Howe also spoke about Joelinton’s inclusion despite being arrested for drink-driving in midweek.
We don’t underestimate the severity of what he did. We’ve dealt with him internally and had discussions with him and the group. He’s very remorseful, very sad. We’ve put him into the team based on everything we know.
The Newcastle manager, Eddie Howe, spoke to Sky Sports.
I think we’re coming in on a high but understanding how tough this game is going to be, two good sides going against each other. Marco [Silva’s] been incredible this season he deserves a lot of credit. Not just the results but the way they’ve been getting them. Teams are going to make it difficult for us, every game’s a big challenge.
Chris Paraskevas, too: “1 am Kick-Off here in Australia. Eyeing a tray of Cornettos in freezer (23 degrees Celcius atm). Fulham looking a really dangerous proposition: I have a feeling Mitrovic may score today. Dan Burn should definitely have gone to the World Cup, but I’m not surprised he was overlooked. Considered imitating his dancing on Insta but my left ankle is pretty dodge (years spent as a Sunday League Target Man). HTL”
Richard Hirst is in: “Football supporters are pessimists by nature but I think I am just about confident enough to say that we will stop being a yo yo club this season. But today, after a high emotion game on Thursday, and a long trip to Newcastle ….. I’d bite your hand off for a draw. COYW.”
Dan Burn, born in Blyth and another member of the Fulham-Newcastle alliance, has become a cult hero on Tyneside.
The irony is that Burn, rejected by Newcastle as an 11-year-old but watched several times in person by Southgate during the autumn, was not Howe’s first- or even second-choice defensive signing this time last year. Not that Newcastle’s manager harbours the remotest shred of regret about acquiring his burgeoning talent and mature off-field influence.
Extra team news note: Layvin Kurzawa, once of PSG, gets his second Premier League start for Fulham as he’s in for the suspended Antonee Robinson. Big test for him.
What a good job Eddie Howe is doing, by the way. Here’s Jonathan Wilson’s thoughts.
Newcastle have the best defensive record in the Premier League. They have conceded only 11 times in 18 games. Only Neto has saved a higher proportion of shots than Nick Pope this season, but they lie fourth in the expected goals against chart. And they are getting better. They have let in only two goals in their last nine league games. Only Manchester City, Liverpool and Sheffield Wednesday have scored more than one against them this season.
The table has a healthy look to it for both clubs. Tight at the top, right? Though Arsenal can stretch it out later today.
Joelinton, against expectation considering his brush with the law this week, starts for Newcastle, who are unchanged from their defeat of Leicester on Tuesday. Fulham have won five in a row, and welcome back Mitrovic with Issa Diop replaces Tosin Adarabioyo in defence.
Here are the teams
Newcastle: Pope, Trippier, Botman, Schar, Burn, Guimaraes, Willock, Longstaff, Joelinton, Almiron, Wilson Subs: Darlow, Lascelles, Saint-Maximin, Ritchie, Isak, Manquillo, Wood, Murphy, Lewis
Fulham: Leno, Tete, Diop, Ream, Kurzawa, Reed, Palhinha, Pereira, Decordova-Reid, Mitrovic, Willian Subs: Rodak, Tosin, Wilson, Cairney, Solomon, Chalobah, James, Vinicius, Harris
Newcastle and Fulham, two clubs with more links than you might think between a club in the working-class heartlands of the north east and bourgeois south-west London. Some names? Malcolm MacDonald, Kevin Keegan, Andy Cole, Louis Saha, Scott E Parker, Lee Clark and Aaron Hughes. And Aleksandar Mitrovic, of course, who is expected to return from suspension and injury to lead the line for Fulham, and who is recalled on Tyneside as a raw, talented player who never quite made the grade, and who suffered from a lack off ill-discipline. These days, he is Fulham’s talisman, so let’s hope we get to see him in action. Not that Fulham missed him in midweek in showing Chelsea that they are are the actual pride of bourgeois south-west London. Newcastle meanwhile, having exited the FA Cup at the hands of Hi-Ho Sheffield Wednesday (in memoriam, Jeff Beck), and made it to the League Cup semis, can concentrate on consolidating their top-four opponents. Marco Silva is an attacking manager, while Newcastle have the best defence in the division. Something’s got to give. Probably.
Kickoff is 2pm UK time. Join me.