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MATCH PREVIEW – Newcastle United vs Manchester City: New era finally begins for Magpies as St James’ Park is free of Sports Direct Signage

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Newcastle fans prepare for the first game of new era without Sports Direct signage at SJP...

Newcastle face title contenders for the second time this week as Manchester City travel to St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon (2pm kick-off), amidst rise in Premier League covid cases.

Six fixtures have been postponed over the weekend following the rise of cases due to the Omicron variant with the likelihood of many more fixtures being affected in the coming weeks.

At the time of writing, the game between the Magpies and Man City is still going ahead. Sunday promises to be a challenging battle for the home side as the visitors ran rampant last time out, winning 7-0 at home against Leeds in midweek.

Perhaps the most important detail heading into this fixture is that for the first time since Mike Ashley’s departure in October, the Sports Direct advertising that previously covered the ground has been removed fully with a new era officially starting on Tyneside.

Credit PETER POWELL via REUTERS

Howe will be looking to build on the decent performance against Liverpool, despite defeat and will be expected his side to get on the front-foot as much as possible. The defensive woes continued for Newcastle on Thursday evening as they gifted Klopp’s side their first two goals.

Newcastle find themselves 19th with the worst defensive record in the Premier League and remain in desperate need of improvement on the pitch. The Magpies have shipped 37goals in 17 outings this campaign, running at an average of over 2 goals per game.

The January transfer window beckons and can’t come quick enough for Howe’s side who are expected to bring in a number of reinforcements.

After being rested on Thursday, Callum Wilson is expected to return to the starting eleven as Newcastle are yet to confirm the extent of the injuries they sustained against Liverpool. Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamal Lewis (hamstring) had their games cut short and are doubts for the clash with City.

Howe’s side have averaged the lowest percentage of possession across all Premier League games this season, suggesting that they are going to endure long periods of pressure from their visitors and will rely heavily on counter attacks to threaten the City net.

This is to be expected given the difference in quality between the two sides but Toon supporters can still expect their team to be well-drilled, structured and hard-working.

Man City have won seven consecutive games in the Premier League with two clean sheets in a row – Pepe’s side have the best defence in the division having only conceded nine goals so far this term.

Credit: James Gill via Getty Images

City seem to have found it tricky at St James’ Park in recent years for various reasons and they have not yet taken Newcastle apart on the road – could Sunday afternoon be a different story come 2pm?

The hosts will be hoping for a Christmas miracle to help kickstart their season after the first win over Burnley last tine out at SJP.

The fixture on Sunday afternoon is between the two richest clubs in the Premier League and has been nicknamed as El Cashico as the sides compete for the first time since the Saudi-led take-over of Newcastle in October.

FORM

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W W W W W W 

  • City have lost just one of the last 13 league away meetings, although they have conceded seven goals in their past three visits.
  • If Newcastle United fail to win against Manchester City, they will spend Christmas Day in the relegation zone for the first time in Premier League history.
  • Calum Wilson can become the first Newcastle player to score in three consecutive Premier League home matches since Yoan Gouffran in 2013.
  • City’s seven-match winning streak in the Premier League is the longest current run in the division. They have scored 20 goals and conceded just three during this period.

TEAM NEWS

Newcastle will assess the fitness of Allan Saint-Maximin, who was withdrawn during the defeat at LiverpoolJamal Lewis is sidelined because of a hamstring injury sustained at Anfield but Callum Wilson is expected to return to the starting eleven after starting on the bench in midweek.

Paul Dummet (hamstring) remains a lengthy absentee and isn’t expected back in action until 2022 at the earliest. Centre-back Federico Fernandez (thigh) is not expected to return from a knock that he sustained earlier this month.

Bernardo Silva is a doubt for Man City after being substituted off at half time against Leeds as a precaution, and Guardiola may rest the Portuguese international having played every minute of every game since the beginning of November.

Joao Cancelo returns from suspension having missed out on the 7-0 demolition of Bielsa’s side on Wednesday evening. Kevin De Bruyne is expected to start his second consecutive game as Phil Foden is expected to replace the doubtful Silva.

