Fulham vs. Newcastle United Preview

Barclays Premier League

Published: 15/01/2012

After suffering defeat to struggling Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, Fulham will have their work cut out if they are to get back to winning ways against a resurgent Newcastle United side who are buoyant following back to back Premier League victories.

It was a fairly pedestrian festive period for the Magpies who ended Christmas with a comprehensive defeat away at Liverpool, however they hit back in tremendous style to overcome long-time rivals Manchester United 3-0 in the New Year before following up with a hard fought 1-0 win against QPR after the break for the F.A Cup third round.

And the latter of those two successes was arguably of equal value to the first considering that the Toon Army were without star players Demba Ba and Cheke Tiote whilst QPRís players were all digging their heels in under the watchful eye of new boss Mark Hughes.

Many thought that following an excellent start to the campaign, Alan Pardewís men would fall away after having their bubble burst by the likes of Man City and Norwich in November.

But to their credit, Newcastle have proved all of their worth and are amazingly still in with a realistic chance of European qualification after getting back on track.

Meanwhile, things have not been looking quite so good for Fulham and Martin Jol over the past few weeks barring a brief respite against Arsenal which culminated in a terrific 2-1 win.

Their 3-1 loss at Blackburn really does represent bad form and after exiting the Europa League in equally disappointing fashion, the Cottagers are undoubtedly on the downgrade.

Even at a best priced 11/10, it is hard to fathom how Fulham can be fairly strong favourites for this fixture considering that they are placed well below the Geordies in the Premier League table and have yet to fully convince or even inspire under Jol.

Newcastle do lack a certain degree of punch and creativity without Ba and Tiote but their excellent work ethic and team morale more than compensates for those temporary losses.

Fulham, unlike previous seasons, are far from bulletproof at home and there is no reason to suggest why Newcastle cannot spike all three points in West London.

Newcastleís own form on the road has been fairly impressive and their odds of 14/5 are simply too big to ignore.

Chairman Mike Ashley has also signalled his intent to spend money in the January transfer window to bolster his sideís chances so there may also be a new face in the Toon attack in time for this match.

Although Newcastle are light up front, Fulham have conceded goals left, right and centre this season and patience may be the key as they can hit the home side on the counter attack.

It is perhaps inevitable that with a small squad in comparison to other clubs, Newcastle will fall into another slump before the seasonís denouement but with a number of players keen to step up to the plate in the absence of Ba and Tiote, they can continue their second good run of the campaign at the expense of a below average Fulham outfit and consolidate their position in the top six.

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (15/01/2012) but are subject to change.

15/01/2012     © Frixo 2018

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