Newcastle vs Fulham Prediction
Sunday 15th January 2023
St James’ Park
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Newcastle vs Fulham Prediction Match Overview
As part of this weekend’s Premier League predictions, following a brief interlude for the cup competitions we preview Newcastle’s return to Premier League action with their match against high-flying Fulham at St James’ Park. Building upon last season’s progress under Eddie Howe which saw Newcastle place third in the form table for the final 20 games of last season, Newcastle find themselves squarely in contention for Champions League qualification. Although they find themselves coming in off the back of two 0-0 draws to Leeds at home and Arsenal away respectively, Newcastle have taken 24 points from a possible 30 over their last 10 matches in an astonishing run of good form that has seen their miserly defence ship just three goals. In fact, the Tynesiders possess the best defensive record in the Premier League this season, having conceded just 11 goals in 18 matches, and it’s this defensive solidity combined with an attacking output of well over 1.5 goals per game which has seen Newcastle establish themselves as a real contender for Champions League qualification this season. A win for Newcastle would see them leapfrog Manchester United into third on goal difference, though having played an extra game.
As we mentioned earlier, Fulham are also flying high in the league table on their return to the Premier League following their promotion as champions of the Championship last season. Four straight victories have propelled the west London side into 6th place with half the season played, albeit having played an extra game than Brighton and Liverpool. An impressive four away wins in nine games has been largely responsible for their excellent season so far, and European qualification feels like a real possibility – a tremendous feat for a newly promoted team. Fulham are one of the league’s more interesting teams to watch, with their matches yielding over three goals per game. A Fulham victory here could see them rise above Tottenham into fifth place, depending upon how the north Londoners fare against Arsenal later on today.
Newcastle vs Fulham Team News
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Krafth, Shelvey, Targett
Might Not Play: Duffy
Will Not Play: Kebano, Robinson
Newcastle (4-3-3): Pope; Burn, Schar, Botman, Trippier; Guimaraes, Longstaff, Willock; Joelinton, Almiron, Wilson
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Leno; Kurzawa, Ream, Adarabioyo, Tete; Reed, Palhinha; Willian, Pereira, Decordova-Reid; Mitrovic
Newcastle vs Fulham Prediction Analysis
The Importance of Pressing and Counter-Pressing
Neither side is known for being ball-dominant – indeed, Newcastle’s share of possession even at home is 52.5%. Fulham don’t tend to alter their approach when playing away from home, a fact which is borne out through their 49% possession share away from home, compared with 51.9% at home. While this isn’t to suggest that either side is deficient in keeping the ball when they have to, it does show that there could potentially be rewards for each side pressing aggressively, as each side will likely have players out of position should either side be able to win the ball back quickly enough.
This fact would seem to favour Newcastle of the two sides, as they are capable of getting back into position and defending in numbers; factors which have contributed heavily to their excellent defensive record. Therefore, Fulham must look to trigger the press as soon as they lose the ball to win the ball back quickly and therefore distribute quickly in the hopes of catching Newcastle out at the back. Newcastle will be aware that Fulham can and do hurt teams in this manner, and they have a proven goal threat in Mitrovic to cap it all off, therefore we expect Newcastle to adopt a slightly more cautious approach in this encounter to both deny Fulham space in the final third but also to draw Fulham onto them in the hopes of creating swift counter-attacking opportunities for the likes of Almiron, Guimaraes and Wilson in transition.
Newcastle’s Excellent Defensive Record
One factor that Newcastle can almost count on having in their favour is that they are simply an excellent defensive team. They’re well drilled, and they almost always limit their opponents to half chances and allow them to have the ball in certain areas of the pitch to keep their shape. We expect Newcastle to press aggressively once Fulham start to enter the attacking phase of play and commit men forward, at which point Newcastle are adept at winning the ball back and launching accurate, sweeping counterattacks. Curiously, Newcastle are adept at pressing high up the pitch without having to play a high line to condense the pitch, and this is testament to the high work rates of Joelinton and Almiron in particular.
However, one possible weakness that Fulham could exploit is that Newcastle tend to prioritise their defensive shape above all else, often just utilising one player to defend the ball carrier in the final third. We can’t argue with the results so far this season, and they do seem to eliminate the vast majority of clear opportunities afforded to the opposition within their area, but if Fulham can make use of their flying fullbacks and create overloads they might just be able to produce telling crosses. Ordinarily, Newcastle defence feasts on this kind of attacking approach, but Mitrovic in particular is an obvious aerial threat and an all-round handful for any defence, so Newcastle may have to sacrifice some of their defensive solidity to deal with that potential threat.
Beat the Bookmaker Newcastle vs Fulham Prediction
We think this will be a close encounter, entertaining at times but more often than not an engaging one. Fulham will have their moments more than many teams who face this well-drilled Newcastle team because Mitrovic is the type of striker who can make the most of half chances in the opposition area. Ultimately though, we feel that Fulham’s eagerness to attack and approach every game as a home game could count against them as Newcastle prefer the opposition to be drawn onto them to create both space and counter-attacking opportunities for them to exploit, and so far this season they’ve been excellent at doing just that.
Newcastle 2-1 Fulham
Beat the Bookmaker Newcastle vs Fulham Prediction – Over 2.5 Goals Odds:
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