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Premier League

  • 28 August 2011
  • • 13:00
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Referee: K. Friend
  • • Attendance: 42684

Newcastle United – Fulham Preview: Home side look to maintain impressive defensive start as Cottagers search for first goal of the new season

Newcastle United – Fulham Preview: Home side look to maintain impressive defensive start as Cottagers search for first goal of the new season

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Alan Pardew's side aim to overcome departure of Joey Barton and continue positive start to Premier League campaign, as west Londoners aim to put aside Europa League hangover

Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, R Taylor
Obertan, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez
Ba, Ameobi
Hughes, Hangeland, Senderos, Briggs; Kasami, Murphy, Etuhu, Duff
Johnson, Dempsey

Expect Shola Ameobi to start up front if the striker recovers from the hip problem that kept him out of Thursday’s 2-1 extra-time victory over Scunthorpe, with younger brother Sammy likely to feature from the bench after grabbing a superb winner in what was a promising cameo in the midweek League Cup clash.

Gabriel Obertan is likely to start on the right of midfield following Joey Barton’s transfer to QPR, with Chiek Tiote and Yohan Cabaye lining up in the centre, whilst Alan Pardew will name an unchanged back four.

Sunday’s clash may come too early for striker Bobby Zamora to shake off the ankle injury that has kept him out of action for the past two games, with Clint Dempsey once again likely to partner Andy Johnson up front.

Martin Jol is set to recall Dickson Etuhu to midfield in place of Steve Sidwell in order to bolster his side’s presence in the middle of the park, with Swiss youngster Pajtim Kasami also set to return to the starting XI.

  • Newcastle United are the only Premier League side still yet to concede this term, with a goalless draw in their opening fixture against Arsenal followed by a 1-0 victory over local rivals Sunderland in last Saturday’s clash at the Stadium of Light.

  • If Newcastle are able to keep their third consecutive clean sheet of the new Premier League season, it would be the Magpies best defensive start to a campaign for 50 years.
  • Such a feat may not appear so unlikely when Fulham’s attacking record so far this season is considered, with the west Londoners yet to find the back of the net in their first two matches against Aston Villa and Wolves.
  • However it is Newcastle who have struggled in front of goal against Sunday’s visitors in recent history, failing to score in their last three games against the Cottagers.
  • This will be Fulham’s third consecutive visit to St. James’ Park in which they have had a different manager at the helm, with Mark Hughes in charge for last season’s 0-0 draw, while Roy Hodgson’s side compounded misery at Newcastle two years before that, as they all but condemned their hosts to relegation to the Championship in the second to last game of the 2008-09 season with a 1-0 away victory.


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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Tim KrulGoalkeeper
25Danny SimpsonDefender
27Steven TaylorDefender
2Fabricio ColocciniDefender
16Ryan TaylorDefender
6Yohan CabayeMidfielder
24Cheikh TioteMidfielder
18Jonas GutierrezMidfielder
-Peter LovenkrandsStriker
25Gabriel ObertanStriker
20Leon BestStriker
12Ole SoderbergGoalkeeper
31Shane FergusonDefender
8Sylvain MarveauxMidfielder
29Haris VuckicMidfielder
17Alan SmithStriker
9Demba BaStriker
28Sammy AmeobiStriker
23Mark SchwarzerGoalkeeper
17Matthew BriggsDefender
18Aaron HughesDefender
-Brede HangelandDefender
6Chris BairdDefender
13Danny MurphyMidfielder
4Steve SidwellMidfielder
30Mousa DembeleStriker
10Pajtim KasamiMidfielder
2Clint DempseyStriker
16Damien DuffMidfielder
38Neil EtheridgeGoalkeeper
2Stephen KellyDefender
14Philippe SenderosDefender
15Marcel GecovMidfielder
20Dickson EtuhuMidfielder
21Kerim FreiMidfielder
8Andy JohnsonStriker
Players to Watch
Demba Ba
Demba Ba
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Senegalese striker has so far looked a shade of the player that provided West Ham with some brief respite in their relegation battle last season, with his Premier League debut against Arsenal followed by a similarly uninspired performance against Scunthorpe.

With Newcastle looking increasingly unlikely to invest further in their squad before the close of the transfer window, it will be essential for the Magpies that Ba becomes more potent in front of goal sooner rather than later.
Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 2
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The American forward scored 12 goals in the Premier League last season for Fulham – form which boss Martin Jol will no doubt hope the 28-year-old soon recaptures as his side look to overcome a faltering start to the new campaign.

With the likes of Danny Murphy, Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff amongst the ranks at Craven Cottage, it is only a matter of time before things begin to click for the west Londoners, and Dempsey’s creativity will be a driving force behind any such change.
Fulham’s Europa League exploits appear to have already taken their toll on the start of their Premier League season, whilst Newcastle have so far proved immune to the succession of departures from St. James’ Park with a relatively promising opening to their campaign.

Yet with the departure of Joey Barton to QPR compounding the ill feeling towards Magpies owner Mike Ashley, and Martin Jol’s side boasting too much creative quality not to kick start their season, expect the visitors to get their first points in a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Editor's Prediction
Fulham 1

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