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Burnley vs. Newcastle - Match thread: Clarets' future in Magpies’ hands

A top-half finish is well within the reach of the lads in Black and White


No more playing host this season for the Magpies as the Black and White mob is visiting Burnley at Turf Moor to wrap the 2022 Premier League up. That’s not bad, though! Of course, the Geordie Army will have to wait their fair share of weeks to watch the lads back in action in their home surroundings, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other reasons for celebration. For Newcastle, of course, because things aren’t looking that phenomenally great for the Clarets.

United got a boost in October that bore fruits in January and have them very rip and tasted these days. In other words, the improvement under the takeover and Eddie Howe’s appointment started with the arrival of the new calendar year and solidified throughout the past four months culminating in the avoidance of relegation for this season—and probably forever. Burnley, on the other hand, fired Sean Dyche but of course didn’t receive any financial boost from it, only having a little bump up in production after the long-tenured coach got kicked off the building for good.

That run of results was clearly nothing bad and has the Clarets more inside the 2022-23 Premier League race than outside of it with Leeds being the no. 1 team in the polls when it comes to who will go down to the Championship. Only, you know, the lads in cyan and crimson will be playing a refreshed Newcastle while Leeds are going against Brentford and better Burnley’s result will save the Bielsa Truthers from relegation. Tough, tough world it is.

Burnley are coming off a mid-week draw against Aston Villa. The Clarets couldn’t best the Villains in a game in which they had some chances but were still clearly outdone and should have probably dropped more than two points. Of course, the penalty kick—and subsequent goal from the spot—sky-rocketed Burnley’s xG mark all the way up and above that of Villa, but had the penalty not existed and even without Burnley still finding their way to a tie, the 1.6 vs. 1.3 xG marks might have been tilted the opposite way.

A victory against Villa would not have meant salvation but would have definitely made things much easier for the Clarets. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be if only to add some mojo to the final matchday of the season. Burnley kicked off a three-game winning streak just a month ago, followed those wins with a couple of losses, and are coming off that draw against Villa after that match was postponed all the way back in Matchweek 18.

The Clarets are entering the most important game of their season with four players in doubtfully fitness and doubts floating above their heads when it comes to their availability for this match. James Tarkowski (hamstring), Jay Rodriguez (hamstring), Ben Mee (calf), and Erik Pieters (knee) have all suffered bigger or smaller issues of late, and aren’t more than a coin-flip away from missing this game. With the top-flight future of Burnley on the line, though, all of them will make a monster effort and whatever it takes to help their team against the Magpies, grab something positive, seal their safety, then go on a relaxing and refueling—and, let’s be honest, then deserved—vacation.

If you think Newcastle have struggled to put the ball inside the net, you can’t imagine how hard it’s been for the Clarets. Burnley have one player above three goals scored with 37 matches on the books. They have five men with three assists, but none even with four through the season. Overall, though, the lads have played to the expected levels given their actual G+A-PK per 90 minutes and the pmxG+xA they should have gotten—there is just a minus-0.01 “underperformance” per player in their season and a minus-0.18 as a squad.

For the Magpies, who are already saved and playing for fun, this is more about finishing as high up the table as possible and about economical rewards. There is a vast, multimillion difference between finishing 14th (worst-case scenario) and 10th (best realistic case scenario) for the Toon.

Ryan Fraser and Chris Wood seem to be game-call decisions to make by Eddie Howe depending on their evolution in the training ground through the last few days. Fabian Schar will need to clear the concussion protocols to feature. And then the usual suspects on both the average starting/reserve rotation will all be available.

Don’t miss this one if you consider yourself a true, long-time Newcastle fan. There is a real chance at least a handful of the men out there today are playing their final Premier League game, or at least their last one donning Black and White threads as there are changes coming—and fast—United’s way when it comes to buys and sales.

Last day of football before a long, full-of-fake-rumormongering summer with the new board in place and taking on their first sunny transfer window. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Burnley XI - Pope, Roberts, Long, Collins, Tarkowski, Taylor, Brownhill, Cork, McNeil, Cornet, Barnes

Newcastle XI - Dubravka, Trippier, Lascelles, Burn, Targett, Bruno, Longstaff, Joelinton, Almirón, Saint-Maximin, Wilson

Burnley vs. Newcastle

  • Date: Sunday, May 22
  • Time: 11:00 am ET, 4:00 pm UK
  • Location: Turf Moor, Burnley
  • TV: Talksport 2 Radio UK, BBC Radio Newcastle (UK), Peacock, Golf Channel (USA), DAZN (Canada)

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Howay the Lads!