Welcome one and all to the ‘Game ON’ article which will take us through every twist and turn of the visit to the rather picturesque Craven Cottage where Alan Pardew’s men will do battle with Martin Jol’s Cottagers.
It’s not been a bad start to 2012 has it? As Shamrock pointed out in his fantastic match preview, we’ve won all of our fixtures, including that one against some second class (well, we made them look second class on the night) outfit from Manchester, and signed one of the most sought after strikers in Europe. To add to that, we’ve still not seen any of our key players leave the club and are actively trying to retain the services of Captain Coloccini, who may have a new impressive defensive buddy if rumours are to be believed!
All of that pales into insignificance this afternoon though as the focus shifts towards what happens in 90 minutes of football in West London. Thing is, as our resident statto pointed out in another one of his expertly composed “Stat Attack’s”, we don’t exactly have the best record against Fulham. They are yet another one of our bogey teams.
However Newcastle have become quite adept at ending these hoodoo’s in recent times. I mean we recently beat Manchester United for the first time in a decade, we beat Blackburn earlier in the season after about eight years of failing to do so, we won at Stoke away and Bolton away – both grounds where we traditionally do pretty badly. You get my point.
We’ll see what happens today but no doubt the lads will have been boosted by the arrival of Papiss Demba Cisse. The level of competition, especially for our strikers, has been ramped up a few notches and now they must show their worth or risk being left behind in terms of the first team. Plus they have the bonus of knowing that if they can keep in touch with the top five or six whilst Cheik Tiote, Demba Ba and Cisse are away at ACoN then we will be in a cracking position when they come back and can challenge those European spaces.
Anyway, that’s enough waffle. Both Shamrock and NUFC_stats have provided more than enough background on the match without me going into more so I’ll leave you to have a gander of their articles instead of me going on and on and on…
The match is being broadcast overseas so there is a good chance of picking up a stream although, as ever, the quality will be hit and miss. If you do manage to stumble across a good stream though why not share it with your fellow Mags and leave a link to it in the comments section below? It would be most appreciated I’m sure.
Right now though it’s Game On, and with NUFC knowing that a win would guarantee 5th place ahead of the Arsenal v Manchester United match tomorrow the carrot is already on the stick and the lads know what is on offer.
Howay the lads!
Fulham: David Stockdale; Stephen Kelly, Brede Hangeland, Philippe Senderos, John Arne Riise; Steve Sidwell, Danny Murphy (c), Clint Dempsey; Damien Duff, Bobby Zamora, Bryan Ruiz
Subs: Neil Etheridge, Matthew Briggs, Chris Baird, Aaron Hughes, Kerim Frei, Marcel Gecov, Andrew Johnson
Newcastle: Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; Hatem Ben Arfa, Danny Guthrie, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez; Leon Best, Shola Ameobi
Subs: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, James Perch, Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling, Gabriel Obertan, Peter Lovenkrands.