Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League

3 Key Battles That Could Decide Man Utd's Premier League Clash With Fulham on Saturday

A resurgent Manchester United side travel to relegation-threatened Fulham this Saturday lunchtime in an important Premier League clash for both sides.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have been in superb form, winning nine of their ten games following the Norwegian's arrival at Old Trafford - closing the gap to fourth-placed Chelsea to just two points. With the race for Champions League qualification hotting up, United must keep the momentum up this weekend. 


Fulham's season paints a very different picture, the Londoners have struggled for consistency all season and have been plagued by their defensive struggles. They are currently seven points adrift from safety heading into Saturday and will be desperate to pick up something in their fight against the drop.


Here's a look at three key battles that could decide the clash.

1. Paul Pogba vs Calum Chambers

A key battle in the middle of the park sees the revitalised Paul Pogba face up to Calum Chambers. Both will be keen to exert their dominance on the game, but with United likely to have most of the possession, it is the Fulham man that will be required to put in a shift to keep Pogba quiet. 


Much of the upturn in United's results has been down to the Frenchman. Being deployed slightly further forward appears to have removed the shackles as he's bagged six goals and five assists in the ten games following Solskjaer's arrival - the most productive player in the Premier League since December. 


Chambers has been drafted into central midfield in recent weeks and will face his sternest test to date. If he is able to keep Pogba tamed, it would go some distance to helping Fulham get something from the game. Chambers' parent club, Arsenal, will also be hoping for a strong performance from their man as they await any opportunity to seize a top-four spot. 

2. Aleksandar Mitrovic vs Victor Lindelof

With Andre Schurrle expected to miss the match, there is such a burden on Mitrovic to deliver goals for this Fulham side. Without him, relegation would arguably have already been sealed. By far and away the Cottagers biggest threat, Victor Lindelof will be tasked in dealing with the powerful forward. 


Mitrovic has enjoyed a great season personally, bagging ten Premier League goals - a statistic only six players can better. He is a real threat in the air, standing at 6ft 2in, and will look to use his physicality to bully the backline this Saturday.


Lindelof has been highly praised in recent weeks after putting together in a consistent run of solid performances. After a shaky start to life in Manchester, one accusation thrown at the Swede was that he didn't possess the physical attributes required to succeed in English football, which makes this battle all the more intriguing. 


Another good performance from Lindelof will dispel any of those thoughts and prove he is more than capable of cementing a place in United's backline for seasons to come. 

3. Romelu Lukaku vs Maxime Le Marchand

With Marcus Rashford expected to be rested following a dead leg he suffered last week, Romelu Lukaku is assumed to lead the line. 


All three of Fulham's centre backs will need to improve on recent showings to keep the powerful Belgian from netting, but it is Maxime Le Marchand that will shoulder much of the responsibility, playing in the middle of a back three.


Lukaku has endured a difficult season, particularly under Jose Mourinho when he appeared to be struggling for confidence. Since Solskjaer's arrival things have improved, however, the scintillating form of Rashford has resigned Lukaku to a place on the bench.


Saturday could provide the perfect opportunity for him - playing against the divisions worst defence - to regain some confidence and add to his tally of eight Premier League goals this season.   


Le Marchand came to Fulham with a big reputation having been a stand-out performer for Nice the previous two campaigns. It is time for the Frenchman to step-up and prove his worth in the Premier League by getting the better of Lukaku. If he is capable, it could go a long way towards Fulham claiming something from the match.