Fulham (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

It’s hard to know what to think coming into this one. After a crucial away win at Huddersfield last weekend, we should be full of confidence, especially when we’re facing a Fulham side rock bottom with the worst defence in Europe.

That said, we have the worst home record in England’s top four tiers, losing 7 of our 9 at St James’ Park so far this season. They may have conceded almost twice as many as we have so far this term, but they’ll be quietly buoyed by the fact we’ve lost our last two at home.

It’s a huge game for both sides. For us, a few big wins have seen us create a little bit of breathing space between ourselves and the bottom three, but given our fixtures get seriously tough for a good month after tomorrow’s game, we need to get the points in the bag now – because I’m not expecting us to pick up many in the games that await against the likes of Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea and City.

If the truth be told, Fulham have been absolutely woeful defensively this season and rarely concede less than 2. If we get in their faces, get bodies around Rondon and good crosses into the box then I can see their defence crumbling – but there can be no room for complacency. They have several talented players and I’m expecting Ranieri to get something out of them soon enough.

Preferred XI

As ever, here’s the team I’d like to see, followed by the side I expect Rafa to go with:

At the back, Lascelles may do well to keep his place given Schar and Clark’s form, with Fernandez also back – however I think Rafa will play our most physical defender given Mitrovic will look to bully us at the back.

Dummett could also return. Manquillo has filled in well in the last few games, but this is a game where staying solid should see us through – and Dummett is exactly that.

One of Ki or Diame could do with a rest, but with Shelvey injured, Hayden out of sorts and Longstaff unlikely to be thrown in at the deep end just yet, they’ll no doubt continue in the middle.

I expect Ritchie to be recalled and would be surprised to see Kenedy keep his place after such a poor display at Huddersfield (albeit as a wing-back).

Predicted NUFC team – (4-2-3-1) – Dubravka – Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez – Dummett – Ki, Diame – Ritchie, Perez, Atsu – Rondon.  

The Opposition

Here’s a few ‘ones to watch’ in this Fulham side:

Any of their defenders! – They’ve conceded 42 goals in 17 games this season and game the worst defence in Europe. Soft, positionally awful and no organisation whenever I’ve watched them, so Rondon will be licking his lips IF we can get good service into him.

Aleksandar Mitrovic – Whether we like it or not, he’s been their standout player so far this season, with 7 goals and much improved all round performances from what I’ve seen. I still question his mobility and work rate, but he’ll back into our defenders and look to cause havoc in the box. He’s bulked up since we last saw him at St James’ so Lascelles and co. must stand up to the test physically.

Tom Cairney – Time will tell if he can make anywhere near the same impact at this level, but he’s someone who really did run the game when they came to St James’ Park two seasons ago and beat us 1-3. We can’t afford to give him or Seri too much time on the ball.

Andre Schurrle – Has a real eye for goal and will shoot on sight – with him him having over 10 shots alone in one game I watched him in earlier this season. One to watch for our full backs as he’s bound to drift inside.

Predicted Fulham XI – (4-2-3-1): Rico – Odoi, Mawson, Ream, Bryan – Chambers, Seri – Kamara, Cairney, Schurrle, Mitrovic.

Team news

Jonjo Shelvey is ruled out once again, DeAndre Yedlin is back from suspension and Federico Fernandez could return after taking part in training over the last few days.

Top young winger Ryan Sessegnon is out for them with a groin injury, as is former Marseille midfielder Frank Anguissa.

Match Prediction

As I said earlier, I’m struggling to know how this game will pan out – with us seeming like the last team who’d really attack a side (despite their major frailties at the back).

That said, if we can keep it tight at our end then I definitely fancy us to win. Fulham haven’t kept a clean sheet all season, with their defensive record suggesting they concede well over 2 per game filling me with cautious optimism given Salomon Rondon’s form.

Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Fulham

Howay the lads!

