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Newcastle United look to bounce back against Fulham

Newcastle United were brought back to earth with a bump in midweek but will be looking to bounce back when Fulham arrive at St James' Park.

Former boss Sam Allardyce brought his Blackburn side to the north-east and took home all three points with a 2-1 win. That ended a glorious few weeks for Newcastle fans after they demolished local rivals Sunderland 5-1 and then managed a shock win over Arsenal at the Emirates.

Newcastle sit fifth in the Premier League but have struggled at St James' Park and the Blackburn game was their third loss on home turf.

Chris Hughton's side have been beaten in front of the St James Park faithful by Blackpool, Stoke and Blackburn – while they also needed an injury time equaliser from Fabricio Coloccini to rescue a point at home to Wigan.  Despite this record they are priced at 10/11 to get all three points on Saturday.

Hughton has responded well after there was some speculation about his future only a few weeks ago. The aim for any promoted side is consolidation in their first season back in the Premier League and the manager still retains that as their prime target despite sitting currently in the European places.

Local boy Andy Carroll has been the danger man for Newcastle in recent weeks, he scored the winner against both Arsenal and West Ham and also got their goal in midweek.

The Fulham defence will need to be on their best to stop him dominating them in the air, while Kevin Nolan will always pose a danger attacking from midfield and is 5/1 to get the first goal on Saturday.

Newcastle will be without fellow midfielder Joey Barton after the FA charged him with violent conduct for an alleged punch on Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen. He has accepted the decision and therefore has an immediate three-match suspension that will rule him out of the weekend's game. Ryan Taylor, who would have been likely to replace Barton, has been ruled out with an ankle problem.

Fulham are currently sitting near the wrong end of the Premier League table but have impressed in recent weeks. They were unlucky not to get anything out of a trip to leaders Chelsea in midweek and Mark Hughes always has hit team organised and difficult to break down.

Newcastle are only a point ahead of a six chasing teams, and there is only three points separating them in fifth and Blackpool in 14th, so need a win to ensure they sit at the right end of the table. Another poor home defeat could leave the dark clouds circulating over Hughton again come Saturday night.

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