(live @ Sky Supercalcio)
Fulham hope to take advantage of Manchester City's defensive frailties as the defending champions visit Craven Cottage on Saturday. Martin Jol's side have lost only one of their last 13 home games (winning 10) and now come up against a City side which has struggled to regain the defensive solidity they showed in winning last season's Premier League title. After losing 4-2 at home to Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, the Citizens have now shipped 14 goals in seven games and are yet to keep a clean sheet this term. City had struggled against Fulham between 2007 and 2009 but the Cottagers haven't won in their last seven games against City and have failed to win any of their last six meetings at Craven Cottage.
• Fulham have nine points from their opening five matches, their second best points total at this stage of a Premier League season, and the best since they had 10 points in 2002-03.
• Man City dropped just two points from the first 36 available last season; in 2012-13, they have already dropped six from the first 15 available.
Martin Jol revealed on Friday that Dimitar Berbatov suffered a thigh injury in training and will miss the City clash and could face a fortnight on the sidelines. Hugo Rodallega looks likely to continue up front after notching against former club Wigan last weekend and he could be partnered with Bryan Ruiz tucked in behind. That would see Alex Kacaniklic line up on the left, although Karim Frei is back in training and is now pushing for a role.
M Schwarzer • S Riether, A Hughes, B Hangeland, JA Riise • D Duff, S Sidwell, C Baird, A Kacaniklic • B Ruiz • H Rodallega
Roberto Mancini can welcome back Samir Nasri from his recent hamstring injury: the Frenchman seems likely to be eased back into action and could start from the bench at Fulham. Jack Rodwell is ruled out with a groin problem, but James Milner has recovered from a foot problem and could return for the trip to Fulham and he could figure. Micah Richards believes he is two weeks away from a return and, with Maicon still a doubt, Pablo Zabaleta should continue at right-back. Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli both played 120 minutes apiece in the midweek cup defeat at home to Villa; Sergio Aguero looks nailed-on with Edin Dzeko for the remaining forward role.
J Hart • P Zabaleta, V Kompany, J Lescott, G Clichy • Y Toure, J Garcia • D Silva, S Aguero, S Sinclair • E Dzeko