Paul Merson disagrees with pundits on Manchester United vs Fulham score prediction

United, who beat the Cottagers three times last season, suffered a second successive 3-0 defeat in midweek, exiting the Carabao Cup at the hands of Newcastle United. The much-changed Magpies made light work of the Reds, inflicting another home defeat on them in the process.

The Reds, of course, lost 3-0 to Manchester City in the derby last weekend, meaning they were already under stern pressure to bounce back at the first available opportunity. Manager Erik ten Hag is now under more pressure than ever before during his tenure.

United had won each of their last two league outings prior to the defeat to City, meaning they will be desperate to record a third win in their last four league games on the banks of the Thames. But how do the pundits think the Reds&apos trip to the capital will go? MEN Sport has had a close look.

Chris Sutton – BBC Sport

“You cannot blame United&aposs owners for their team&aposs poor form – their players are not thinking about any boardroom uncertainty when they are out on the pitch,” Sutton told BBC Sport. “Erik ten Hag has spent 411million on players since he took charge at Old Trafford before the start of last season and, for that amount of money, the team should be doing far better than they are.

“I like Ten Hag – he seems a decent man and he did well last season – but he is under serious pressure now. &aposErik ten games&apos is what I called him last week, and that was being optimistic.

“United won at Craven Cottage in November last year but that was the only win they managed in London under Ten Hag in seven attempts in 2022-23, and they have already lost twice in the capital in the current campaign. All things considered, I should really predict another United defeat, shouldn&apost I? There is nothing whatsoever that tells me to back them.

“But, with regards to Fulham, they don&apost appear to be quite at the same level they were at last year, especially in attack. That&aposs the only reason I am going for a draw.

“Next up for United is a midweek trip to FC Copenhagen in the Champions League, and then Luton come to Old Trafford next weekend. Including this game, you would normally expect United to put all three of these teams away. If the results don&apost go to plan, then this is where things could really start to unravel for Ten Hag.”

Prediction: Fulham 1-1 United.

Paul Merson – Sportskeeda

Merson, penning his prediction for Sportskeeda, said: “This is a huge game and United don&apost generally do well at the capital. It might be a relief to them that five of their next six games are away from home – that will take the pressure off them a little bit.

“That said, I really worry for United – I simply can&apost see what their plan is or where they are going at the moment under Ten Hag. They aren&apost playing well enough and when you lose a bunch of games, one thing that goes away is confidence.

“I said it yesterday [Wednesday] and I think the manager has lost the dressing room – the way they lost their last two games was really poor. They were desperately devoid of energy and I couldn&apost spot any leaders on the pitch, which is something I haven&apost seen at United for a long, long time.

“Even when United won games this season, they were never great and their results simply papered over their cracks. They are seven points behind fifth-placed Aston Villa at this stage of the season, which is shocking no matter how you look at it.

“As for Ten Hag, I&aposm not in agreement with the way he treats his players. Man management is just as important as coaching and he comes off as someone who doesn&apost want to be questioned regardless of the situation. There&aposs a lot of pressure on him and I think it&aposs going to get a lot worse, so I&aposm going for a Fulham win.”

Prediction: Fulham 1-0 United.

Mark Lawrenson – Paddy Power