The appreciation of skilful Newcastle playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa may not spread far and wide, but Fulham are well aware of his talents.
That know-how won’t be strong enough to dent his fabulous goalscoring record against the west Londoners.
The silky smooth Ben Arfa has scored in both of his Premier League appearances against Fulham and looks scorching value to score first at 8/1.
He bagged a consolation goal with a smart low finish in a 5-2 defeat at Craven Cottage back in 2012 and banged in a belter from 25 yards last season during Fulham’s 2-1 success.
Newcastle are in desperate need for some Ben Arfa magic.
Alan Pardew’s men have only mustered one shot on target in two league games this season and are weak in the betting at 20/19.
Fulham, who beat Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on the opening day before losing 3-1 at home to Arsenal, can be backed at 13/5.
Those who have taken fancy prices on the Lilywhites though, will be worried about past struggles to contain Ben Arfa.
He’s a talent that has gone unnoticed in most parts of the Premier League, and a series of injuries is a valid excuse for his lack of progression.
Although rather erratic, Ben Arfa is a full-back’s nightmare to play against when in full flow.
He doesn’t run past defenders, he glides past them.
Just like Zinedine Zidane.
Just like Lionel Messi.
He’s in that bracket in terms of natural talent.
Only Liverpool forward Luis Suarez and QPR’s Adel Taarabt (now on loan at Fulham) completed more successful dribbles than the 155 he accomplished in the Premier League last season.
Real Madrid-bound Gareth Bale and Chelsea maverick Eden Hazard, who both played at least 13 more games than the Frenchman, were not as effective according to the dribbling data.
Consistency and his questionable work ethic when out of possession is the flowing Frenchman’s main issue.
In clashes against superior opposition the negative side to his game is more apparent, but when charged with taking on ordinary Premier League rivals, like Fulham, his brilliance outshines his weaknesses.
This makes him a very tantalising punting prospect to add to his nine goals in just 34 starts for the Toon.