Lee Clark provides his verdict on Newcastle United and Fulham as Premier League battle enters final stages

As the battle for Premier League survival enters its closing stages, Lee Clark watches on from North Africa with one foot in both camps, and gives his verdict on his two former clubs.

Lee Clark played for both Newcastle United and Fulham. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
Lee Clark played for both Newcastle United and Fulham. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)

The top-flight resumes tomorrow after the international break, and it is another huge weekend for Newcastle United and Fulham

The two teams are locked in a relegation dogfight – and it looks increasingly likely one will drop into the Championship at the end of the season.

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United play Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. As their game ends, Fulham will kick-off at Villa Park in another potentially crucial clash.

Lee Clark was famously part of the Kevin Keegan’s mid-1990s Entertainers before later going on to captain Fulham. And despite being nearly 3,500 miles away from the United Kingdom, Clark – now manager of Al-Merreikh in sunny Sudan – is keeping a close eye on how his two former clubs fare.

Newcastle, with a game in-hand, hold a two-point advantage over 18th-placed Fulham. However, with Steve Bruce’s side winning just two of their previous 20 matches, Clark feels the momentum is with Scott Parker & Co.

“I’ve been watching both teams very closely,” Clark tells NationalWorld.

"When people said Fulham were dead and buried, Fulham weren’t losing a lot of games and they were playing well. Ultimately, they were drawing too many matches.

"They needed to find some kind of winning formula and they’ve done that in recent weeks.

"They've had some great wins against teams in and around them and everyone thought ‘they’ve got a tough run of games, so they won’t pick up any points’.

"They were absolutely superb at Anfield and it was thoroughly deserved. That wasn’t a fluke result, it was a deserved result. That was a team who got at Liverpool from the start with quality play and created chances. Even before the goal, they could have scored.

"What that shows is when they come up against the big boys, who they were written off against, is they’ll give it a right good go.

"I thought they were unfortunate against Spurs with the VAR decision, so what they’re doing is putting pressure on the teams above them, who can clearly see they’ve got momentum.

"The players are playing with confidence, quality and getting results. When you’re above teams who are doing that, you can get a bit worried about their form.”

Although everything is pointing towards a two-horse race between Newcastle and Fulham, who play each other on the final day of the season in west London, for survival, Clark believes the likes of Brighton are still at risk – despite turning the Magpies over last time out.

He adds: "With Newcastle, it hasn’t been a great run at all and they’ll be looking over their shoulders but so will Brighton. We can’t keep saying it’s Newcastle and Fulham – Brighton are still in the mix.

“With my Newcastle hat on, we certainly need to start picking up results.

"It’s tough and it could go to the wire in that game at Craven Cottage on the final day of the season but as I say, it might not just involve Newcastle and Fulham, there could be other teams involved.”