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

42 thoughts on “Fulham (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

  1. I’d only differ from your predicted line up Olly by playing Atsu Perez Kenedy behind Rondon. So Kenedy instead of Ritchie who aside from effort has been poor all season.


  2. Our home form is bloody woeful but so is their defence so you would expect a draw though obviously want the win.
    2.1 to us


  3. Fernandez and Schar have been excellent so far this season, but Mitrovic will be a real physical battle and I think Lascelles or Clark should be in there for that reason.
    I’d stick with the 3-4-2-1 formation. I don’t think it suits Lascelles – he seems to have struggled a bit to understand his role in it, but as a team I think we have looked stronger overall defensively and more dangerous offensively.
    We don’t have the personnel to perfect it yet, but it has certainly looked far better than 4-2-3-1.

    I’d play Schar, Fernandez and Clark at CB – they coped really well with Burnley’s big forwards.
    Yedlin RWB and Manquillo LWB – as much as I don’t really rate him, I think he has looked ok at WB.
    The rest pick themselves I think.

    Don’t like making predictions until I see his starting 11.


  4. Olly I think we’re playing Fulham not Huddersfield… you say Huddersfield under ‘the opporsition’… ?

    This will not be an easy game. Our home form Is sh.ite. Mitro will want to make a point too. Most likely a draw I think, I’ll go for a 2-2 although I hope I’m wrong and we win well.


  5. Just read that Clark is out with an ankle injury – in that case I’d play Lascelles in that back 3 – or maybe even Dummett in the back 3.

    If Ki is off after the Fulham game, I would make sure Longstaff gets some game time tomorrow – regardless of the score line I’d be putting him on for 20-25mins. It will be hard enough facing Liverpool, but if it’s just first taste of PL first team football, that could consume him. 20-25mins at home against Fulham could just knock the edge off that for him though.


  6. Dubai Toon:
    Olly I think we’re playing Fulham not Huddersfield… you say Huddersfield under ‘the opporsition’… ?

    This will not be an easy game. Our home form Is sh.ite. Mitro will want to make a point too.Most likely a draw I think, I’ll go for a 2-2 although I hope I’m wrong and we win well.

    😆 Cheers mate!

    Will change now.


  7. Another home game where expectations are for a win. That means it will be a hell of a struggle and probably a defeat or draw.



  8. “The stadium dominates the city landscape just as it shapes the emotions of the residents and supplicants.

    “The Strawberry pub is always worth a visit, and many gather at the Sir Bobby Robson statue or past the Alan Shearer statue.

    “Noise is guaranteed, as fans put aside their dislike of the owner Mike Ashley to get behind those in the black-and-white shirts.
    “The roar from the Gallowgate and other parts of the ground when Newcastle attack is something special, and the sheer joy when Newcastle score is almost visceral in its intensity.

    “It’s a ground used to disappointment in recent years but driven by hope and a desire simply to see the players do justice to the shirt.”

    Henry Winter on the best place to watch sport 😀


  9. Palace beating City 3.1 wtf !
    Meanwhile we are the only PL team not to muster a shot on target v Fulham in the first half this season !
    Embarrassing 😳


  10. Disappointing not to get the win but Mitro nearly punished us, Kamara too at the death.
    Liverpool will murder us for sure, with City losing they will want to press home their points advantage.


  11. Well that was a really really sh.it game. Fulham have zero clean sheets until they meet us. We are totally useless and toothless. Kenedy needs to f.uck off back to Chelsea. He’s sh.it. Referee again for the third week running denies us a clear penalty. Kamara could easily have seen red except it was against us, so yellow is fine. ??? we didn’t lose, but my god what a pile of sh.it, once again at home. We have to be winning these matches against bottom teams. Liverpool will destroy us.


  12. Dubai, it’s totally depressing stuff , stuck in 17th position and 5 points clear soon to be wiped out with our upcoming run of fixtures.


  13. Anyway, Merry Christmas lads and lasses. Let’s hope there is truth in the takeover story and that that awful display hasn’t deterred any would be buyers.


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