Preview: Fulham vs Manchester City

Manchester City will continue pushing for a record fourth consecutive Premier League title when they visit a Fulham side that has been strong at home all season on Saturday.

City (25-3-7, 82 points) remain in control of their destiny with three matches to play, and one in hand on an Arsenal side that enters the weekend with a one-point lead atop the table.

And with the Gunners idle until Sunday’s clash at Manchester United, Manchester City can apply more pressure with another result like their 5-1 home win against the Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend.

Erling Haaland scored four times in that one to bring his season total to 25 goals and push his lead to four over Chelsea’s Cole Palmer in the league scoring race.

Like the Wolves, Fulham are finishing the season in a zone of mid-table security, but without any chance at earning a spot in Europe next season.

That theoretically could mean a mental edge for the visitors, though City manager Pep Guardiola thinks that possibility is overstated.

“I’ve never met one player, manager or team who when they start a game they aren’t focused to play. Never ever in my life. I will not see it,” Guardiola said. “They play in front of their fans and they came to perform well and they will do everything to beat us and we will do everything to beat them.”

Fulham (12-16-8, 44 points) are winless in their past three matches, including consecutive draws against Crystal Palace and Brentford sides that have experienced varying degrees of a late-season resurgence.

But nine of the Cottagers’ league wins have come at home, including victories over Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham.

It may take an even better effort to defeat City, but it’s a challenge veteran Brazilian striker Willian is relishing.

“To beat them, you need to be perfect. In every moment of the game, in every aspect of the game. If you sleep for five seconds, they can kill us,” he said. “We respect them a lot, as I said they’re the best team in the world, but we cannot be afraid to play against them. We need to go there Saturday and try our best to win the game.”

Willian’s countryman Rodrigo Muniz scored his ninth goal of the season in the 1-1 draw against Palace two weekends ago. He could post his first career double-digit season with another, despite only becoming a regular starter over the winter.

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