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Premier League Preview: Fulham - Newcastle United

With Arsenal playing on Sunday, a win for Newcastle at Craven Cottage would propel it into fifth place and just one point below the Champions League qualification spots.


PROBABLE LINEUPS

FULHAM

Stockdale
Kelly, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise
Sidwell, Murphy,
Dembele, Dempsey,
Ruiz
,
Zamora

NEWCASTLE UNITED

Krul
Simpson, Williamson, Collocini, Santon
R.Taylor, Cabaye, Guthrie, Gutierrez
Ben Arfa
Best

Moussa Dembele should recover in time to face Newcastle after coming off with a knock in the disappointing 3-1 loss to 10-man Blackburn last week. If he should fail to make the squad, expect Damien Duff to fill in for the attacking midfielder.

Dickson Etuhu will also be in contention to team up with Danny Murphy in Fulham's midfield but the Nigerian is also carrying an injury. Aside from that, the rest of the Fulham side should pick itself. Mark Schwarzer is still a week or two away from returning to action, while Zdenek Grygera remains the only long-term absentee for Martin Jol. The Czech is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a serious knee injury.

Newcastle has doubts over the fitness of Yohan Cabaye, but assuming he is ready he should partner Danny Guthrie in the middle of the park. It's hard to tell if Alan Pardew will select two strikers (Leon Best and Shola Ameobi) or stick with the lone front-man away from home and utilize the play-making ability of Hatem Ben Arfa between the lines.

Sylvain Marveaux, Steven Taylor and Sammy Ameobi are the long-term injuries for Newcastle while Demba Ba, Cheikh Tiote and new signing Papiss Cisse are ruled out due to their participation in the African Nations Cup.

DID YOU KNOW?
  • The last five matches between the two sides at Craven Cottage have been decided by a single goal.
  • Newcastle has won just one of its last five away games in London (1-0 against Arsenal in Nov. 2010).
  • There are currently only seven sides that have had a longer Premier League stay than Fulham (Aston Villa, Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham).
  • Martin Jol's side has already played 36 competitive matches this campaign, just two short of a full Premier League calendar.
  • Newcastle has kept just one clean sheet in its last eight Premier League away games.
  • Alan Pardew's side has failed to score on its travels on just one occasion in the league this season.
  • Seminal figures of footballing folklore shared roles at both Newcastle and Fulham. Sir Bobby Robson played 344 times for Fulham before later managing Newcastle for five years.
  • The great Newcastle number nine Malcolm Macdonald began his playing career at Fulham before later managing the west London side for four years.
  • The absent Demba Ba is responsible for half of Newcastle's 30 league goals this season. 
  • Clint Dempsey (pictured) is just one goal short of his seasonal record for Fulham (13). He currently has 12 to his name, with six coming in the Premier League.
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