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Premier League Preview: Newcastle United - Fulham

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Premier League Preview: Newcastle United - Fulham
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Premier League Preview: Newcastle United - Fulham

Newcastle United will look to respond from a slow start to the Premier League season when it hosts Fulham on Saturday.

Alan Pardew's men have struggled this term, following up a 4-0 loss at Manchester City with an uninspiring goalless draw against West Ham last Saturday.

The Newcastle boss will hope the side's 2-0 Capital One Cup win over Morecambe on Wednesday has boosted spirits ahead of what could be a crucial encounter.

Pardew has publicly admitted he is still searching for another forward to help his misfiring strikeforce.

Newcastle has scored in just two of its last eight Premier League fixtures and has conceded 16 goals in the process.

A move for former Newcastle striker Demba Ba – now at Chelsea – has been mooted, while the club appears to have revived its interest in Lyon forward Bafetimbi Gomis.

Yohan Cabaye has not played for Newcastle this season, with Arsenal trying to sign the 27-year-old midfielder. But with a move still in doubt, Pardew has insisted that the France international will feature on Saturday.

"What I have said to Yohan Cabaye is I expect him to play this weekend. Until another bid comes in from Arsenal that is accepted or not, that will be the situation," he said.

"To be honest, our relationship really hasn't deteriorated too much in terms of what's gone on. I think he is in a better place and he knows the responsibility he has to Newcastle United."

Newcastle's last Premier League win at home came in April, against Fulham, with Cabaye playing a crucial role.

The Frenchman provided the assist for Papiss Cisse's stoppage-time winner in that fixture and Pardew will be hopeful he can provide a similar contribution on Saturday.

Newcastle has a lengthy injury list but will be hopeful of including loan signing Loic Remy as he recovers from a calf injury.

But midfielders Cheikh Tiote (groin) and Jonas Gutierrez (hamstring) as well as Ryan Taylor (knee) will miss out, while defender Steven Taylor is suspended.

Fulham will enter the match on the back of a nervy Capital One Cup success against fourth-tier outfit Burton Albion.

Hugo Rodallega's goal with four minutes left of extra-time forced penalties, with Fulham edging the shootout 5-4 after scores were locked at 2-2.

Martin Jol's men opened its season with a gutsy 1-0 win at Sunderland but struggled defensively against Arsenal last Saturday, slumping to a 3-1 home defeat.

How Jol keeps Adel Taarabt, Dimitar Berbatov, Darren Bent and Bryan Ruiz in the same team, and happy, will be crucial to Fulham's hopes this season, but the club looks to be blessed with plenty of firepower.

Bent – who signed on loan from Aston Villa – made his Fulham debut last weekend and marked it with a late strike.

Fulham is sweating on the fitness of goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg (shoulder), but Saturday's match will come too soon for Kieran Richardson (hamstring) and defender Fernando Amorebieta (knock).

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