Newcastle United are back in action after the international break, Rafael Benitez’s men travel down to Turf Moor this evening to face a Burnley side that have been struggling of late.
Burnley have not won in their last 6 games, picking up 2 points in that time. Newcastle on the other hand have seen a turnaround in their form, picking up 7 points from a possible 9 over the last 3 games. The contrast in the defensive statistics is staggering, Burnley who are usually so solid at the back have conceded an astonishing 25 goals in 12 games, in fact only Fulham have conceded more.
Heading into this game, both teams have injury concerns. For Burnley, Gibson (hernia), Tarkowski (Hernia, both 1 Dec), Ward (knee, 8 Dec), Pope (shoulder 22 Dec), Gudmundsson (calf, Dec) are all out of this one. While Newcastle have doubts over Lascelles, Muto and Shelvey, all may face late fitness tests. Definitely ruled out for Newcastle are Lejuene and Dummett. The former, has stepped up his recovery from a long standing knee injury, Lejuene joined first team training this week, which was a welcome site for Rafael Benitez.
Despite Burnley’s recent run of poor form, this will be a tough game for Newcastle, Turf Moor is a difficult place to go to. If Newcastle can manage to get 3 wins on the spin, it will go a long way to lifting the Magpies out of trouble, after what was a terrible start to the campaign.
Benitez will be hoping that Rondon can continue his fine form from his last outing for Newcastle. The Venezuelan international, scored twice against Bournemouth, in all honesty he could have had 4 or 5! His performance was outstanding, not only his goals but his hold up play was fantastic. If Rondon can replicate that performance against Burnley, Newcastle will have a great chance to take all three points.
Newcastle and Burnley are separated only by goal difference, I expect this to be a very tight game. I am going to go for a 1-1 draw in this one, which would be a decent result for Newcastle heading into a home game against West Ham this weekend.