Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s live coverage of Manchester United’s journey to Fulham, the final Premier League game before Boxing Day as the top flight for the World Cup.
United lost 3-1 to Aston Villa last weekend, but came back on Thursday to beat the same opponents 4-2 at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup.
A win for Erik Ten Hag’s side would cement their fifth-place finish in the World Cup, putting them three points behind Tottenham in the Champions League qualifying zone with a game in hand.
Ten Hag said: “I think the players are all aware of the importance of the game against Fulham. I will not consider the World Cup.
“We are playing against the best team – until Sunday it is in the interest of Manchester United and only in the interest of Manchester United.
“It’s going to be a really tough game, I think in the Premier League everything is very close and what I’ve seen from Fulham so far is really energetic.
“They also play really good football from behind – I remember the game against Liverpool at the start of the season – so you have to be really good there to get a result.”
Fulham got off to a strong start to their return to the top tier under Marco Silva, with five wins taking West London to the top half of the table in ninth.
A late penalty from Erling Haaland denied Fulham a draw at Manchester City last weekend, and Silva has urged his players to focus on their own game rather than worrying about what United can do.
“Besides knowing their strengths, there are also some weaknesses that we try to exploit.
“I don’t want to put all this focus on Manchester United. Of course we respect them, they have a great squad and a great team, but the focus is on ourselves and what we can do.”
“We have to improve from our last game and try to play at our best level, even if we don’t have our whole team ready for the game.”
Aleksandar Mitrovic will be missing again as he recovers from a foot problem. Bobby De Cordova-Reid is expected to return after a one-game suspension, but defender Kenny Tete and midfielder Harrison Reed serve out their own suspensions after five yellow cards.