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Premier League

  • 13 November 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Referee: L. Probert
  • • Attendance: 44686
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Newcastle United - Fulham Preview: Joey Barton suspended as Cottagers look for first away league win in 15 months

Newcastle United - Fulham Preview: Joey Barton suspended as Cottagers look for first away league win in 15 months

TEAM NEWS

Newcastle United

Newcastle are without Joey Barton after the midfielder received a three-match ban for punching Morten Gamst Pedersen during their 2-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday night.

Wayne Routledge is the likely candidate to replace the suspended Barton on the right of the Magpies midfield.

Shola Ameobi is also a doubt for Chris Hughton's side as he limped off against Blackburn with a hamstring injury. Nile Ranger came on for Ameobi at half-time against Rovers, and will be hoping to get his chance from the start to partner the in-form Andy Carroll in attack.

It depends whether Chris Hughton elects to play the 4-2-3-1 formation which he started the season with, or carry on with the 4-4-2 system which has gained the Magpies wins over rivals Sunderland and most notably an impressive 1-0 victory against Arsenal.

Possible starting XI: Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Enrique; Routledge, Nolan, Tiote, Gutierrez; Ranger, Carroll.

Fulham

Fulham manager Mark Hughes has highlighted the importance of Brede Hangeland as he prepares a team to defend against the in-form striker in the Premier League, Andy Carroll.

The Cottagers have no new injury worries and will bring the same squad to St James' Park that fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of local rivals Chelsea on Wednesay night.

Academy graduate Matthew Briggs should get his second start for Fulham after making his debut on Wednesday against Chelsea, as first choice left-back Carlos Salcido is out until December with a knee ligament injury.

Possible starting XI: Schwarzer; Kelly, Hughes, Hangeland, Briggs; Davies, Murphy, Etuhu, Duff; Dempsey, Dembele.

Past Meetings

Eighteen months ago, Roy Hodgson's Fulham side came to St James' Park on the penultimate game of the season, to face Alan Shearer's Newcastle United, desperate for three points in their bid for Premier League survival.

Diomansy Kamara netted the only goal to give Fulham a 1-0 win and send Newcastle closer to the drop. The Geordies' fate was sealed a week later, as current Fulham player Damien Duff deflected a shot past Steve Harper to relegate Newcastle to the Championship.

The two sides have met eight times in the Premier League at St James' Park, both winning three times, with the game ending level on two separate occasions.

Home sickness

Fulham are without an away win in the Premier League since a Bobby Zamora goal secured a 1-0 victory against Portsmouth in August 2009, and will be looking to capitalise on Newcastle's inconsistent home form on Saturday.

Newcastle are the complete opposite and have one of the best away records in the division, recording victories over West Ham, Everton and Arsenal.

The Toon Army are currently the most unpredictable team in the division, having lost at home to Stoke, Blackpool and Blackburn, despite smashing 11 goals past Sunderland and Aston Villa respectively at St James' Park.

The home side currently sit fifth in the table, four points ahead of 15th-placed Fulham, and both sides will be eager for a win to gain some breathing space in a very tight division.

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Players to watch

A. Carroll

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The Newcastle No.9 has constantly been in the headlines this season for both his prolific goalscoring and his ongoings off the field, and Fulham will have their work cut out if they're to stop the young centre-forward from adding to his goal tally on Saturday.

The Geordie frontman is tipped to get his first senior England call-up for the international friendly against France on Wednesday, and after scoring seven goals in 12 Premier League games this season, it's no surprise that Fabio Capello is showing interest in the youngster.

Despite recent controversies off the field, Carroll is the worst nightmare for Premier League centre-backs at the moment and has looked unplayable at times this season, especially when he bagged a hat-trick against Aston Villa back in August.

Mark Hughes has said that Brede Hangeland is up for the challenge, and the duel between the two players on Saturday should be very interesting to say the least.

D. Duff

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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When the Irishman signed for Newcastle in 2006 for £5 million, it was touted as one of the best buys of the season. However, in a three year spell at Newcastle, Duff never hit the heights that were expected of him after impressing at previous clubs Blackburn and Chelsea, and will forever be remembered as the player who deflected in the goal that sent the Magpies down to the Championship.

Since moving to Fulham in the aftermath of Newcastle's relegation, Duff has shown some of the form that made him one of the hottest prospects in British football, netting nine goals in 40 appearances and playing a pivotal role in the side's run to the Europa League final last season.

He is sure to get a frosty reception from the St James' Park faithful after abandoning the Newcastle ship as soon as they were relegated, but if Fulham are to come away with a result Duff will no doubt play an important part in unlocking his former club's defence.

Editor's Prediction

This is a really tough game to call. Although Fulham haven't won a game away from home in 15 months, Newcastle's home form has been so inconsistent and Joey Barton's absence will be a huge miss for Chris Hughton as he has been arguably been their best player in recent weeks. The key battle in this match is Andy Carroll versus Brede Hangeland, if Fulham can stop Newcastle's main man from dictating the game with his aerial ability they should be able to come away from St James' Park with a positive result.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Newcastle United

Fulham

Wins
2
0
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Newcastle United FC NEW
Newcastle United FC Newcastle United
Draw
Fulham FC FUL
Fulham FC Fulham
58%
26%
16%

Top 3 Predictions

Newcastle United FC NEW
2 - 1
Fulham FC FUL
Newcastle United FC NEW
2 - 0
Fulham FC FUL
Newcastle United FC NEW
1 - 1
Fulham FC FUL

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