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Newcastle travel to Fulham in search of much-needed victory
Newcastle to win 1-0
Tournament: Premier League 2022-2023 | Venue: Fulham, London, Craven CottageBet Now
Judging by the expectations of both clubs at the start of the season, you would expect Newcastle to be challenging for a place in the top four, and Fulham to be somewhere in the bottom half.
As it is, their fortunes are currently reversed, with Fulham enjoying the better start to the season.
The London side have made the most of their return to the Premier League, with top striker Mitrovic in particularly fine form. Three wins from their seven games is an excellent return.
Newcastle have been unlucky with a number of injuries to important players, and it’s important to remember that they’ve only lost one game all season.
However, they also only have one victory, a statistic that manager Eddie Howe will be keen to improve upon sooner rather than later.
Can they travel to London and pick up three points here?
Reasons to be cheerful:
Mitrovic’s form continues to boost his club and country
Have won 12 league games against Newcastle, losing 11
Reasons to be fearful:
Palhinha will miss out in midfield due to suspension
Newcastle will expect a response after the international break
Fulham’s form this season has surprised plenty, many of which predicted that they would perhaps be at the bottom of the table with little hope of survival.
Instead, they find themselves two points off the top four and with a reasonably kind run of fixtures upcoming in October.
After the Magpies, they take on bottom three side West Ham, managerless Bournemouth, inconsistent Aston Villa, Leeds and then Everton.
Marco Silva will be confident of picking up more points from that run.
Against Newcastle, they will feel confident of securing something from the game, especially with the Magpies’ inability to win matches right now.
They have a good record against them, winning their last two meetings at home.
Star Man – Aleksandar Mitrovic
Who else for Fulham? Yes, they have other goalscorers in their side, but Mitrovic is a player in red-hot form right now. The Serbian has scored 58 goals in his last 65 matches for club and country.
Reasons to be cheerful
Callum Wilson should be fit to lead the line here
Tight defence means they have only lost one game out of seven
Reasons to be fearful
The likes of Guimaraes, Saint-Maximin and Isak may still miss out through injury
Fulham are tough to play against right now
The Magpies have every reason to be excited about the future, but right now they are having to settle for a less than perfect start to the campaign.
Much of this is due to the number of injuries they’ve suffered so far, particularly going forward.
Alexander Isak, their record signing at £58m, is out injured, although Callum Wilson is back this weekend to fill in up front.
Bruno Guimaraes and Allan Saint-Maximin, two of their most creative players, are likely to be out for another week or two. Added to that is the longer-term injury of Jonjo Shelvey, and the Magpies are missing many key players.
When they have these players fit and firing, they’ll really look like a team. Until then, they’ll need to settle for being hard to beat, which they have been to their credit.
Against Fulham, if they keep Mitrovic quiet, they should reduce some of the problems their opponents can create.
Star Man – Callum Wilson
Having the striker back is a big boost for the club, who are now without Isak for a little while. Wilson can lead the line energetically and grab goals too.
Should be a fast-paced game
Both sides prefer to play with one upfront
Can Newcastle finally pick up a win?
Neither Newcastle nor Fulham are struggling right now, although points are always important in the Premier League.
Both sides will have tougher contests in future times, so this could just be a case of “go out there and enjoy yourselves” for the players, which could give us an entertaining clash.
It could come down to which striker has the better game, Wilson for Newcastle or Mitrovic for Fulham.
Both will have chances, although Newcastle’s all-round quality could help seal the points.
Newcastle to win 1-0
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