The Premier League season finale is tomorrow and Newcastle United’s final game will be in London against Fulham.
With 37 games in the book, Newcastle United have one final game on their schedule against a relegated Fulham side at Craven Cottage. The Magpies have won two of their last four games ahead of tomorrow’s clash, but the home team are coming off an impressive three-game winning streak. Unfortunately for Fulham, though, those results have come a little too late.
Tomorrow’s game is essentially meaningless for both teams in terms of table standings. The best possible finish for Newcastle is 13th and the lowest the Toon can finish the season is 15th. Seeing that tomorrow’s result does not matter, the major storyline will be centered on Rafa Benitez possibly managing Newcastle for the last time.
In his press conference yesterday, Benitez stated that talks have advanced with the club and that another meeting is scheduled for next week, so that is encouraging for fans. Benitez also mentioned that some players have been asking him about his future plans, and this tells me that the game against Fulham is not a primary concern for some Magpies.
That being said, Benitez will undoubtedly prepare his men to the best of his abilities for Sunday’s game with the hope of ending the 2018-19 campaign on a high note. Newcastle maintained their 3-4-3 shape against Liverpool, so there is no reason why that attacking formation will be altered ahead of this final game against a relegated team. If there is one player who might play with more urgency than the others it would be Salomon Rondon.
The Venezuelan striker was crowned as the club’s Player of the Year on Thursday morning, but his future on Tyneside is still unclear. He has nothing left to prove to Benitez and the fans after scoring 10 goals and providing seven assists this season, but one or two more goals tomorrow might be enough to truly convince Mike Ashley that he is worth the £16.5M West Brom are seeking for his services.
The atmosphere at Craven Cottage should be positive as Fulham’s supporters will cheer their team on in their final game in the Top Flight. The level of intensity might be lacking from both teams, but it should be an interesting game that will be open in midfield.
Prediction: Fulham 0-2 Newcastle