Match Day 38
Fulham vs. Newcastle United
Sunday, May 12th 2019
23:00pm (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Craven Cottage
Last five matches form: L W W W L
Average goals per match: 0.92
Average goals against per match: 2.08
Top Scorer: Aleksandar Mitrović (11)
Last five matches form: L W W D L
Average goals per match: 1.03
Average goals against per match: 1.30
Top Scorer: Ayoze Pérez (11)
Fulham bid farewell to the Premier League this weekend as they welcome Newcastle United to Craven Cottage for the final game of what has been a disappointing season.
Newcastle fans meanwhile will be hoping against hope that this will not be a fond farewell to Rafa Benitez, with the future of their influential manager - who has truly worked miracles given the amount of money he has ben handed to spend - still apparently up in the air.
Neutrals will be hoping this is more entertaining than the reverse fixture, with the goalless draw at St. James' Park being one of the dullest games of the season. The most recent clash between the sides here came in the Championship in 2016, with the Cottagers winning 1-0 on that occasion.
Marcus Bettinelli, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Lazar Markovic all miss out for the home side. Newcastle will be without Florian Lejeune, Sean Longstaff, Miguel Almirón and DeAndre Yedlin.
Both sides have been playing some decent stuff of late, but both do arrive on the back of a defeat - Fulham having lost 1-0 away at Wolves, and Newcastle going down 3-2 to Liverpool at home.
Fulham have won their last two on the spin at home, beating Everton and Cardiff City, and keeping two clean sheets in the process.
Newcastle have actually avoided defeat in eleven of eighteen on the road, but have picked up only three wins. Scoring more than once only three times.
Neither side really has anything to play for here, but the Magpies seem likely to be their usual disciplined selves and a low scoring draw may be the most likely outcome.
Prediction: Fulham 1 - 1 Newcastle United
Half time: 0 - 2
Full time: 0 - 4
Shots: 16 - 13
Shots on target: 2 - 6
Corner Kicks: 5 - 5
Possession: 68% - 32%
Just the one booking at Craven Cottage with Joe Bryan of the home side being the only player to have his name taken by referee Kevin Friend.
The opening goal of the game arrived in the ninth minute. A Matt Ritchie corner from the left played deep towards the edge of the eighteen yard box to pick out Jonjo Shelvey slightly to the right. Shelvey controlling before lashing an unstoppable volley into the top left corner.
Two minutes later the visitors had their second. Christian Atsu bursting into the left of the area and firing a low effort on goal. Keeper Sergio Rico should have done much better with this, but could only palm it out and Ayoze Perez was onto it in a flash to stab home from a couple of yards. 0-2 at the break.
The third arrived in the 61st minute. Another Ritchie corner from the left, this time finding Fabian Schär with all the time in the world on the edge of the six-yard box and in a central area. The Swiss defender planting his header down and in to the right hand side.
The Magpies made it four in the ninetieth minute. Perez slipping in Salomón Rondón to the left-hand side. The Venezuelan's initial effort was parried by Rico but it was Rondón who was quickest to it to slot home from a tight angle on the left. 0-4 final score.
Its second bottom and back to the Championship for Fulham then. Newcastle end up one point better off than last season but finish three places lower in thirteenth. How they fare next season will surely depend upon how the looming managerial talks with Rafa Benitez go.