Old Trafford opens its doors to the only all-Premier League affair in this season especially FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon, as Man United tackle Fulham for the opportunity to play at Wembley.
The Red Devils came back from a goal down to defeat West Ham United during round five, while Marco Silva’s side advanced to the last eight with two unanswered goals against Leeds United.
Manchester United, who are still mathematically chasing silverware on four fronts this season, repelled a barrage of attacks from a Joaquin-inspired Real Betis in the return leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday, with every passing chance diminishing the Verdiblancos’ chances of overturning a 4-1 first-leg deficit.
With the tie seemingly over, Marcus Rashford scored on the 55-minute mark to secure Man United’s place in the quarter-finals, and knockout football remains Erik ten Hag’s focus as his side attempts to book another Wembley date.
After carefully storing the EFL Cup, Manchester United have posted three 3-1 home wins over Everton, Reading, and West Ham to reach the 2022-23 FA Cup quarter-finals, after a late flurry from Alejandro Garnacho, Fred, and a Nayef Aguerd own goal sent the Hammers packing earlier this month.
Lifting the trophy 13 times – but not since the 2015-16 season – Manchester United have a first semi-final appearance since 2019-20 firmly in their sights, despite suffering quarter-final heartbreak to eventual winners Leicester City in the 2020-21 season.
Man United have not lost a home FA Cup tie in 90 or 120 minutes since losing to Arsenal in 2014-15, but Middlesbrough reputedly sent the Red Devils compression on penalties last season, and the Cottagers have shown sufficient guile this season to threaten Man United’s hopes of a domestic cup double.
And he’s played the game https://t.co/yBdgEwcKlE
— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) March 18, 2023
Fulham were poised to give London rivals Arsenal a proper run for their funds at Craven Cottage last week, even without the suspended Joao Palhinha, but Marco Silva watched in horror as the Gunners tore his side apart with a ruthless first-half display.
Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli, and Martin Odegaard all scored from Leandro Trossard assists to put the game out of reach before halftime, and while Fulham improved in the second 45 minutes, an unlikely comeback never looked likely.
Man United extended their unbeaten run against Fulham to 15 games with a 2-1 win over the Cottagers in the Premier League back in November, and the Red Devils have managed to win each of their last eight FA Cup games against the visitors, whose fans cannot get too excited about Wembley if their team produces a performance similar to their humbling loss to Arsenal.
Team News- Manchester United
Casemiro, Manchester United’s midfield stalwart, begins a four-match domestic ban this weekend after being sent off against Southampton in their most recent Premier League match, further limiting Ten Hag’s midfield options while Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen remain out.
Garnacho is also expected to miss a few weeks due to an ankle injury suffered in that game, while Anthony Martial remains to be gradually re-integrated following a knee issue, and Antony has surfaced as a fresh hesitation after missing the Betis second leg due to illness.
After shaking off a knock to play on Thursday night, Bayern Munich loanee Marcel Sabitzer could fill in for Casemiro, while the rested backline of Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw could return.
Team News- Fulham
Cedric Soares returns after missing the game against his parent club, but Shane Duffy, Neeskens Kebano, and Layvin Kurzawa remain out. Willian missed the game against former employers Arsenal due to a sore back but is fit for this one, as is Tom Cairney, who is recovering from a foot problem.
Marek Rodak has began all four of Fulham’s FA Cup games this season and should be confident of replacing Bernd Leno, but Daniel James should start on the bench against his former club.
Manchester United 2-0 Fulham