Buoyed by their last-gasp equalizer over Leeds in midweek, Fulham will hope to cause another upset in beating high-flying Newcastle on Saturday.
Newcastle will be without midfielders Rolando Aarons (Achilles) and Isaac Hayden (ankle) for this clash. Jesus Gamez will fill in at right back again after impressing against Reading. Vurnon Anita remains sidelined (ankle), but top scorer Dwight Gayle could return.
The visitors have a relatively clean health bill, with Lucas Piazon the only player out of action. He continues his return from a fractured jaw and won’t feature on Saturday.
This weekend’s set of fixtures are the reverse of those that kicked off the season, and Newcastle will be hoping to avenge their shock 1-0 defeat on the opening day with a win here at St James’ Park.
Giant striker Matt Smith nodded the only goal of the game from a first half corner in a close encounter which Newcastle just about edged, but it was Slavisa Jokanovic’s Fulham who came away with the 3 points.
Since then, the two sides have gone down extremely different paths. The Magpies have been almost permanent fixtures since the opening fortnight, whilst Fulham have picked the difficult route in attempting to reach the Play-Offs.
The Cottagers have been in a scintillating vein of form of late, and have proven themselves as one of the best possession-based teams in the league, alongside Jaap Stam’s Reading, who held the Magpies to a 0-0 draw in midweek.
That result will serve as inspiration to Slavisa Jokanovic’s side, and utilising the pace at his disposal in the likes of Ryan Fredericks, Sone Aluko and Neeskens Kebano will be key to Fulham picking up a result.
However, Newcastle’s squad is without doubt one of the strongest in the division, and with Dwight Gayle set to return, it’s hard to look past a home win here.