Michael Owen has released his prediction ahead of tonight’s clash between Newcastle United and Fulham at St James’ Park.
Like Mark Lawrenson, he’s backing us to come away with a comfortable 2-0 win, but his comments will leave a few Newcastle fans scratching their heads.
He reckons we’ll have “too much for Fulham” if we play as we did in the first half against Leeds on Wednesday, believing we played well all night prior to their flurry of late goals in the final 15 minutes.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I thought we were second best all night at Elland Road and rarely “playing well”, with Leeds having 25 shots, missing several decent chances (despite scoring five!) and enjoying 69% of the ball!
Nevertheless, we’ll have to hope his prediction is right, telling Bet Victor that we’ll win 2-0:
“Unbeaten in their last two matches, Fulham should come into this brimming with confidence. Despite not being at their best, they got a point midweek against Brighton. Picking up points when not playing well is crucial if you want to stay in the Premier League, so there is still hope for the Cottagers.
“They take on a Newcastle side that endured a late onslaught against Leeds at Elland Road. Up until Leeds got their 3rd, the Magpies were playing well.
“This match is likely to be more suited to Newcastle, and if they can play like they did in the first half against Leeds, I think they’ll have too much for Fulham.”
Prediction: Newcastle 2-0 Fulham
He joins Steve Bruce in feeling we ‘gave as good as we got’ in midweek, but they must’ve been watching a different game to me.
Don’t get me wrong, we often looked like hurting a fragile Leeds back four when we got forward, but every Newcastle United attack seemed to come on the back of about five or six near misses at the other end.
Moving forward, we’ll have to hope Bruce can get the balance right much better this weekend, with Fulham improving defensively in recent weeks and looking much more confident at the other end after impressive results against Leicester and Leeds over the past fortnight.
It still remains a very winnable game, however Michael Owen may be in for a shock if he thinks a repeat of Wednesday night’s display will see us win comfortably here!