Newcastle vs Fulham – Preview of Game

nufc-crest.png fulham-crest.jpg

It’s a vital home game today at St. James’ Park against Fulham and if we don’t get a win it will be a massive disappointment.

The only way for Newcastle to get out of relegation trouble quickly is to start winning games, because draws and one point don’t do it for us.

In the last 3 games we’ve played well for 2/3 of the time, but it’s that other 1/3 that has cost us points. Even last Monday our first half performance was not good, and because of that we went in at the break 1-0 down.

However, the second half was an excellent performance of guts and skill from the lads and we really deserved all 3 points.

But expectations are now high that we can get a win tomorrow, which will be Keegan’s first win since returning to manage the club on January 16th.  In our poll to the right a full 89% of our readers think we will win today, and only 3% believe we’ll lose. That’s with 438 votes cast so far, and the poll is still open, so please register your vote, if you haven’t already.

We expect the starting line-up to be the same that started the game last Monday and it will be a 4-3-3 formation, which allows Kevin to play three out and out strikers. Here’s the team that started last Monday:

Steve Harper
Habib Beye
Abdoulaye Faye Steven Taylor Jose Enrique
Geremi Nicky Butt Joey Barton
Oba Martins Mark Viduka Michael Owen (c)
Subs: Fraser Forster, Claudio Cacapa, Charles N’Zogbia, Alan Smith, Andy Carroll

We don’t know if Lamine Diatta will make the bench today, as he did play a full game for the Reserves at Bolton last Tuesday night. Peter Ramage also played his first game since recovering from his ACL injury suffered last August, and played a solid 65 minutes against Bolton.

Both Michael Owen and Oba Martins looked very menacing in the second half on Monday, and with Mark Viduka leading the line, we think we may be in the goals tomorrow, and that will be a nice change.

We expect the Newcastle fans to cheer on the team, and we would expect the players to respond in kind.

Of the 8 games remaining, this is probably the best chance we have of a win. It’s the easiest game on paper remaining. Anything but a win today will substantially thicken the storm clouds that have been over Tyneside these last 3 months.

What do you think? Should Kevin keep the same team?

Let us know.

Comments welcome.

19 comments so far

  • Leo

    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:25 AM

    Comment #1

    oh dry eyed and tired right now but i cant sleep im too excited and the wind is too loud! damn the weather, how bad would it be if the match was called off tomorrow, everyone on hear would have to wait, i think it would kill me

  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:26 AM

    Comment #2

    Im fookin nervous, ive got to say this is the most nervous ive been in ages, because if we win this we are more or less safe, if we get a few draws after.

    The wind is horrendous.


  • Premiership Vids

    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:28 AM

    Comment #3

    I’d swap Barton for Zogs … Barton just isn’t getting it done, and his presence is rarely felt.

  • Leo

    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:28 AM

    Comment #4

    its im guessing its all over the country then tom, i think i remember you saying you live in colchester… or somewhere that sounds like that… i might be totally wrong… oh those damn snakebites haha

  • Ed Harrison

    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:29 AM

    Comment #5

    Think Zog will play a good part tomorrow – Kevin will wait and see who is not playing too well and bring Zog on, and we know he can also score goals.

  • Leo

    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:31 AM

    Comment #6

    any more info on how the site is under threat Ed?

  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:31 AM

    Comment #7

    Cambridge. Torrential rain atm and it meant to snow tomorrow.

  • Leo

    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:34 AM

    Comment #8

    i remember 2 years ago, before new year, we were meant to be playing someone like fulham and they called the match off because of the snow, oh actually it was right after xmas. and i was driving home to get ready for the match, up cowhill along the central motorway trying to get to the a1, at the time driving a vauxhall corsa. it was soo funny seeing big 4×4’s sliding off the road not to mention other cars, but the lil corsa was pulling easily haha. i just drove along the hard shoulder past all of the people who had got stuck lmao

  • Leo

    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:34 AM

    Comment #9

    all that effort to find out then that the match was postponed


    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:38 AM

    Comment #10

    bring in n’zogbia for barton as i agree with all the comments saying his presence isnt felt and you play attcking football without the ball and barton gives it away to often

  • ObaFan2

    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:42 AM

    Comment #11

    Will hopefully be another good game and Oba will again shine under KK I’m sure.

    On paper it is our best chance at 3 points and Fulham haven’t won in 31 away games! Some record however the last time they gained maximum points on the road was against Newcastle in September 2006. Sigh…

  • Spyro

    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:51 AM

    Comment #12

    Im down in London, we had hail earlier but the wind is calm down here right now.

    Im not as nervous as i was before the brummy match, dunno whether that is a good or bad thing

  • ObaFan2

    Mar 22, 2008 at 1:59 AM

    Comment #13

    I’m a little more confident too Spyro, maybe the second half last Monday has shown us enough improvement in the team to comfortably finish this season. Lets hope it’s so and 3 points today…..

    Oba is a Geordie 🙂

    Weather’s not too bad ‘ere, little bit of snow and the wind has died down (about 2 mile from SJP)

  • JakartaDean

    Mar 22, 2008 at 2:46 AM

    Comment #14

    I’d much rather have N’Zogbia start than Barton, and I’m not convinced that 433 is the way to go, but otherwise I like the starting lineup you posted, Ed. Nice to see Smith resting, but I’d prefer if JoeyB was keeping him company 😉

  • geordie in taipei

    Mar 22, 2008 at 6:06 AM

    Comment #15

    Dont think 4 3 3 is a good idea. we need some width.

  • AdamCF

    Mar 22, 2008 at 7:14 AM

    Comment #16

    even prefer a 3 5 2.. with faye as the defensive mid.. that pushes back for the 4 4 2 if necessary

  • Eric

    Mar 22, 2008 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #17

    Zogs for Barton definitely. Martins and and Zogs and Owen to start but they must have support. I think those three on song could be very creative and get some goals. Perhaps we will see something of Diatta too. Has Taylor left the Chronicle offices yet?

  • Leo

    Mar 22, 2008 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #18

    sh1t there was snow, damn i cant believe it. im glad i didnt go out on the town now like.

  • Matthew Tom

    Mar 22, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #19

    I reckon Zog’s heart has gone and the only point in playing him ahead of Barton is to keep him in the shop window for the summer. At least Barton gives a sh*t and actually wants to play for us. I thought he looked better at Birmingham than he has done for a while and I’d keep N’Zogbia on the bench as an impact sub for this game.


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