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Fulham v Man Utd

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Emanuelson: Poised for Fulham debut

Emanuelson: Poised for Fulham debut

Manchester United will be looking to tighten their grip on top spot when they travel to Craven Cottage for Saturday's tea-time clash with Fulham.

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With defending champions and closest rivals Manchester City not in action until Sunday, United will have the opportunity to open a 10-point cushion at the top of the Premier League table.

It is the second time Fulham and United will be meeting in a week, with the Red Devils having run out 4-1 winners in the FA Cup fourth round at Old Trafford last Saturday.

Star striker Robin van Persie was an unused substitute for that clash, but returned for the midweek 2-1 victory over Southampton as the Red Devils extended their lead to seven points, thanks to Wayne Rooney's brace.

It was the England striker's second successive match on the score-sheet after sharing the goal burden with Ryan Giggs andJavier Hernandez (brace) against the Cottagers in the previous match.

Rafael Da Silva and Rio Ferdinand look set to be restored to the starting line-up after coming on as substitutes for Phil Jones and Chris Smalling respectively.

Johnny Evans is also back in contention after returning to training on Friday following his hamstring injury problem, as is striker Hernandez is after missing the midweek win with a minor hip knock.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson's squad will again be shorn of the services of winger Ashley Young, who is still out with a knee problem.

United have taken 26 points from their last 10 games on the back of eight victories and two draws.

Fulham's 3-1 midweek victory over West Ham was only their third win in 10-match sequence during which they lost five and drew two.

Manager Martin Jol brought in three players on transfer deadline day - midfielder Eyong Enoh from Ajax, Urby Emanuelson on loan from AC Milan and Stanislav Manolev from PSV Eindhoven.

Of the trio, versatile Brazilian Emanuelson is the one most likely to be handed his debut.

Fulham have doubts over former United players Kieran Richardson and Dimitar Berbatov. The latter picked up a hamstring problem in midweek.

Simon Davies, Karim Frei and Mahamadou Diarra are all long-term absentees.

Posted: 01/02/13 12:23

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