On Thursday night, both of these teams were returning home from a successful cup tie, with Fulham jetting back from the Ukraine after limiting Dnipro to a 1-0 second leg win in the Europa League. It means that Martin Jol’s side have reached the group stage after working their way through the preliminary stages.
Even so, this European adventure might be at the expense of the Cottagers’ Premier League form, with Fulham having collected just a point from matches against Aston Villa and Wolves. There could be some weary legs on the pitch at St James’ Park and Jol will hope to have some new faces in a weeks’ time to boost the squad.
Newcastle had a much shorter trip to Scunthorpe where the Magpies won 2-1 in extra-time to continue their unbeaten start to the season and they are strong favourites at 11/10 (bet365 – £200 free bets) to claim three points which would give them a respectable total of seven from the first three matches.
The Tyneside club have had a supposed summer of turmoil after the departures of Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique, while Joey Barton seems to be considering a switch to QPR. However, Alan Pardew has galvanised the squad and the 1-0 victory in last weekend’s Tyne-Wear derby suggests morale is high, even if firepower is in relatively short supply.
The free-kick-taking Ryan Taylor was the match winner at the Stadium of Light and Ladbrokes are still prepared to offer 20/1 about the former Tranmere full-back who fired home his team’s equaliser at Glanford Park on Thursday before Newcastle won in extra-time.