Paul Merson “Newcastle. Without a doubt.”
Paul Merson has been looking ahead to the game at St James Park.
The last couple of months haven’t been plain sailing, as there has been the odd problem game included, but four wins, two draws and just the two defeats in these last eight matches, is impressive.
The 14 points from eight games a massive turnaround from only two points in the opening nine fixtures.
What better way to round off the pre-Christmas schedule than facing rock bottom Fulham at home?
However, maybe we do need to start worrying as when talking about the outcome, Paul Merson has simply stated: ‘Newcastle. Without a doubt.’
The Sky Sports pundit invariably tips Newcastle to lose but thinks Fulham are so poor that they are a sitting ducks for pretty much any Premier League sides.
The Cottagers kicked off the season in ok style, winning one and drawing two of their opening six matches, two of the losses away at Man City and Spurs.
However, maybe the writing was already on the wall as despite the early results not being too bad, they still conceded 13 goals in the first six matches, only in one of them did the opposition fail to score less than at least two.
That has continued and horrendous form of nine defeats, one draw and one win in their last 11, has seen them concede less than two goals on only two occasions, a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester and a 1-0 away defeat at Huddersfield who have only managed 10 goals all season.
As Paul Merson points out ‘Fulham need to score two or three each week’ to stand any chance of winning games.
Their sole win in these last three months was a 3-2 home victory over fellow strugglers Southampton and they were lucky to not throw that one away.
It is seven months since Rafa Benitez’ team last scored three goals and that was against the then reigning champions Chelsea.
Paul Merson not only believes Newcastle will win but thinks they will do it easily, with a 3-0 victory over the Blues’ near neighbours.
With 24 goals already conceded in nine away games, another three on Saturday would help keep up their average.
Newcastle fans will though be wary, there is the Mitro factor and as we all know, our team can’t afford to be complacent in any way, especially when you take into account seven home defeats in nine matches this season.
Paul Merson speaking to Sky Sports:
“Newcastle. Without a doubt.
“You’re never going to stay up if you can’t keep a clean sheet.
“West Ham beat Fulham in second gear, a struggling Manchester United the week before were 3-0 up in no time.
“Huddersfield have got a chance of staying up because they may only need to score one goal to win a football match, with a good defence, but Fulham need to score two or three each week to even get near.
“I really can’t see Fulham keeping a clean sheet between now and the end of the season.
“They could be cut adrift, it’s getting to that stage of the season.
“I’m not sure what this appointment of Claudio Ranieri has brought Fulham.
“Prediction is Newcastle 3 Fulham 0.”
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