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Newcastle v Fulham preview

last updated Friday 08th September 2006, 4:50 PM
Team Newcastle Fulham
Games Played 2 3
Goal Attempts
Goals 2 3
Ave Goals per game 1.00 1.00
Shots (excl blocked shots) 10 31
% Shots on Target 70% 48%
% Goals to Shots 20% 10%
Passing
Short Passes 640 871
Long Passes 208 194
Overall Pass Completion % 74% 73%
Crossing
Total Crosses 38 72
Cross Completion % 26% 25%
Defending
Goals Conceded 3 6
Ave goals conceded per game 1.50 2.00
Tackles 67 73
Tackles Won % 76% 73%
Blocks, Clearances & Interceptions 50 140
Discipline
Fouls 32 52
Yellow Cards 3 4
Red Cards 0 0

Newcastle host Fulham on Saturday aware that the Londoners have been suffering away day blues for the past few seasons.

Away from Craven Cottage and Fulham have shown precious little under Chris Coleman's tenure, as seven points out of a possible 60 since August 2005 bears testimony to the fact they are notoriously poor travellers.

It looks difficult for them to escape from the North East with a share of the spoils, but the four points garnered from the past six suggests an opening day drubbing to Manchester United has been laid to rest.

Due to Uefa Cup commitments Newcastle's Premiership campaign has been a stop-start affair and a 2-0 defeat on their travels to the Midlands, to face Aston Villa, will not improve confidence any.

Toon chief Glenn Roeder may elect to unleash his loan signing Giuseppe Rossi from the start but with Shola Ameobi making ahead-of-schedule progress on a hip injury, the Manchester United starlet may settle for a place on the bench.

Antoine Sibierski could figure at some stage after completing a deadline day switch from Manchester City but again, a substitute appearance is more likely than a start for the Frenchman.

The merchants of doom in West London would have feasted on Fulham's capitulation at Old Trafford but in the two games that followed Coleman seemingly installed a steely resolve previously lacking and a pair of solid results followed.

Fulham's record away from home is indeed dismal but they can at least welcome back the combative Michael Brown to a midfield that sometimes lack bite in his absence.

Craft could be provided by the returning Dane Claus Jensen but new loan signing Wayne Routledge will in all likelihood start alongside Coleman, on the bench, due to a lack of time to adjust to his new team-mates.

Ahmed Elrich and Simon Elliott remain unavailable for selection courtesy of knee and calf injuries respectively, but in any case Coleman is unlikely to make wholesale changes to the side which won its last match.

For Newcastle and Fulham, Saturday's game represents an opportunity to make a break for the business end of the table but whether the latter can break their away day hoodoo remains a question yet to be answered.

Prediction: 1-1
Fulham defence to triumph

Player to watch: Jimmy Bullard

Source Alex Dunn at SkySport
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