Newcastle stayed in London this week to explore the capital after beating West Ham (5-1) last Wednesday and before facing Brentford on Saturday.
It’s not hard to connect the dots: the Magpies are visiting the Bees this weekend. Or, looking at it from another angle, Brentford is hosting Newcastle at the Community Stadium.
That’s nothing remarkable on the surface. Dig a bit deeper, though, and it starts to look much more interesting.
Brentford has lost one Premier League match this season on their ground. It happened all the way back on MD8 when they welcomed neighbors from Arsenal with the game taking place in the middle of September.
After that, the Bees split their next 10 home games evenly into five victories and five draws. Before losing to Arsenal, mind you, they had won two and drawn one.
Newcastle might be in possession of one of the best defenses in the nation but Brentford, at least when playing at the Community Stadium, is hella strong. So much so, that Newcastle have earned 29 of their 53 points at SJP (54.7%) compared to Brentford’s 27 of 43 (62.7%).
That comes with the negative of suffering more than they’d like to when they have to play away from their comfort zone, with the Bees extracting just three victories and 16 total points from their 15 matches played on the road.
Your Magpies ate a humble pie against Man City in their trip to the Etihad Stadium at the start of March, landing a couple of goals by the Citizens and losing for the first time on the road since they last did in Aug. 2022 at Anfield. After that Mancunian defeat, though, it’s all been rosy for Newcastle with back-to-back wins at Nott Forest (2-1) and West Ham (5-1) sandwiching the international break.
The last time NUFC and BFC met, the affair ended... in a 5-1 trouncing! Not saying it will happen again today. Just making an educated guess based on the most recent game played by the lads from Tyneside.
Howe took to the microphones and addressed the most pressing questions by the media on Wednesday, after the game against West Ham and ahead of the matchup against Brentford at the Community Stadium scheduled for Saturday, April 8th.
You can read everything Howe had to say here, as part of our pre-match coverage.
FotMob.com predictions at the upcoming Starting XIs from the Magpies and the Bees are in, so let’s go through what could be coming from Newcastle’s Eddie Howe.
- Not Available: Krafth (knee), Almiron (thigh)
- Doubtful: —
- Eddie Howe said on Wednesday that “he’d be foolish not to rotate and trust the team” in his “pre-game” press conference after the victory over West Ham and before facing Brentford. That, most probably, had more to do with a hot reaction to Wilson and Joelinton—bot starters at WHU before not doing so in the prior game)—scoring a brace each than a reasoned, marinated thought. In other words: don’t expect wild changes today.
- Even though Howe said he had “not yet decided” his starting XI for the game against Brentford a few days ago (which was perfectly reasonable), he won’t have to 1) deal with new injuries nor 2) rotate that much with a week between this match and the next one against Aston Villa.
- The best news for Howe is that both Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson have dunked their goal-cookies in the past few games. Wilson scored twice on Wednesday and Isak added another goal coming off the pine. Before this week, Wilson had scored one against Man Utd and Isak was the leading man in the comeback W against Nott Fores hitting a brace. It’s goals galore, so whoever Howe chooses to lead the front is going to be a fine pick.
- Considering Wilson tends to operate in wild streaks and is always this close to getting injured and missing multiple games, I don’t think it’d be bad to keep going with the hot hand. It means nothing, doesn’t actually exist, and is a factual fallacy, but hey, if it’s working, don’t fix it.
- Jacob Murphy has taken advantage of Miguel Almiron’s absence... and then some. I thought Anthony Gordon had a shot at starting last Wednesday, but he didn’t and truth be told, I didn’t miss him. Murphy has been unplayable—to his extent—and that’s probably guaranteed another XI for him as one of the main men in Howe’s circle of trustees.
- At the end of the day, it will come down to who plays among Allan Saint-Maximin, Joelinton, Sean Longstaff, and Joe Willock. That’s four men for three positions between the middle of the pitch and the left wing.
- Joelinton was so freaking great against West Ham. Willock has been more than solid of late too. I’m not confident in making this call, but we’d really use ASM on the left with Joelinton dropping to the midfield leaving Willock on the bench for the second consecutive game. Nothing against Willock, but ASM has really found his footing of late (he assisted one goal last midweek) so you gotta play him.
- Pope and the Fantastic Four are all locks to start at the back. No questions asked.
CHN Predicted Lineup
DEF Trippier - Schar - Botman - Burn
MID Longstaff - Bruno - Joelinton
WNG Murphy - Saint-Maximin
- Date: Saturday, April 8th
- Kick-off: 15:00 BST / 10:00 EST
- Location: Community Stadium, Brentford (England)
- Broadcasts: fuboTV (CAN) — Peacock (USA) — N/A (UK)
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Howay the Lads!