Fulham perspective: Dan Crawford, The Hammy End.
Martin Jol will once again be selecting his side for a crucial game from a squad depleted by injuries. The manager will have to do without Costa Rican playmaker Bryan Ruiz, who suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury and is likely to be missing for the duration of the festive period, whilst right-back Sascha Riether is a doubt after coming off injured against Tottenham. Alex Kacaniklic is expected to be available again, however.
Following our second-half collapse against Spurs last Saturday, we are now on a seven game winless streak. It is our worst league record during a single season since December 2010 and we have slipped from the heady summer heights of sixth down to thirteenth. In the absence of Ruiz, the Whites have lost a good deal of their goal threat as the free-scoring days earlier in the season seem something of a distant memory.
If he consults the history books, Jol might feel that Monday night's visit of Newcastle has come at just the right time. Fulham have lost only one of their last six league games against Newcastle and they have won each of their last three at Craven Cottage. You have to go back to December 2007 for the Magpies' last win here - when Joey Barton's late penalty ended Lawrie Sanchez's dismal managerial reign. Fulham scored five against the Geordies in this fixture last season, although their scorers that day (Danny Murphy, Bobby Zamora and Clint Dempsey) have now all left the club.
Over 2.5 goals at 1.80. Games between these sides usually produce goals and both teams have looked far more impressive going forward than defensively this season.
Dimitar Berbatov to score at 2.40. The Bulgarian will lead the line for Fulham once again on Monday night and his influence can't be understated. He might have struggled to match the manner in which he started his Fulham career of late, but taking the striker to score still seems a good bet.
Damien Duff to score first at 11.00. Duff has been one of Fulham's most consistent performers this season, and scored the winner against Newcastle at the Cottage two seasons ago.
Score prediction: Fulham 2-2 Newcastle (14.00)
Newcastle perspective: Mark Jensen, The Mag.
Demba Ba, Cheik Tiote and Davide Santon all took knocks in Newcastle’s win over Wigan but Alan Pardew has said he’s hopeful of all three making the match at Craven Cottage. The mercurial Hatem Ben Arfa could make his return, while Gabriel Obertan could also be back.
If you are only as good as your last game then United are in great form after the 3-0 against ten men Wigan, But that followed a dismal run of four defeats. Ignore the midweek Europa league match as Newcastle played an entire reserve eleven.
A record of five defeats in the last six visits to Craven Cottage tells you everything. On our trips here we have a habit of looking comfortable before throwing the match away.
Vernun Anita to score anytime at 12.50. This is outstanding value for a player who is playing a more advanced role in Cabaye’s absence.
Demba Ba to score first at 7.50. Going into the weekend Ba was joint top scorer in Premier League. He's in great form, in other words.
Newcastle win at 4.10. I fancy us to build on the win against Wigan here.
Score prediction: Fulham 0-1 Newcastle (12.50)