Newcastle V Fulham | Preview


After our little jaunt to the far side of the continent for a touch of European football out in Ukraine, it’s back to league action with our longest domestic trip of the season. Fulham are off to pay a visit to a Newcastle side who haven’t scored against us in the last three meetings and are currently on a poor run of form against teams from London, having won one out of their last ten league games against Londoners. So are we confident?

Head to Head

In the nine seasons we’ve met Newcastle at St James Park in the Premier League our record has not been as bad as you’d expect from a club that has traditionally been awful on the road. Having won, lost and drawn an equal amount its a lot better than many places we’ll visit this season. Infact we’ve only lost once in our last four trip to their gaff. And it’s been the site of a couple of good vistories for us too. Remember the 4-1 away win there? A horrific injury to Jimmy Bullard inspired the team on to a terrific win. Collins Joh, Steed and Boa got on the score sheet that day. We could probably do with a few of those striking options this weekend.


Likely Formation

Now the formation and player selection could be somewhat of a mystery. After the poor showing last Sunday at Wolves when Jol played players out of position he could decided to revert back to what the players, and fans, are familiar with. On the other hand perhaps he knows something we don’t and that given time this is new system is the future for the Whites.

I, along with many others, can’t see the merit of Hughes moving to right back with Baird not even warming the bench, though Jol seems to be favouring this at the moment. And with Riise now being out for a few weeks at least, and Baird not being favoured, I can see youngster Briggs getting an opportunity to have a run in the starting line up. The midfield has seemed pretty settled right from the start of our Europa League adventure in June, the only possible change would be to rest players after the midweek match with Murphy surely most likely to sit out the game.

Having seen the side, both on Thursday evening and last weekend, without Zamora in the side we seemed lifeless, unimaginative and not likely to threaten the opposition goal. Seeing this I fully expect Jol to change it slightly up front with Dembele coming in to the starting XI and dempsey returning to the midfield. Whether Andy Johnson is able to cut it at this level still, playing in what is effectiely a lone striker role, is yet to be seen. But if rumours are true it woul aear that this is the area Jol is looking to strengthen before the window shuts next week. With our current out of form forwards we don’t really want to be coming up against a side which is yet to conceed a goal in the league this season. But we do.

If nothing else though, it’ll be a chance to see the new Fulham’s third strip get it’s first, and possibly only, outing. Blue and gold? I’ll reserve judgement on that, just as I will with Jol’s formations, until after the game on Sunday.

Though we are on the brink of making Fulham history. Were we to lose the game it will be out 100th loss in the Premier League. Let’s put that record on hold for a few weeks at least, yeah?



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