Blues have dropped fewer home points than any other side in the division this season.

Recent form

Man City: WLLWWL

Fulham: WLLDLD

Possible starting lineups

Man City: Hart; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Lescott, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Toure; Silva, Nasri; Dzeko, Negredo

Fulham: Stockdale; Heitinga, Hangeland, Amorebieta, Riise; Kvist, Sidwell; Kasami, Holtby, Richardson; Woodrow

Sports Mole says: 3-1

Fourth official Howard Webb restrains David Meyler of Hull City after a clash with Alan Pardew manager of Newcastle United during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Newcastle United at KC Stadium on March 1, 2014
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