After their Carabao Cup exploits in midweek, Premier League football returns to St James’s Park for the first time in 2023 this weekend.
Marco Silva’s Fulham are the visitors to Tyneside on Sunday, aiming to secure their first Premier League win against Newcastle in almost nine years. Fulham have been boosted by the news Aleksandar Mitrovic is getting closer to full fitness ahead of a reunion with his former employers.
With both the north London derby and Manchester derby taking place this weekend, Newcastle know a win could be vital in helping to create a gap between themselves and the teams below them.
But what side will Eddie Howe pick to face the Cottagers? Will he stick with the starting XI that secured victory over Leicester City or will he opt to rotate a few of his key players?
Here, we take a look at the starting XI Howe could pick to face Fulham on Sunday.
1. GK: Nick Pope
Pope has kept seven clean sheets in a row and has not conceded a goal since Southampton’s late consolation goal back in November. No-one has found a way past Pope at St James’s Park since Ivan Toney during Brentford’s 5-1 defeat to the Magpies in October. Photo: George Wood
2. RB: Kieran Trippier
Trippier briefly went down injured during the clash with Leicester, but was fit enough to continue the rest of the match, much to the delight of 50,000 supporters in the stadium. When fit, Trippier is a guaranteed starter. Photo: George Wood
3. CB: Fabian Schar
Despite a few nervy moments early on, Schar once again played his part in helping Newcastle keep yet another clean sheet. Unless there are any fitness concerns, then keeping the back five intact is undoubtedly at the forefront of Howe’s mind. Photo: Julian Finney
4. CB: Sven Botman
The Dutchman was back to his imperious best in midweek and will need to be at his very best to tame the in-form Aleksandar Mitrovic on Sunday. Photo: Stu Forster