We are back to club league football action starting this weekend with FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Newcastle to beat Fulham @ 2.03 (Bet365) – 2.5 points
Newcastle/Draw to beat Fulham @ 2.40 (Bet365) – 2 points
Finally after a month off from the European Championship, we can look forward to some proper league football, which kicks off in England from the 2nd tier in this country which is the Championship football. Some say this is the most difficult division in the world to get out of, and it starts out with 2 former Premier League teams kicking off opening night this Friday.
Newcastle United come into this season as overwhelming favourites to go back up the first time of asking, much like they did the last time they went down back in 2009. This time though Newcastle are quite confident of going back early on. They have retained manager Rafa Benitez through this season while several good players from the previous season are going to stick on with the team including Krul, Colback, Mitrovic, Anita, De Jong, Perez, Mbemba, Tiote, Shelvey to name a few. While they also have picked up some good signings like Diame, Gayle, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden and Hanley who are good editions to a re-building team. Newcastle have shown this season they have a flair for goals, by hitting no less than 2 goals in every pre-season game so far, and will be expected to continue that form. Defensively is the worry with the team who leaked a lot of goals in the Premier League last season, will have to contend with Fulham who have been in this division for a while, and know how to beat teams.
Fulham have been looking to stabilise themselves after going down to the Championship, but only landed up finishing 20th last season, despite having second highest goal scorer in Ross McCormack on their books. They leaked 79 goals last campaign, which was the 3rd worst in the division. They have made 3 additional defensive signings, but conceded in the 2 games against good opposition; against Crystal Palace and Real Betis. This is where the real worry lies for Fulham, as they scored last season, but were always outscored in their games. This year they also need to take care up front as they have let McCormack and Dembele to be sold out on transfer, and will need Aluko and Matt Smith to contribute with the goals for them. Fulham might find it difficult to take a similar squad to higher ranks this time around, and taking on one of the strongest teams in the first game out of the blocks, might not be the easiest thing.
Newcastle have a strong squad, with a lot of players from the Premier League drop of last season, and they have been brought together under Benitez, which should see them be able to beat Fulham in this opening round of Championship fixtures. I am backing Newcastle to do the business and get a win away at Fulham.