Newcastle welcome Fulham to St James’ Park in a clash between two teams who have been performing very well in the Premier League this season. Eddie Howe’s men suffered a shock early exit out of the FA Cup last weekend when they lost 1-2 vs League 1 side Sheffield Wednesday. However, they bounced back well by claiming an EFL Cup Semi-final berth following a comprehensive midweek win 3-0 vs Leicester. Fulham, meanwhile, are on cloud nine after beating West London rivals Chelsea 2-1.
I’ve covered all the stats that you’ll need for your bet builders on today’s televised 2:30 kick off. Goals to shots, corners to cards, it’s all there for this 3rd vs 6th matchup. Make sure to read my Stats Pack Guide if your looking make the most of the numbers below.
There is significant doubt surrounding the participation of Newcastle left winger Joelinton. He has been embroiled under a dark cloud this week after his arrest for drink driving.
Manager Eddie Howe suggested that he will have to ‘seriously assess’ the situation and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him rested to the bench or left out of the entire match squad. Allan St Maximin or Alexander Isak are likely replacements should this occur. Newcastle should otherwise be at full strength for this match.
Aleksandar Mitrovic missed the victory vs Chelsea due to suspension but should return to lead the line upfront here against his former club.
This is a short turn-around for Fulham just three days after a crucial London derby match so there is always a chance of some rotation where the manager prefers to freshen things up. Left back Antonee Robinson is suspended so Frenchman Layvin Kurzawa will take his place
Newcastle average 1.78 goals per game and just 0.61 against. They have been massively overachieving defensively because their xGA per game is as big as 1.44! A combination of strong defending and some exceptional keeping from Nick Pope has been the main reason for this overachievement, but can it continue? The Magpies have fired in an average of nearly 14 shots in each fixture, of which 4.67 have been on target. Only 3.33 SOT against per match has been crucial in restricting their goals conceded.
The Toon have a brilliant set piece taker in Kieran Trippier and regularly play for corners and free kicks. They average 6.56 corners per game and 4.33 against. Newcastle games can get a bit frantic, and the cards have flown. Eddie Howe’s men average 1.78 cards per match with their opponents picking up 2.23. There are several prickly characters in this squad and tempers can flare a bit.
Fulham average an impressive 1.68 goals per game and are a legitimate attacking force considering their xG is 1.53. At the other end of the field they have conceded an average of 1.47 goals against and their weakness is at the back. The main problem has been allowing a high number of shots (13.30) per game of which a high number (5.36) have been on target. Goalkeeper Leno has been well worked this season.
Corners have flowed in Fulham matches. They average 5.05 themselves with their opposition at the 5.16 mark. Cards have also been plentiful. Fulham are quite a physical team and have been willing to get stuck in upon their return to the Premier League. The West London outfit average 2.53 cards per game which is one of the most of any team in this division. Their opponents have also racked up the cards, 1.95 on average.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Callum Wilson averages nearly three shots per 90 mins but only has a SOT rate of 1.12. He scores plenty of goals but isn’t necessarily the most accurate of shooters. Allan St Maximin has similar numbers and averages 2.59 shots per 90 mins.
Attacking midfielder Miguel Almiron has had a fantastic season and his confidence is high. He is averaging 2.42 shots per game but only converting that into 0.79 SOT.
Aleksandar Mitrovic averages 4.50 shots per 90 mins of which 1.55 have been on target. He is the obvious go-to man in this Fulham attack.
Two other Fulham players to watch out for in this market are Willian and Andreas Pereira. The former Chelsea man Willian averages 1.91 shots per 90 mins, with Andreas at the 1.44 mark. Both do like to try their luck from time to time.
Player Goals and Assists
Miguel Almiron is the leading Newcastle scorer with 9 goals. Callum Wilson has scored 6 times, although only from 13 appearances. Midfielder Bruno Guimaraes has both 3 goals and 3 assists.
Kieran Trippier is the primary set piece taker and leads the Toon with four Premier League assists this season. Other assists have generally been spread evenly around the whole team.
The mighty Serbian Aleksandar Mitrovic leads the scoring charts for Fulham with 11 goals. Bobby Reid is next on the list with four goals and is a very good positional player, having a knack of finding some space inside the penalty box.
Andreas Pereira is by far the leading assist provider for the Cottagers with five. He has excellent vision and passing qualities. Willian has similar traits and weighed in with 2 goals and 2 assists this season.
Manager Eddie Howe is not a possession hungry coach and their statistics in this category can be mixed. Kieran Trippier comfortably leads their list for average passes per 90 mins (69.5), helped primarily by him being on literally every set piece.
Midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is the only other Magpie who averages over 50 passes per 90 mins, so it makes sense to focus on him and the aforementioned Trippier in this market.
Fulham are a mixed possession side under manager Marco Silva. They have averaged 47% of the ball this season. Left back Antonee Robinson averages the most passes per 90 mins (65.20) but is suspended here. Perhaps his replacement Kurzawa could be one to look at.
Defender Tim Ream averages 57.50 passes per 90 mins but a lot will depend on how much time Newcastle afford to Fulham on the ball. This could be the type of fixture where possession is shared equally between the teams.
Joelinton has fouled 1.96 times per 90 mins on average and obtained 6 cards. He is very willing to get stuck in and do the dirty work. Both Kieran Trippier and Fabian Schar have four cards and are candidates to produce fouls.
Midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is no stranger to regular battles in that part of the field and averages 1.50 fouls per 90 mins. He has obtained 3 cards.
Dan James is the most fouled Fulham player but would most likely only enter this game as a substitute. Mitrovic is a beast of a unit and can be really hard to take down. On average, he is fouled 1.69 times per 90 mins and will undoubtedly be a tough matchup for the Newcastle defence.
Right back Kenny Tete has been fouled 1.26 times per 90 mins, whilst in midfield Joao Palhinha can be a foul magnet and a target with some of his trickery.
Match-Ups to watch
Joelinton or Allan St Maximin vs Kenny Tete
Fabian Schar vs Aleksandar Mitrovic
Bruno Guimaraes vs Joao Palhinha
Right back Kenny Tete is a serious candidate for fouls and cards, especially if Allan St Maximin starts on the left wing for Newcastle. Marco Silva’s men are one of the most ill-disciplined teams in the division and there are several candidates across the whole field.
Midfielders Palhinha and Reed have also obtained several cards and have a high foul count. You could make a case for nearly anyone in the Fulham side to go in the book though.
Allan St Maximin averages a ridiculous 9.13 dribbles per 90 mins so if and when he comes on the field then he must be watched, and his potential opponent will be prone to picking up a card.
Bruno Guimaraes is on average fouled 3.00 times per 90 mins. The tricky Brazilian also has a high dribble rate and can be quite elusive. Miguel Almiron is similar, although isn’t fouled quite so often. Striker Callum Wilson enjoys a good battle and is fouled on average 1.33 times per 90 mins.
Match-Ups to watch
Kenny Tete vs Allan St Maximin
Joao Palhinha vs Bruno Guimaraes
Harrison Reed vs Miguel Almiron