We are proud to bring you the Fulham v Newcastle Treatment Room, the latest in our regular feature where before each match, industry specialist Ben Dinnery brings you all the latest injury news ahead of the game.
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A win at Craven Cottage today will see Newcastle equal their best return away from SJP for over ten years (8 wins and 1 draw – 25 points) with an outside chance of surpassing our biggest Premier League points total (32) with four games still remaining; quite remarkable when you consider our roller-coaster of a campaign.
However, the biggest concern will be the loss of on-loan striker Loic Remy who picked up a calf injury during his brief cameo for France against the Netherlands last week. The initial prognosis was positive as news suggested an impact ankle issue but on his return to the club, a scan later confirmed a grade one strain which is likely to rule the international out for at least the next three games.
To help quantify the importance of our only attacker to score more than one goal in the Premier League this season, Newcastle average almost 1.5 goals and 1 point more per game when he starts. Of the six games Loic Remy hasn’t started this season, Newcastle have only scored once and won once!
Factor in the loss of in-form full-back Mathieu Debuchy (groin) and the continued absence of Hatem Ben Arfa (personal reasons) and John Carver will do well to build upon his previously unblemished managerial record at Newcastle (One game : WON 3-0 versus Blackburn in September 2004).
Davide Santon is expected to miss out due to an ongoing knee problem but reports say the defender is progressing well and nearing a return, while Gael Bigirimana is once again available following an ankle injury which has kept him out for a month.
Fulham currently sit bottom of the Premier League, four points from safety, opportunities for survival will have to be taken at home and generally performances haven’t been too bad. Felix Magath side put up a spirited first half fight against Chelsea two weeks ago but heads were quick to drop as Schurrle opened the scoring; to stand any chance on Saturday Newcastle need to get the first goal – in my opinion.
Former employees Damien Duff and Scott Parker are both ruled out because of knee injuries, the former likely to miss the remainder of the season. Ashkan Dejagah (groin) will face a late fitness test along with defender Fernando Amorebieta but Greek international Giorgio Karagounis will not recover in time from a muscle complaint.
Recent departures include the likes of Dimitar Berbatov (AS Monaco), Adel Taarabt (AC Milan), Bryan Ruiz (PSV) and Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), so Newcastle can expect a more robust hardworking side whose ethic is based around the manager’s obsession with fitness …….
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