When a highflying Northern side travels down South and faces a struggling London club, an away win should be on the cards but expect a shock when Fulham host Newcastle United and The Cottagers show their mettle.
Newcastle United currently sit sixth in the table tied on points with the mighty Arsenal and just two goals worse off. The magpies are currently 7/2 in the betting odds to record a top six finish and 25/1 to record a top four finish, but are still a huge outside bet to win the Premier League at 750/1. Fulham by comparison have garnered just 23 points this season, sit 14th in the league and are only six points away the dreaded drop zone. They are just 16/1 to go down. Fulham's goal difference this season is -6 while Newcastle (against all expectations) seem to be scoring goals for fun. Newcastle's current goal difference is +5, and it's no great stretch of the imagination to see those goal differences pointing to this match ending in a 1-0 away victory, which is available at 9/1 with William Hill.
The Geordies are unbeaten in 2012 after four matches, and are in with the chance of collecting their first double of the season on Saturday as they have already beaten Fulham 2-1 at St James's Park back in August. A repeat of that score for the Geordies is 12/1, while a reverse of that score, which was the result when this fixture was played back in 2008, is at 15/2.
Head to head and toe to toe
Looking at the head-to-head stats, the teams share two wins and a draw each from their last five, with the away side only coming out on top once. If you think that trend will be booked you can pick up Newcastle winning at 14/5 while a home win is at Evens. In the last five head-to-head games (when the game hasn't ended drawn) it has been decided by just a single goal (2-1 and 1-0). Fulham have conceded quite heavily on several occasions this season but Newcastle don't currently look like running rampant with star strikers off on international duty.
There should be goals
Newcastle have only failed to find the back of the net on four occasions this season, in three draws and one defeat, so I'd stay away from a 0-0 result even at 9/1. Fulham have failed to find the net on seven occasions this season in the league (but only twice at home). However, despite the goals and the league position, Newcastle hardly ran away with it in their last game against Premier League relegation zone residents, Queens Park Rangers.
I think if you want to back a Newcastle victory don't back a Newcastle clean sheet, 3-1 to the Geordies is at 33/1 and 3-2 to the Geordies is at 40/1, while 2-0 is at 18/1 and 3-0 is at 50/1.
It is interesting to note that both sides have recently faced Blackburn Rovers, Fulham in the league and Newcastle in the FA Cup. Fulham went down 3-1 while Newcastle were 2-1 victors. If you add those scores together you would get an unlikely score of 5-2 to Newcastle, which is available at an out of the park 300/1. You should also remember that twice this season Fulham has been home to a massive scoring game, once when the cottages beat QPR by six goals to nil ( three goals in either half) and once were Fulham conceded five goals without reply against Manchester United. If you're feeling that a goal onslaught is overdue and on the cards you can pick up a 6-0 home victory at 250/1 or 5-0 away victory at 300/1, although don't bet too heavily on either score.
Look to each team’s last performance
I feel that Fulham, as they are not that far away from the relegation zone and need a win, will bounce back harder and brighter after their defeat at Blackburn. Newcastle, who made heavy work of Queens Park Rangers, but have a “comfortably high” league placing will find themselves chasing the game. You can bet on Fulham leading at halftime and winning the match at odds of 11/5, Fulham leading at 45 minutes and Newcastle winning on 90 minutes at 33/1 or Fulham leading at the break and the game ending drawn at 14/1. Out of those three options I'm most tempted by the last.
Soccer betting prediction: The game ends drawn with a goal apiece available at 6/1