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Fulham away at Newcastle ~ Match Preview

last updated Friday 26th August 2011, 10:35 PM

Fulham manager Maarten Jol
Fulham manager
Maarten Jol
Maarten Jol
I was interested to read Mick McCarthy's comments about qualifying for the Europa League through a Uefa Fair Play Award: "If we get anywhere near that Fair Play thing, I'm going to tackle someone down the tunnel," was the opinion of the Wolves boss.

It's safe to say he's not a fan of that route into European football; yet that is the way that Fulham got into Europe this season, and after a long journey back from the Ukraine the match at Newcastle will already be Fulham's 11th of the season.

There's no doubt that there'll be a spring in the step of every Newcastle fan after last weekend's victory at Sunderland. Although there will surely be plenty of questions asked about the make up of their team for this match given the imminent departure of Joey Barton to QPR, who, incidentally, are Newcastle's next opponents on 12 September.

With Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique having also moved on in recent weeks Newcastle's squad is not the biggest, but four points from their opening two fixtures is a very good start to the campaign.

Martin Jol didn't want to blame tiredness for last weekend's defeat to Wolves at Molineux, but it will be a far more valid reason if Fulham don't pick up three points this weekend - and it won't only be the players who might be a touch fatigued.

The lunchtime start means Fulham's fans using official coaches will be leaving Craven Cottage at 5.15 in the morning for the 1pm kick off.

  • Fulham lead the overall head-to-head count by 26 wins to 24, with 13 draws.

  • Last season's encounter at St James' Park ended 0-0, Fulham won the reverse fixture 1-0 at Craven Cottage.

  • Newcastle's win over Sunderland was only their second in their last nine league matches.

  • Cheick Tiote had been booked in his previous six games before the win over Sunderland. He has never gone more than three matches without a yellow card in the division, according to Infostrada.

  • Fulham have kept clean sheets in 10 of their last 15 competitive games (including Europa League qualifiers). They have shut out their opponents in four of their last seven Premier League matches.

  • Fulham conceded just 23.3% of their goals last season from set pieces, the lowest proportion in the top flight.

  • They also conceded just one penalty, fewer than any other Premier League side.

  • This will be their 11th match of the season.

Source John Roder at BBCSports
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