Newcastle will look to keep up the good momentum going on from the Spurs game against Burnley. Both the teams desperate for points in a bid to escape from the clutches of the relegation zone of the Premier League this season and will go head-to-head at Turf Moor on a frantic Sunday afternoon this weekend.
Burnley themselves are in a poor run of form having collected a mere tally of 5 points over last five games and their home form either is also not scintillating having drawn their last four home games and similar to us are in crawling mode and just want to get the job done, so we can expect a tight and tense ninety-minutes between the pair this weekend.
Newcastle could well go into the game in a tensed mood with them being dropped into relegation zone on Goal-Difference, if Fulham won their game on Friday night against Wolves. Burnley game is like every other match this season a ‘must-win’ game and is a perfect opportunity to set ourselves away from the drop-zone.
Burnley suffered a 3-2 defeat at Southampton in their last game in what was a poor performance from them as they allowed Saints to take 24 shots and dropped back to much but are always a threat on counters and set-pieces. It becomes important that we take the game into them with desire and attacking intent, push with possession and intent. It will be hard to deal with the aerial supremacy that Burnley pose and without Lascelles the task becomes even more hard.
Steve Bruce has offered a fitness update on Friday morning ahead of Sunday’s encounter to Burnley in the pre-match press conference and it turned out to be a mixed bag.
The big news is that Jamaal Lascelles won’t play against Burnley out with a foot Injury picked against Spurs and it’s susceptible that he would ever play again this season if further scans confirm he has stress fracture to the foot.
Thankfully we have Ciaran Clark and Fede Fernandez both available, Paul Dummett, Emil Krafth and Javier Manquillo all available capable of playing centre-halves’ even if we play a back three.
Steve Bruce also indicated that Ryan Fraser won’t be involved on Sunday, whilst he thinks Andy Carroll is touch and go and at best can only make the bench. While Fabian Schar and Isaac Hayden set to sit out the rest of this season with long-term injuries.
In a big positive reveal Bruce said Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin will be available in Newcastle’s squad for Sunday’s match after having trained whole week. The Newcastle Head Coach have to box carefully with both because they both are power players and can easily again pull a hamstring.
While the Burnley’s injury list contains Ashley Barnes, Robbie Brady, Long, Taylor, Cork all unavailable for this game.
Formations and Predicted Line-ups
I would go with a similar formation we started against Tottenham, a proactive 5-3-2 or 3-5-2 with Jacob Murphy and Matt Ritchie as pushing wing-backs, and the dynamic midfield consisting of Almiron, Sean Longstaff and the third midfielder would be Joe Willock instead of Jonjo Shelvey, the Arsenal loanee offers an added threat on counter and with his late signature runs into the box.
Ritchie is a real leader and character in the squad, sets example for everyone to push-up high on the field fearlessly and have pride playing for the badge, going in for every tackle and lose balls. He must be in the Starting XI as we will lack leaders in the absence of Lascelles and Hayden, I will be happy if he gets the armband and lead my team full with character and enthusiasm.
Fede Fernandez will fill in for Lascelles at the center of the Back-three with left-footed Clark and Dummett on either side of the veteran defender. I have gone for Dummy instead of Manquillo because against Burnley we might need an aerial presence and also from the Rafa times both Ritchie and Dummett complement each other superbly with Dummett’s ability to cover for spaces left out by Ritchie when pushing forwards.
The front pairing of Dwight Gayle and Joelinton did well against Spurs, the Brazilian arguably has his best game in the Black-and-White. If things don’t go to plan we can revert back to the diamond formation with Almiron at the fulcrum as a spearhead and Saint-Maximin and Wilson coming on as subs for the last 30 minutes.
I believe we should go all-out-attack this game because the run we have up against us in the next 5 games can easily turn out to be a rot which leaves us in a precarious position going into the penultimate game against Sheffield United away.
GoalKeeper:- Martin Dubravka.
Defenders:- Jacob Murphy; Ciaran Clark; Fernandez; Paul Dummett; Matt Ritchie.
Midfielders:- Joe Willock; Sean Longstaff; Joe Willock.
Forwards:- Joelinton; Dwight Gayle.
Predictions: Newcastle United 3-1 Burnley
I predict a solid 3-1 victory for the Magpies similar to the one when these teams met last time out, with Joelinton again on the scoresheet, Wilson may put the game to bed after coming as a sub and Saint-Maximin to have one assist. For Burnley Chris Wood will score a header from the corner. Burnley are very poor against Southampton and if we don’t leave ourselves exposed on counter and set-pieces than it will be an easy afternoon at Turf Moor.