)15:34Richard FayMalacia starts at right-backIt’s a case of disappointment but not surprise with the United line up. Elanga is more experienced than Garnacho and Malacia is better suited to the full-back role. United fans probably won’t be overly pleased with the side, but if they win it’ll soon be forgotten. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images. )15:32Samuel LuckhurstElanga starting is not a massive surpriseElanga isn’t a massive surprise as there would have been a risk in playing a right-hand side of Malacia and Garnacho, which is very raw, but United’s attacking threat subsides with Elanga on the pitch. He did okay in midweek.
Eriksen has already been in Malacia ear and the Dutchman has already conversed with Elanga, who does not lack for a work-rate and will offer him reasonable protection against Willian. 3' - FUL 0-0 MUNSteven RailstonElanga defends wellElanga has just stopped Robinson, who was making a bursting run forward.
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(Image: Julian Finney/Getty Images. )15:49Steven RailstonTEAM NEWS | FULHAM LINE-UP15:45Samuel LuckhurstWan-Bissaka needs to leave the clubRonaldo’s relatives had their arms draped around him in recent days, although he did look a bit peaky. Antony was bouncing up and down upon discovering his Brazil call-up yet is missing for the fifth game running. It’s easy to be cynical about players’ ill-timed illnesses and injuries ahead of a World Cup but it’ll be rife at most clubs with internationals with both eyes on Qatar. See also: Facundo Pellistri, not accounted for at Stockport station on Saturday and not in the squad today.
Fulham’s is such a mild-mannered set there used to be a ‘neutral end’ in the Putney End and one of the stewards once chuckled at how impossible it is to have any form of banter with the home supporters. Worse than that today is the broadcasters fawning over some online tweenie whose name they are desperate to ram down our throats. It’s lowest-common-denominator stuff and not a good example for kids, either. (Image: Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images. )16:06Samuel LuckhurstThe Portuguese-speaking contingent is depleted The Portuguese-speaking passing contingent is depleted today with Dalot suspended and Ronaldo unwell, so Martinez has joined in with Fred, Fernandes and Casemiro.
Cristiano Ronaldo did not travel with the United squad to London to face Fulham on Sunday afternoon following his absence in the League Cup in midweek. The forward will now meet up with Portugal to represent his nation at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Read what Ten Hag said here. (Image: MUTV)16:20Richard Fay‘Oh, Robin van Persie’Fulham’s attempt at creating an atmosphere by playing generic football songs has slightly backfired. They’ve just stuck ‘Seven Nation Army’ on and the United away end erupted in a rendition of ‘Oh, Robin van Persie’. That should add a few decibels ahead of kick-off. 16:18Steven Railston10 minutes until kick-offWe're almost set at Craven Cottage.
Ten Hag has widely abandoned the experiment of Fernandes on the right and a competition winner as the playmaker. Fernandes was much more effective when he returned to his natural habitat in midweek. (Image: Stu Forster/Getty Images. )16:02Richard FayPereira starts for FulhamAndreas Pereira starts and has been a key part of the pre-match media coverage from Fulham. He has been in fantastic form this season and it will be fascinating to see how he gets on today. It is not only a big day for him, but a chance for Eriksen to show just how much higher standards are now. Andreas Pereira joined Fulham earlier this summer.
Let’s get on with the game. 16:09Richard FayLindelof is ahead of MaguireToday is perhaps the clearest indication of Ten Hag’s defensive pecking order. Malacia is the second-choice at right-back and Victor Lindelof is ahead of Harry Maguire in regards to the reserve centre-back selection. There is a train of thought that Maguire is better suited to playing on the left, and is first reserve for Lisandro Martinez, but we might not ever see if that is even true. (Image: 2022 Manchester United FC)16:08Samuel LuckhurstThe home support at Craven Cottage This is one of the purest grounds in the top flight apart from the clientele.
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United need to jettison Aaron Wan-Bissaka in January. He is not there when he needs them and Ten Hag said his problems this season have been “small”. It has increased the workload for Diogo Dalot, who has barely had a breather and not lining up for the first time all season today. (Image: David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)15:41Richard FayDubravka and Bishop on the benchWhat will disappoint supporters is that there are two ‘keepers on the bench again. With De Gea’s dominance this season, even having a second-choice has seemed rather redundant, though has to be catered for. It would have been nice to see another youngster named on the bench instead. (Image: Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images.
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The Fulham fans are all sat down. 1' - FUL 0-0 MUNSteven RailstonKICK-OFF! We're under way ay Craven Cottage. 16:28Steven RailstonThe minute silence is observedLest we forget. 16:25Steven RailstonThe teams are ready Here they come. 16:23Steven RailstonTen Hag explains why Malacia starts at right-back Erik ten Hag has claimed United have been preparing to play Tyrell Malacia at right-back in the absence of Diogo Dalot. Sunday's match against Fulham is United's last before the break for the World Cup begins, but Ten Hag has not given rest to any key personnel, as expected, with the starting line-up returning to full strength after the League Cup assignment.
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16:14Samuel LuckhurstThe 'influencer’ is embarrassing Rights holders can be so arrogant they focus only their own output when the MEN reported yesterday Ronaldo hadn’t trained and hadn’t travelled. Filming some online ‘influencer’ (that is one of the worst words in the world these days) ‘react’ to the news Ronaldo isn’t playing is content that should be put on Cbeebies, but even they would be principled enough not to give exposure to an attention-seeking irrelevance.
Regarding team news for the match, Cristiano Ronaldo, who was absent for the League Cup clash against Villa, is set to miss the game through illness, while Jadon Sancho and Antony have also not travelled to London with the squad. Follow the live blog below for updates from Craven Cottage. 12' - FUL 0-0 MUNSamuel LuckhurstUnited look vulnerable It’s a tight pitch here and Fulham are using that to their advantage, although United have been unbelievably slow at times on the ball when they should know better.
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