After the disappointment of losing to ten-man Blackburn Rovers last weekend, Fulham have the opportunity to get back to winning ways this Saturday when Newcastle United visit Craven Cottage. Since taking over the managerial reigns at St James Park, Alan Pardew has done a commendable job and the clash promises to be a tough one, but one Martin Jol will feel we can win.
Ahead of that fixture and on the back of that bad defeat at Ewood Park last time out, Martin Jol has mentioned that dreaded word,
“Relegation is always a worry. If we had a good result last week, we would have been fine. But, of course, now the gap is okay but not unbelievably big”
“We have to get a string of good results and then we`ll be fine.”
“We could have had seven or eight points more. I could easily say we`re in a false position. But we had good results in the last couple of months.”
“The only disappointing result was Blackburn. I`d like to get to 40 points as soon as possible.”
I`ll second that!
Fulham Team News:
Aside from the long term injury victim of Grygera, Martin Jol has relatively few injury worries. In the absence of Mark Schwarzer, David Stockdale is proving to be a more than capable deputy.
Moussa Dembele, who limped away from the action in the disappointing defeat at Ewood Park last time out, should be fit giving Jol a strong squad ot choose from.
Player to watch: Damien Duff
Scored against one of his former clubs last weekend, can he do the same thing this weekend, but hopefully with a better end result for us?
Newcastle Team News:
Alan Pardew`s squad has been hit by the African Cup of Nations. Unavailable are their leading scorer Demba Ba, their influential midfielder Cheick Tiote whilst their midweek signing Papiss Cisse is also away on international duty with Sengal in the same competition.
Hoping to be fit though is Yohan Cabaye who was carried away on a stretcher last weekend courtesy of a bad challenge from Queens Park Rangers Shaun Derry.
Player to watch: Tim Krull
A Dutch keeper who is amongst the best there is in the Premier League. If we`re going to win this we`ll need to take out chances lads!
Match Facts & Stats
Fulham go into this fixture looking to notch up a third consecutive win over the Bar-Codes. Newcastle, have not won at Craven Cottage since a 1-0 win, from the penalty spot, back in December 2007.
Whilst our overall form, in the last five games, has been nothing to write home about having won only one out of five, our home form is good with us having won three out of the last four with the scalps of Liverpool and Arsenal to our name.
Newcastle started the season like a house on fire, going unbeaten and threatening to upset the apple-cart as far as the big-four go. But, in recent times, they`ve dipped in form slightly although recent results have seen them beat Manchester United. I`m not sure they are as formidable on the road these days as they are at St James Park (or whatever it is called these days). For that reason I`m confident that Fulham can get a result, possibly a narrow win!
Next weekend we`ve a tough FA Cup 4th round tie against Everton, at Goodison Park.