It’s top versus top in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday when Premier League leaders Manchester City host Championship table-toppers Fulham.
It has been two weeks since City were last in action after the international break, with the last outing seeing Pep Guardiola’s side drop points in the Premier League for the first time in 13 games as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Southampton.
City advanced to round four of the FA Cup by beating League Two Swindon Town 4-1 in early January, but they will face a tougher test this time around as they host Fulham, with the Cottagers currently sat five points clear at the top of the Championship.
After naming a strong side in the third round and having gone two weeks without a game, it won’t be a surprise to see Guardiola go with his best XI on Saturday.
Riyad Mahrez could start after returning from AFCON much earlier than expected, but Brazilian duo Gabriel Jesus and Ederson may not be risked as they fly back late from international duty.
Cole Palmer could return after missing out with fitness problems prior to the break, but it may be too early for Oleksandr Zinchenko, with the Ukrainian still a doubt.
So, what line-up will City select? And what could the final score be?
We used FIFA 22 to get a score prediction for City vs Fulham in the FA Cup and this is what happened…
Man City vs Fulham FA Cup score predicted by simulation
We used kick-off mode in FIFA 22, but didn’t select a team to control, we then selected the teams and watched the match play out by itself, to give us a score prediction.
We predict that City could set up in a 4-3-3 formation, with their line-up as follows: Stefan; Walker, Stones, Ake, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Gundogan; Mahrez, Foden, Grealish.
We predict that the Cottagers could set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with their line-up as follows: Gazzaniga; Tete, Adarabioyo, Hector, Byran; Reed, Chalobah; Wilson, Carvalho, Kebano; Mitrovic.
A mistake at the back gifted City an early lead at the Etihad, with Jack Grealish the one to take advantage.
A loose pass at the back saw Kyle Walker pounce and charge towards the byline, and the full-back pulled it back towards Grealish in the box who lashed a powerful effort into the top corner of the net.
Just a couple of minutes later, Phil Foden doubled City’s advantage with a fierce strike to finish off a lovely passing move.
Grealish and Ilkay Gundogan linked up well on the edge of the box before the German fizzed a pass into the feet of Kevin De Bruyne, and the midfielder gently laid the ball off to Foden who hit a first-time strike into the corner from close range .
De Bruyne then found himself on the scoresheet as City raced into a dominant 3-0 lead after just 25 minutes.
Joao Cancelo weaved his way past a couple of players before setting himself up to shoot on his right, but he faked his shot and played a ball through to De Bruyne, and the Belgian drilled past the ‘keeper at his near post.
On the stroke of half-time, Alexsandar Mitrovic pulled a goal back for the visitors.
The Championship’s top scorer received the ball just inside the box and smartly rolled the ball past the onrushing Nathan Ake to open up a sight of the goal.
The Serbian made no mistake with his finish, curling into the bottom right corner to give the Cottagers a glimmer of hope before the break.
Liverpool transfer target Fabio Carvalho pulled a goal back for Fulham in the final five minutes with a scuffed shot to set up a nervy end to the game for City, but the hosts held out for the win.
FIFA 22 predicted final score: Man City 3-2 Fulham
Here are the full-time match stats:
FIFA 22 predicts that City could race into a dominant lead within the opening half an hour, but Fulham’s high-scoring attack could potentially hand City a scare, pulling two goals back as City eventually advance to the next round.
What do you think the final score will be in the real game? Let us know in the comments below
FIFA 22 is the latest game in EA’s popular FIFA video game franchise, which was released worldwide on Friday, October 1, 2021. The game is available now on all platforms including Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Stadia and PC.