Monday night pits two recent Premier League strugglers against one another at Craven Cottage in Fulham and Newcastle, with both sides looking to return to form and climb up the table.
The hosts have not scored a goal in three games and have failed to record a victory in seven attempts, currently sitting in 13th spot in the division.
Visitors Newcastle are one place lower with the same points haul as Fulham, but ended their own win-less streak of seven matches in all competitions by comfortably defeating Wigan 3-0 last week.
Martin Jol complained of ‘tiredness’ among his squad after losing to Spurs at home last time out, but the hosts remain the firm favourites to win this match - priced at 10/11 (1.90) with bet365.
Those odds look too short to back Fulham, and although supporting Newcastle at 3/1 (4.00) is tempting, going with the draw at 13/5 (3.60) seems the safest match bet.
The Cottagers will be without Bryan Ruiz who is thought to be out with injury till at least Christmas, while Newcastle are set to miss the industrious Yohan Cabaye until February.
Those two creative sparks sitting out this fixture will mean both sides are weaker in terms of creating chances, in what should be an evenly-matched encounter between two teams who will hope for a change in fortunes as Christmas approaches.
Four of Fulham’s last seven matches ended all square, while Newcastle are yet to win on the road in the league and have also drawn four from seven away trips in all competitions.
Crucially, both managers would be happy with a draw - and bearing in mind this fixture ended 5-2 last year - goals can be expected again, with both teams to score priced at 8/11 (1.72).
Before their recent barren spell in front of goal, Fulham had netted at least once in all but one league match so far this season.
Newcastle do not have a great record in front of goal on the road - scoring just seven times in seven games - but they looked like getting back to their best against Wigan on home soil.
Senegal international Demba Ba scored twice that day and is a good bet to fire against Fulham at 15/8 (2.87) anytime, and can be backed at 13/2 (7.5) to break the deadlock which looks a big price and ideal as a value bet.
Ba is joint-third top scorer in the Premier League alongside Luis Suarez with 10 goals - one behind Manchester United frontman Robin Van Persie and two behind Swansea's scoring sensation Michu - and the Newcastle number 19 will be keen to keep up the pressure on those goal-getters by adding more to his tally in west London.
|Fulham to draw against Newcastle at 13/5 (3.60) with Bet365
||Demba Ba to score first at 13/2 (7.50) with Bet365
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Jamie Dickenson is a 22-year-old freelance journalist who specialises in football, sports and betting. More of his work can be found here - and you can also follow Jamie on
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