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Man Utd's Bruno Fernandes needs more protection says Erik ten Hag - but who are the Premier League's most-fouled players?

Bruno Fernandes was grabbed by the throat in United's FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest and his perceived simulation against Fulham was shared on the London side's TikTok account; watch Man City vs Man Utd on Sky Sports Premier League from 3pm on Sunday; kick-off 3.30pm

Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United looks dejected during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham FC at Old Trafford on February 24, 2024 in Manchester, England.
Image: Bruno Fernandes is being targeted by opposition teams, says Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag has called for more protection for Man Utd captain Bruno Fernandes – but there are over 110 Premier League players who have been fouled more times than the Portuguese midfielder this season.

In fact, when fouls are factored per 90 minutes, there are 213 Premier League regulars fouled more frequently.

United boss Ten Hag hit out after Fernandes was grabbed by the throat by Nottingham Forest player Felipe in an FA Cup game on Wednesday and the defender went unpunished.

Ten Hag revealed Fernandes had played despite an injury in that match, in which he went on to set up United's last-gasp winner which took them into the competition's quarter-finals.

The injury was sustained in the Premier League defeat to Fulham on Saturday, with the London side drawing criticism from Ten Hag for later sharing a clip of perceived simulation from Fernandes on their TikTok account. "It is not right for a club to make such statements. They should apologise for this," said Ten Hag.

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Fulham posted a video on TikTok poking fun at Bruno Fernandes during their win against Manchester United

On Fernandes being targeted by opposition sides, Ten Hag said: "You see opponents targeting him, especially after Saturday when he had the knock and they see it. Then I feel the refereeing should protect him."

But how much do opposing sides target Fernandes?

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The midfielder was fouled just once in the match with Nottingham Forest and not at all by Fulham.

In fact, there are 110 players who have been fouled more times than Fernandes in the Premier League this season.

Fernandes has been fouled 18 times. In contrast, Newcastle's Bruno Guimaraes - the league's most-fouled player this season - has been fouled 78 times.

Of those 18 fouls on Fernandes, the opposition player has been booked twice.

Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew - the second most-fouled player in the league this season - has seen opponents given just six yellow cards for the 76 fouls on him, so may have his own case to make about protection from referees.

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What's next?

Man Utd travel to the Etihad Stadium to face cross-town neighbours Man City on Sky Sports Premier League from 3pm, kick-off 3.30pm.

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