Newcastle United, reeling from their European exit and a string of domestic losses, faces Fulham in the Premier League on Saturday, Dec. 16.
The Champions League journey ended for the Magpies last Wednesday at the hands at AC Milan following a come-from-behind 2-1 defeat to the Italians. The loss cost Newcastle a spot in the knockout stages of both the UCL and the Europa League as all NUFC could do was finish in a putrid dead-last place.
As things stand, Newcastle better right their ship before it’s too late with the lads riding a three-game losing streak across all competitions, leaving them seventh in the league and outside of the continental picture before even reaching mid-December.
Fulham, currently 10th in the EPL, is on a high after consecutive 5-0 wins, showcasing their offensive prowess post-Aleksandar Mitrovic. They have, however, struggled with away games, having not won in their last seven Premier League matches on the road. Gotta pounce on the chance, Mags.
Newcastle’s injury woes worsened (yes, you read that right even if it feels impossible at this point) in the midweek game against Milan with Anthony Gordon and Kieran Trippier picking up injuries. Trippier is also suspended for the upcoming match, although Dan Burn made his return in the Champions League clash and should be available to log more minutes and perhaps start this weekend.
Fulham’s Willian faced a thigh issue last weekend but the forward is likely to be fit for this match. Issa Diop might return, but Adama Traore and Tim Ream remain sidelined.
Newcastle’s recent form in the Premier League is patchy (WLWWLL) to say the least, and their overall form, including other competitions, is concerning (WDWLLL). Eddie Howe should start improving the results of the team—injuries or not—or the early-season whispers about his potential firing will come in a hurry.
Here are some of Howe’s Wisdom Nuggets, courtesy of NUFC.co.uk
“They are dangerous opponents for us. Marco’s got his team playing really good football - very expansive, easy on the eye, technical football.
“They are a team in form, they have dangerous attacking players. We know they have players that can hurt us.”
On how Newcastle can move on from their midweek disappointment...
“Well, that started yesterday - we were back in and faced up to what has happened. We have analysed it, but we have to move on very quickly to Fulham.
“The mood is good, there is some pain and anguish, but that can’t stay around in professional football. The turnaround is so quick and now focus is on Fulham.
“It is going to be a big test of our resilience. I think there will be a negative narrative externally and we have to override that. Exiting Europe is a disappointment, but it doesn’t have to have an effect on us afterwards, that’s down to us, we need to respond.”
On the significance of former Fulham defender Dan Burn’s return from injury...
“Massive - Dan is not just the player, but the character and the leadership qualities you get in the dressing room with him. He has allowed us to play in a certain way.
“He has been an important part of what we have, and we have missed him when he has been away.”
On the importance of the home crowd...
“I would encourage the supporters to make the environment as best as they can for the players. We need the players playing with absolute freedom, with excitement, with joy – all that we have seen at St. James’ Park over my two years here.
“Their support has been absolutely incredible. I understand how they will be feeling but we need to inspire them tomorrow.”
On his side’s latest injury and availability news...
“It is mixed - we are getting a couple of players back but not in their best physical condition, then you’ve got players that are having to keep playing that are picking up things.
“Kieran (Trippier) is missing through suspension. We will see how Anthony (Gordon) is today.”
- Date: Saturday, Dec. 16th
- Kick-off: 16:00 BST / 9:00 EST
- Location: St James’ Park, Newcastle (England)