BBC pundit Chris Sutton has given his predictions for this weekend’s fixtures. He has Newcastle picking up a point in a 1-1 draw at Fulham on Saturday.
Here is Sutton’s take on the match:
Newcastle aren’t on a particularly good run and have only won once this season, but I like the way they play and they have deserved more from a couple of games they have drawn so far.
But the Magpies might be short up front here, with Alexander Isak definitely out, Callum Wilson on his way back from injury and Chris Wood picking up a knock on international duty.
So, I am going for a draw here. Being honest, Fulham have surprised me with the way they have started this season so well and they have a bit of confidence in defence as well as their attack. They clearly believe in the way they play.
Fulham have had a terrific start to the season with 3 wins and 11 points. Those successes have them 6th in the league table as they hope to avoid another immediate drop back to the Championship.
They depend heavily on former-Magpie Aleksandar Mitrovic who is joint second in the Premier League with 6 goals. He is coming off of international duty with Serbia having scored 4 times.
However, he picked up a knock over the weekend and was seen with his foot bandaged after Tuesday’s 2-0 win at Norway. Mitrovic may not be 100% at Craven Cottage on Saturday though will likely play.
Newcastle’s early part of the campaign has been defined by injuries. Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin, and Bruno Guimaraes have missed multiple matches due to hamstring injuries. Bruno returned from Brazil early with a thigh problem.
The midfielder is expected to play at Fulham. Callum Wilson is also in line for his return while Saint-Maximin has an outside chance of featuring. As Sutton states, Alexander Isak has been ruled out for a couple of weeks.
A draw would not be a terrible result under the circumstances. Newcastle have been unlucky with just one win at the start of the campaign. We may not find out how good this team is until all of the stars are fit and playing.