In England, this weekend will be traditionally busy. In terms of intensity of football, Sunday is inferior – but the organizers have left for this day curious pairs. Newcastle and Fulham will also play early on the day. Both clubs were excellent in the first half of the season – how will the encounter between them go?
The Magpies were due to make a significant improvement under the new owners – the stingy Mike Ashley was replaced in 2021 by a fund that belongs to the Saudi royal house with its enormous opportunities. But the new investors and the manager they brought in, Eddie Howe, spent the first months struggling to survive. Nothing, having won it due to the great 2nd round of last season, the “black and whites”, who strengthened the squad, had a great start of the new one, establishing themselves in the top three. And, although they had another stumble in the Cup (1-2 against Sheffield Wansday!), they continued strongly in the championship during the winter: defeat of Leicester and a couple of 0-0 draws, including the one with Arsenal.
“Dachniki” has a reputation as a “soccer elevator. More precisely, we can already talk about it in the past tense. After all, now, in the middle of winter, the newcomer has enough points (28 after 18 rounds) not to think particularly about the risk of repeating the usual path to the Championship. But now the Portuguese and his charges may face a new challenge: why fight for the European Cup? Now it turns out to go high enough…
Newcastle now has a series of five meetings with Fulham without defeat. Even in the fall, the Magpies were able to make it 4-1 on the field of the “cottagers”.
Perhaps now Eddie Howe’s charges will not repeat the October defeat. But they are playing at home and motivated by the goal to finally return to the Champions League. We expect them to win at -1 goal.