Fulham - Newcastle United Preview: Hangeland returns for Martin Jol's out of form hosts
The Cottagers have not won a Premier League match in their last seven attempts, but are boosted by the return of their skipper for Monday's clash against the Magpies
By Al Hain-Cole
Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise
Duff, Sidwell, Diarra, Kacaniklic
Simpson, Coloccini, Perch, Santon
Gutierrez, Tiote, Anita, Ben Arfa
Fulham captain Brede Hangeland returns from a three-match suspension and should go straight back into the team in place of Philipe Senderos.
The Cottagers can also welcome back Alex Kacaniklic and Sascha Riether from injury, but Bryan Ruiz has been ruled out for a further month with a hamstring problem.
Hugo Rodallega will compete with Mladen Petric for a place alongside Dimitar Berbatov up front, while Kerim Frei and Ashkan Dejagah may drop to the bench following last weekend's 3-0 defeat at home to Tottenham.
Newcastle are boosted by the return of Davide Santon, Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa, who are all in contention following injury.
Demba Ba faces a late fitness test after straining his hamstring in the win over Wigan, having sat out Thursday's Europa League tie in Bordeaux.
However, Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor and Yohan Cabaye remain long-term absentees for Alan Pardew's side.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Fulham have only lost one of their last six Premier League games against Newcastle, winning the last three consecutive home matches against the Magpies.
- However, the hosts have not won in their last seven Premier League fixtures - their worst run in two years.
- Seven of the Cottagers' goals have come from the substitutes' bench, more than any other club except Manchester City.
- Fulham fans have seen more league goals at either end than those of any other club barring Manchester United, Tottenham and Southampton.
- Newcastle's 3-0 win over Wigan brought an end to their run of four consecutive Premier League defeats.
- Nevertheless, the Toon have not won on the road in their last 13 attempts in all competitions.
- Demba Ba (pictured, right) has already hit 10 league goals for the visitors this season, and is the first Newcastle striker to reach double figures in consecutive seasons since Alan Shearer.
- Alan Pardew's men are the only team not to have scored from a corner this season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Fulham 1-2 Newcastle United
- 17.16 %
Fulham 2-1 Newcastle United
- 14.74 %
Fulham 1-1 Newcastle United
- 7.92 %
|Premier League (EPL)||31 Aug 2013||Newcastle United 1 - Fulham 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||7 Apr 2013||Newcastle United 1 - Fulham 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||10 Dec 2012||Fulham 2 - Newcastle United 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||21 Jan 2012||Fulham 5 - Newcastle United 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||28 Aug 2011||Newcastle United 2 - Fulham 1|
|8 Dec 2013||Fulham 2 - Aston Villa 0||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||Fulham 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|30 Nov 2013||West Ham 3 - Fulham 0||EPL|
|23 Nov 2013||Fulham 1 - Swansea City 2||EPL|
|9 Nov 2013||Liverpool 4 - Fulham 0||EPL|
|3||John Arne Riise||Defender|
|10||Hatem Ben Arfa||Midfielder|
The tall Norwegian is back from suspension and should bring authority and discipline to the Cottagers' backline, where his height will be needed against the likes of Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse. In Hangeland's absence Philippe Senderos looked somewhat suspect, so Martin Jol will be hoping his captain can steady the ship while offering a threat at corners in the final third.
Papiss Cisse has spent much of this season in the shadow of compatriot Demba Ba, in contrast to the situation in the second half of last season; but while Ba has been a livewire presence and bagged plenty of goals, Cisse has the flair and unpredictability to unsettle the Fulham defence. The Senegal star could produce a moment or two of magic at bthe Cottage.
Newcastle have not prospered at Craven Cottage in recent visits, though Fulham find themselves in a poor run of form at home and away. The Magpies broke their own winless win on Monday with an emphatic victory over Wigan, and will be anxious to build on that. Meanwhile Martin Jol knows his side are better than recent results would indicate, and will be demanding an improvement. It could be a case of honours even, with both defences likely to concede.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed