Newcastle v Fulham 15:00
– Newcastle were the victims as Manchester City surged back to form with a 4-0 win over the Magpies at the Etihad.
– Centre back Steven Taylor has been enjoying a purple patch of form in recent weeks and his concentration must be at its peak to deal with the guile of Dimitar Berbatov. Taylor will be looking to add to 140 defensive contributions this weekend.
– Newcastle will be keen to get Papiss Cisse having a sight on goal as soon as possible on Sunday, the Senegalese striker taking on average just 8.1 attempts to register a goal this season.
– The influence of Yohan Cabaye on all facets of Newcastle’s play cannot be underestimated this season and his vision will be crucial against an always well-organised Fulham defence. The Frenchman is the only player in the Magpies squad to sit be in triple figures for both attacking and defensive contributions.
– It was a baptism of fire for Newcastle reserve goalkeeper Rob Elliott, who despite conceding four still made nine saves, the joint highest in the last round of games.
– Dimitar Berbatov was once again the inspiration forFulham as they left QPR’s hope of a great escape in near tatters after a 3-2 win.
– Mark Schwarzer continues to defy the odds even at 40 years of age. The Aussie keeper ranks fourth on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for saves with 163. His reflexes will likely be tested this weekend by the likes of Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko and Papiss Cisse.
– Dimitar Berbatov appears to be a rejuvenated figure at Craven Cottage this season, his touch and cool demeanour in front of goal proving invaluable for Martin Jol’s side. Look for him to exploit any hesitation in the Newcastle defence to play in his teammates this weekend, the Bulgarian having completed a pass in the opponent’s half on average every 3.8 minutes and registered 5 assists this campaign.
– The continued form of Sascha Riether could be pivotal in deciding the outcome of this game, the German having been outstanding in his defensive duties this season. He’s completed a superb 76.6% of his 64 challenges.