Claudio Ranieri’s struggling Fulham team make the long trip to Tynseside this Saturday to face Newcastle United. The Toon is a slightly more optimistic place this week, after Rafael Benitez’s men won 1-0 away at Huddersfield Town, ending a run of three games without a victory. Fulham have endured a tough season, though the spirit at the club seems to have improved somewhat since Claudio Ranieri took over as manager last month. Ranieri led his team to a home victory over Southampton in his first game in charge, but the Cottagers have lost three and drawn one of their subsequent matches. That kind of record indicates that the west London outfit is already in a relegation battle. They need at least a point from this trip to the North East.
Newcastle United vs Fulham Prediction: Newcastle 1-0 Fulham
Our prediction for this game is that the home side will run out 1-0 winners. Fulham are really struggling right now, and they look like a team that needs some rebuilding work to happen to it in January. Newcastle have won their last three home games over Fulham in the Premier League, so history looks like being on the side of the Magpies too. Manager Rafael Benitez also has a good personal record against the Cottagers, with his teams having won four and drawn three of his last seven games facing Fulham.
Our recommended tip: Newcastle 1-0
Our featured tip for this match comes from William Hill, where you can find odds of 13/2 being offered on Newcastle winning the game 1-0. This bet matches our prediction for the final scoreline perfectly, and also provides punters with some good value in terms of the available odds. Newcastle at home are always strong, and they should have enough quality in attack and strength in defence to go into the lead and hold it against a weak Fulham team. The Cottagers just do not look resilient enough right now to travel to Tyneside and come away with a positive result.
These two teams have not met in the Premier League since the 2013/14 season, when each team won one of their two league encounters. The last time they faced each other in any competition was in the 2016/17 season, when both were in the Championship. Fulham won both league matches that season. They won 1-0 at Craven Cottage in August 2016, with Matt Smith scoring the game’s only goal. The Cottagers also won at St James’ Park in March 2017, with Tom Cairney scoring once and Ryan Sessegnon twice in a 3-1 victory.
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Players to watch: Mohamed Diame & Aleksandar Mitrovic
Mohamed Diame is an important part of the Newcastle midfield. He may not offer much in attack, but when it comes to breaking up opposition forays he is outstanding. He has made 52 tackles this season, with a success rate of 56%. He has blocked five shots and made 13 interceptions, and has won 104 duels. He has won 30 aerial battles, and has emerged victorious from 10 50/50 challenges. He has made no errors that have led to goals.
Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is an enigmatic character who has re-found his sense of purpose since Claudio Ranieri took over as manager at the club. If the Cottagers are to have any chance at all of beating the drop and securing Premier League survival this season, then they need the Serb to be in good morale and scoring goals. He has netted seven times in 17 Premier League appearances so far this season.