Fulham manager confirms major double fitness boost for Man Utd clash amid Joao Palhinha blow

Manchester United are hoping to record a fifth straight Premier League win but face a Fulham side with key players returning.

Fulham manager Marco Silva has confirmed that Willian 'has a chance' of being fit for this weekend's clash with Manchester United - while Armando Broja has recovered from illness. Fulham head to Old Trafford on Saturday hoping to bounce back from last week's disappointing 2-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa. Willian started that game at Craven Cottage but was forced off at half-time and has missed some training sessions during the week.

On-loan Chelsea striker Broja also missed the game due to illness while regular starters Alex Iwobi and Calvin Bassey were both late substitutes, following their participation for Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations final. Both will be fit to start come Saturday and Fulham will make a judgement on Willian as late as possible.

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“We’re assessing Willian. He has a chance,” Silva told reporters on Thursday. “Apart from Raúl [Jimenez], everyone should be ready. Broja wasn’t well for the last match, but he’s okay. [Bassey and Iwobi] needed time to breathe a little bit. They are more than ready to start if I decide in this way. It was a really intense final for them. They are really important for us.”

Watch the latest on United’s pursuit of Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth here.Fulham will be without Joao Palhinha, however, with the Portuguese midfielder serving the first of a two-game ban after picking up a 10th yellow card of the season against Villa. Harrison Reed will likely start in his absence but it is a huge loss for the travelling side.

The Cottagers haven't won at Old Trafford since October 2003 but were the better side for much of last season's dramatic FA Cup quarter-final clash. They looked set to progress before losing Aleksandar Mitrovic, Willian and manager Silva to red cards with less than 20 minutes to go.

The Portuguese boss admits it will be a tough task to try and end United's four-game winning run in the Premier League but his side will 'fight' for a first Old Trafford win in more than 20 years.

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"We are definitely stronger with all the players available, but it's not the moment to talk about Joao. The chance is going to be there for someone to take and I hope that the player can come in and can show quality.  

"[United] are more confident, if you look at them they are achieving so many good results home and away. They have top players who can decide a game in any moment. It's going to be a challenging one for us but we are ready to fight for the three points."

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