Can Eddie Howe’s men bounce back from their European exit? We look ahead to Saturday’s Premier League clash at St James’ Park with our Newcastle United vs Fulham prediction and preview.
Newcastle vs Fulham Stats: The Quick Hits
- Newcastle United are predicted to be victorious on their return to Premier League action, beating Fulham in 45.6% of the Opta supercomputer’s pre-match simulations.
- Fulham have scored 16 goals in their last four Premier League games, one more than they had in their previous 15 matches combined.
- Raúl Jiménez has scored three goals in his last two Premier League games, as many as in his previous 43 apps. He could score in three straight league games for the first time since November 2019, with the third match in that run coming against Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth.
Newcastle United got the favour they needed from elsewhere in midweek, but it wasn’t to be for them in the UEFA Champions League. A 2-1 reverse against Milan saw the Magpies dumped out of Europe entirely, and if they wish to rub shoulders with the continent’s elite again next term, Eddie Howe’s men must rediscover their Premier League form, starting with Saturday’s clash with Fulham.
Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund gave Newcastle hope of advancing to the last 16, and it looked like they would do exactly that when Joelinton’s powerful finish gave them lift-off at a raucous St James’ Park. However, goals from Christian Pulisic and Samuel Chukwueze inspired a Rossoneri turnaround as the Italian giants snatched the consolation prize of a UEFA Europa League spot.
It’s just the fifth time a Premier League club has finished bottom of a Champions League group, with two of those coming this season after Manchester United’s insipid exit on Tuesday. The Red Devils also propped up their group in 2005-06, while Blackburn Rovers (1995-95) and Manchester City (2012-13) have also previously done so.
Things haven’t been much better for Newcastle on the domestic front lately, with injuries continuing to bite at Eddie Howe’s squad as they suffered away defeats against Everton (3-0) and Tottenham (4-1) last week. The Magpies have already suffered more Premier League losses in 2023-24 (six) than they did in the entirety of 2022-23 (five), and they enter Matchday 17 seven points off the top four.
Howe has at least been able to welcome a few players back to fitness in recent days, with Callum Wilson, Sean Longstaff and Dan Burn available again. The return of Wilson is a particular boost; of all players to attempt at least 20 shots in the Premier League this season, the striker has the highest shot conversion rate (31.8%, seven goals from 22 shots).
Newcastle still have plenty of absentees, though, with Nick Pope, Jacob Murphy, Sven Botman, Joe Willock, Elliot Anderson and Harvey Barnes all injured, while Kieran Trippier is suspended after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season against Spurs last Sunday.
Tino Livramento will likely switch over to right-back, and he has big shoes to fill. Trippier’s tally of seven Premier League assists this season is only matched by Pedro Neto and Mohamed Salah, and is as many as he provided across the whole of 2022-23. Matt Ritchie was the last Newcastle player to provide more in a single campaign, supplying eight in 2018-19.
Newcastle will be coming up against the Premier League’s in-form attacking side in Fulham, whose goalscoring woes are a thing of the past. Back-to-back 5-0 thrashings of Nottingham Forest and West Ham have lifted Marco Silva’s team into the top half, and they travel to Tyneside full of confidence.
It would certainly be a memorable trip north if Fulham can become just the third Premier League side to score five or more goals in three successive games, after Chelsea (May-August 2010) and Man City (in September 2017). They have scored 16 goals in their last four league games, one more than they had in their previous 15 combined.
Emblematic of their return to form in front of goal is striker Raúl Jiménez, who has three goals in his last two league games – as many as in his previous 43 – after netting with a towering header last time out. He last scored in three successive league games with Wolves in November 2019, and the third match in that run came against Howe’s Bournemouth.
The Mexico international will again be supported by Willian, who has four goal involvements (three goals, one assist) in his last four league outings. No Fulham player has more combined goals and assists than the Brazilian this term (five), while he’s also their only player to attempt at least 20 shots (24) and create at least 20 chances (20).
Andreas Pereira, Tom Cairney and Alex Iwobi should also continue in Silva’s lineup, with Harry Wilson again looking to play the role of super-sub after scoring off the bench against West Ham. All 11 of his Premier League goals have been scored with his left foot; only Stuart Pearce, Bryan Mbeumo (both 20/20) and Dwight McNeil (16/16) have a better 100% left-foot record in the competition’s history.
Newcastle vs Fulham Head-to-Head
Newcastle are unbeaten in their last six Premier League games against Fulham (four wins, two draws), winning the last three in a row.
Alexander Isak hit the only goal when the teams last met on Tyneside in January, with Aleksandar Mitrović seeing a successful penalty disallowed after kicking the ball onto his standing foot and in.
Indeed, Fulham have tended to struggle on trips to the north east, failing to win on their last seven Premier League visits to St James’ (three draws, four defeats) since recording a 1-0 win there under Roy Hodgson in May 2009.
The difference between Newcastle’s home and away form has been stark this season. The Magpies have earned just five points on the road this term (one win, two draws, five defeats), with only Sheffield United (one) and Luton Town (four) faring worse on their travels.
Newcastle have won their last six league games at St James’ Park, though, last enjoying a longer home winning run between September 2002 and January 2003, when they won 11 on the bounce.
They have claimed 80.8% of their Premier League points at home this campaign (21/26), with only Sheffield United (87.5%) picking up a greater share on their own turf.
Fulham, meanwhile, are winless in seven away league games since beating Everton 1-0 on Matchday 1, drawing three and losing four. They last endured a longer winless run on the road at the start of 2018-19, failing to record a victory in their first 17 away games (two draws, 15 defeats).
Newcastle vs Fulham Opta Player Ratings
Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:
Anthony Gordon: 74.9 (out of 100)
Kieran Trippier: 73.9
Bruno Guimarães: 70.4
Alexander Isak: 69.9
Nick Pope: 67.4
Bernd Leno: 73.4 (out of 100)
Harry Wilson: 65.7
Alex Iwobi: 65.3
João Palhinha: 63.6
These Opta Player Ratings also power our set of brand-new, free-to-play gaming experiences, which you can play on Opta Analyst all season long.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of Saturday’s kick-off, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides:
Newcastle vs Fulham Prediction
Despite Newcastle suffering three defeats in the space of six days recently, the Opta supercomputer makes them favourites to return to form on Saturday.
Of 10,000 match simulations conducted before kick-off, Howe’s men won 45.6%. Fulham triumphed in 26.4%, with 28% finishing level.
Newcastle’s hopes of a top-four finish have taken a series of blows lately, and according to the supercomputer’s season predictions, they now have just a 9.5% chance of achieving that feat. Sixth (27.1%) is their most common finishing position across our season simulations.
Fulham have left any relegation worries behind them by winning three of their last four games, and they now go down in just 0.2% of our simulations. They are given a 15.2% chance of replicating last season’s 10th-place finish.