Fulham v Newcastle: Tight defence will hold firm

Fulham manager Scott Parker.
Will Scott Parker inspire Fulham when they face his former club Newcastle?

Dan Fitch is expecting a low scoring match when Fulham host Newcastle, with the possibility of the points being shared...

"Seven of Newcastle’s last nine away games have seen less that three goals."

Back under 2.5 goals between Fulham and Newcastle at 2.26/5

Fulham 2.6413/8 v Newcastle 2.89/5; The Draw 3.711/4
Sunday 12 May, 15:00

Cottagers have reasons to be cheerful, despite relegation

Fulham may be relegated but they should return to the Championship with a sense of positivity.

The club are poised to appoint caretaker manager Scott Parker on a permanent basis. Since the former England midfielder took charge of the club, there has been a notable improvement in performances, if not necessarily the victories to accompany them.

A three match winning streak in which Fulham did not concede a goal, seems to have secured the role for Parker. They were defeated 1-0 at Wolves last week, but it was another example of Fulham losing a game narrowly, that they would have doubtless have lost heavily under Parker's predecessors.

Parker will be without two players for Fulham's final Premier League match. Lazar Markovic and Denis Odoi are both injured.

Another strong finish from Newcastle

Newcastle flirted with relegation themselves earlier this season, yet they ultimately found the form to finish in a comfortable mid-table position.

The campaign followed the same pattern as last season. It does make you wonder what Newcastle might be able to achieve if they just made a half decent start.

Newcastle's horizons could also be widened by giving Rafa Benitez some money to spend in the summer. He has a squad that currently have no right to remain in the Premier League season after season, based on quality. It is a blessing that such a poorly run club have a manager of Benitez's standing and Newcastle must give him the funds needed to persuade him to stay.

Benitez has four players currently missing through injury. Miguel Almiron, Florian Lejeune, Sean Longstaff and DeAndre Yedlin are all out.

Value with another away draw for Newcastle

Fulham are the narrow favourites at 2.6413/8, with Newcastle at 2.89/5 and the draw at 3.711/4.

The pricing reflects Newcastle's relatively poor away form. They have only won one of their last ten away matches (D4 L5), although that victory did come relatively recently at Leicester in April.

Since that win Newcastle drew 1-1 away at Brighton. The price of the draw appeals again in a match that promises to be tight and where the result is tough to predict.

Low scoring game seems likely

Over 2.5 goals is the favourite at 1.784/5, with under 2.5 goals at 2.26/5.

Seven of Newcastle's last nine away games have seen less that three goals. All of Fulham's last four matches have also produced under 2.5 goals, with Parker having transformed their defence, despite not having had the chance to make any signings.

In form forwards on display

Fulham's poor recruitment was a big factor in their relegation, but one signing who has proved to be a success is Ryan Babel. The veteran Dutch forward has scored in four of Fulham's last seven games and is 3.211/5 to add to his tally. Leading the betting is the former Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic at 2.47/5, who seems likely to remain in the Premier League after a successful season at Fulham.

For Newcastle, Salomon Rondon is favourite to score at 2.89/5, but Ayoze Perez may offer better value at 3.185/40. The Spanish forward has five goals in his last four games.

Dan Fitch 2018/19 Season P/L

Staked: 276.00 pts
Returned: 290.83 pts
P/L: +14.83 pts

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