Man Utd v Fulham

Friday 17 August 2001

Manchester United boss is sweating on the fitness of England duo Nicky Butt and Phil Neville, while Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Juan Sebastian Verno may make their first appearances.

Manchester United (from): Barthez, Irwin, G Neville, Stam, Silvestre, Beckham, Butt, Veron, Giggs, Scholes, van Nistelrooy, van der Gouw, Carroll, Brown, Johnsen, P Neville, Chadwick, Wallwork, Cole, Yorke, Solsjkaer.

Fulham manager Jean Tigana will take an injury-free squad to Old Trafford. New signing from Juventus, goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, will make his debut, but striker Luis Boa Morte will miss the first three games of the new campaign.

Fulham (from): Van der Sar, Finnan, Melville, Symons, Harley, Clark, Collins, Taylor, Malbranque, Hayles, Knight, Goldbaek, Saha, Davis, Goma, Ouaddou.

* Manchester United go into the 10th Premiership season and Sir Alex Ferguson's last as manager, seeking a unique fourth successive League Championship.

* Fulham go into their first ever Premiership meeting with Man U, knowing that they've only recorded one away win over the Old Trafford giants since League hostilities began in 1922.

Total meetings: 50

Man United wins: 38

Fulham wins: 10

Draws: 12

* This is the first time in 26 years these two have met in League competition

* Man U have won the last six corresponding fixtures, stretching back to 30 March 1964.

* Fulham's one League win at Old Trafford was a 2-0 success on April Fools Day 1963 - 38 years ago.

* The Londoners last win over United was in the old 2nd Division, a 2-1 success at Craven Cottage on 5 September, 1964.

* United have gone eleven games without defeat against the Cottagers.

Man in the Middle: PETER JONES (Loughborough, Leics)