While nothing is mathematically certain as yet, it is surely only a matter of time before Rafael Benitez’ side secure for themselves a place back in the Premier League at the first time of asking although they look set to be pushed all the way as regards the Championship title by Brighton & Hove Albion.
Chris Hughton’s men are in action on Friday evening and could climb level on points with the Magpies should they secure maximum points against Derby County at the Falmer Stadium, however whilst Newcastle dropped two vital points at the Madejski earlier this week, we fully expect them to bounce back with an emphatic win at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Magpies have been pretty prolific on home turf this season with their last defeat coming on Boxing Day and we don’t expect this excellent run to come to an end at the weekend. Visitors Fulham are certain to provide stubborn opposition nevertheless although whilst the Cottagers are just five points short of the play-offs following what has been a decent enough campaign so far, their performances away from Craven Cottage have been something of a mixed bag and we cannot really make a case for Slavisa Jokanović’s side on Saturday.
That said, it certainly isn’t going to be a walkover for the hosts and Fulham possess no shortage of attacking talent which could cause problems for the Magpies. Chris Martin, Tom Cairney and Neeskens Kebano have been having few problems in front of goal recently for the Cottagers and we would expect one of these players to feature on the scoresheet at St James’ Park this weekend.