A disappointing loss to Cardiff, in a match that can only be classified as a six-pointer, means that this match at home to Newcastle becomes even more significant in the Cottagers’ fight for survival. They host the Magpies, who will be without manager Alan Pardew, following the seven match suspension imposed on him by the FA.
He may not have scored on Saturday, but Kostas Mitroglou showed the Fulham faithful that he may just be able to score the goals to keep the Cottagers in the top flight. The Greek international showed his willingness to take efforts at goal all match, taking a shot at an impressive rate of a shot every 15 minutes. Mitroglou is 9/2 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Saturday.
Sascha Reither was handed the Player of the Season Award for Fulham last campaign, with the German full back proving to be a big hit at the Cottage. His probing runs down the flank were a key factor behind him winning the accolade, and on Saturday, he produced another effective offensive performance which suggests that he might be starting to hit form again at just the right time. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that Reither completed a total of 24 passes in the opposition half on Saturday, which was the second most of any defender in the league.
Hugo Rodallega may not have played as much football as he would have liked this term, with former manager Rene Meulensteen not fancying the Colombian forward. In the limited opportunities he has been given, however, Rodallega has showcased his excellent shooting ability. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the former Wigan man has hit the target with every shot he has attempted this season.
If anyone can inspire Fulham to survival this season it is midfielder Scott Parker. The former England international is an established Premier League player, and although it’s been a poor season for Fulham by all accounts, the former West Ham man has been a rare bright spark. Parker has impressed at both ends of the pitch for the Cottagers this term, completing a total of 539 passes in the opposition half (more than any of his teammates), and also winning an impressive 76% of his challenges
Newcastle will travel to Craven Cottage without manager Alan Pardew at the helm, following his 7 game stadium and touchline ban. With safety all but guaranteed, the Magpies are playing for pride during the remainder of the season, but will want to finish their respectable campaign in the top 10 in the league.
One of Newcastle’s most consistent performers this term has been centre half Mike Williamson. Although the former Watford man hasn’t always been a regular for the Magpies in seasons gone by, this term, he’s featured in 23 league games for Pardew’s men and in this time, has made a real impression. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that Williamson has made a total of 265 defensive contributions, (based on blocks, clearances, interceptions and tackles won), which is the second most in the Newcastle squad.
With the number of Frenchman in the Newcastle squad, it shouldn’t come as a shock that the three players who have registered the most assists for the Magpies are all from the land across the Channel. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that Hatem Ben Arfa and Moussa Sissoko have registered 5 apiece, whilst defender Mathieu Debuchy has 4. Head to 888sport.com if you fancy Ben Arfa to score the first goal of the match (7-1).
Manager Alan Pardew has previously described ‘keeper Tim Krul as ‘the best in the League’ as the Dutchman has played a prominent role this season in shutting out opposition strike forces. Krul’s importance can probably be best demonstrated through the fact that he is one of only four players to have featured in every minute of every match so far this season, and in the process, he has racked up a total of 83 saves – the sixth most in the league.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has struggled at times during his spell on Tyneside, but his natural defensive ability should never be questioned. The EA SPORTS Player Performance shows that the Frenchman clearly has an excellent eye for a tackle, as he has won an impressive 81% of his challenges this term.