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Starting XI: Manchester United vs. Fulham

The Reds welcome fans back to Old Trafford for the first time in over a year

Fulham v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Everything that you need to know ahead of Tuesday’s match:

(1) Manchester United lost twice at Old Trafford last week, including a 4-2 defeat at the hands of arch-rival Liverpool. Before that, the Reds hadn’t lost in the Premier League since the end of January. If United get back to winning ways against Fulham on Tuesday night, they would guarantee themselves a second-place league finish.

(2) 10,000 supporters will be allowed into Old Trafford for this match, marking the first time the Reds will have played in front of the home crowd since March 2020 when they defeated Manchester City 2-0 in the derby.

(3) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks ahead to the remainder of the season:

We need to find ourselves straightaway. We’ve got Fulham on Tuesday and we need to start, as I said, building that momentum and confidence because we have two league games left. It’s not a lot of preparation, but we should go into that Europa League final ready. So I expect Tuesday to be a good one. Hopefully, when we can let the fans in on Tuesday, it’ll be a good atmosphere here.

(4) Injury update: Harry Maguire will be out for the rest of the Premier League season, joining Anthony Martial and Phil Jones on the sidelines. To put it mildly, the Manchester United backline hasn’t looked the same since Maguire limped off against Aston Villa.

(5) Fulham — England’s newest yo-yo club:

(6) For a brief moment back in March, Fulham looked to have turned the corner in their first season back in the top-flight. The 1-0 win over Liverpool on March 7 — at Anfield, no less — came after a relatively strong February and most thought that Scott Parker’s side had improved enough to dodge the drop. Unfortunately, they followed up that improbable win with a relegation-clinching slump. Failing to build on that victory over the league champs left Fulham in too big of a hole to climb out.

(7) On Saturday, the Cottagers lost again — the seventh defeat in their last eight Premier League matches. The only bright spot in the 3-1 loss to Southampton was the full debut of 18-year-old Fabio Carvalho, who scored Fulham’s only goal in the 75th minute. With a long slog ahead in the Championship next season, Carvalho should get every chance to grab regular playing time on the Fulham frontline.

(8) Scott Parker on Fabio Carvalho’s bright future:

Fabio didn’t surprise me. He’s in the team because we’re searching for goals and something different to put the ball in the net. He stepped into the side and showed he can do that. He’s been scoring goals at U23 level and he’s shown it in training. He deserved it. I’m delighted for Fab — he was a shining light today, that was a massive plus. He’s somebody you see who has quality and he’s creative with opportunities. He brings energy, he’s got a big future here, and we look forward to seeing him more often.

(9) Fulham just don’t score enough goals. Their 26 goals scored rank next-to-last in the Premier League, ahead of only woeful Sheffield United. Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored just three goals all season, a far cry from his dominance during Fulham’s promotion-winning season in 2019/20.

(10) Despite relegation, Fulham might face a battle to hang onto manager Scott Parker. The Cottagers hope that Parker will stick around and mount another promotion challenge next season in the Championship. However, Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly interested in tempting the 40-year-old to switch London addresses and bring his free-flowing football to a hugely-talented squad.

(11) Joachim Andersen, on loan from Lyon, could be a hot-ticket item this summer. The 24-year-old center back was one of the few standout performers for Fulham this season, earning the captain’s armband and anchoring the backline with both a hulking frame and excellent footwork. By all accounts, Andersen wants to remain in the Premier League and Spurs lead the pack in chasing his signature.