POTENTIAL LINE-UPs

NUFC:                                                                                                                                       Manchester City:

Pre-match thoughts? Score predictions?

Who makes your starting eleven? Can Newcastle pull off a Christmas miracle? What are your thoughts on the El Cashico? Will Howe’s side put in a decent performance at SJP?

Join in the conversation and have your say…

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Newcastle target rejects Everton move following £45m bid.

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Newcastle united - St James Park

Everton have made a £40million bid with £5m in add-ons to sign Connor Gallagher from Chelsea.

This comes after Newcastle completed the signing of Anthony Gordon, the club’s second most expensive transfer behind Alexander Isak.

Everton received an initial fee of £40m plus add-ons that could increase the deal to £45m.

The Toffees currently sit 19th in the Premier League and are looking to reinvest the money from the Gordon deal to sign much-needed players under newly appointed manager Sean Dyche. 

But, multiple sources have reported today that Gallagher is not actively pushing for a move and has no intention of going to Goodison Park. However, with Chelsea having met the record-breaking €120m release clause for World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez, Gallagher may be forced to leave the club if the transfer is complete.

This leaves Newcastle an option as the player would prefer a move to a top-six club.

This morning, Eddie Howe said, “We’ll see what we can do to try & bring a player in. There’s no guarantees. In terms of permanent signings, it will be very difficult. We’ll look at a potential loan. But it’s got to be the right player & not one for the sake of it”.

Due to financial fair play, the only way Newcastle could sign the player is through a loan, with an obligation to buy the player for at least £45m, the same price they paid for Anthony Gordon.

Gallagher has been playing regular Premier League football over the last two seasons. Since returning to his parent club Chelsea, the 22-year-old has been linked with a move away to numerous Premier League clubs.

Last season he was named Crystal Palace’s Player of the Season by their fans. He also won the Player of the Month award twice, Goal of the Month once, and was awarded the Young Player of Year at the 2022 London Football Awards.

In the same season, he made 36 appearances scoring eight goals and registering three assists that earned Palace a 12th-place finish, one point behind Newcastle.

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Transfer News: Newcastle Sign Everton Winger Anthony Gordon In 45m Deal

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Newcastle agree deal for Gordon

Newcastle United have agreed to sign Everton winger Anthony Gordon for an initial fee of £40,000,000, which could rise to £45,000,000 with add-ons

Sky Sports understands that personal terms between Newcastle United and Gordan’s representatives are still ongoing, but both parties are confident of reaching an agreement.

The Magpies’ were interested in bringing Gordon to St James’ Park in the summer. However, both clubs were far apart on valuations for the player.

The 21-year-old has failed to attend training at Finch Farm for the last three days after making it clear he wants to move away from Goodison Park.

Chelsea were interested in bringing Gordon to Stamford Bridge in the summer and were willing to pay up to £60,000,000 for the wide-man’s services. However, Everton were reluctant to let their talisman leave before the start of the 2022/2023 Premier League season.

Gordon has scored just 3 goals in 16 Premier League appearances (12 starts) this season for the struggling Toffees, who currently sit second bottom of the table.

That said, the former Preston North End loanee had his best campaign last season, playing a major part in Everton’s Premier League survival.

The Everton academy graduate had 6 goal involvements in 35 Premier League games (25 starts) last season, which was the first season he had a consistent run of games.

It’s clear that Gordon has a significant amount of potential, and with Eddie Howe at the helm, Newcastle could be getting a very exciting player.

We have seen an unbelievable transformation in many players’ performances since Eddie Howe took charge in November 2021, with the most obvious transformation being Joelinton’s positional change.

The Liverpool-born winger can play in several forward positions, which is the type of player Eddie Howe has been keen to add during the January window, especially after Chris Wood’s loan departure to Nottingham Forest.

Joelinton is currently being deployed as a left-winger, with Allan Saint-Maximin in the process of regaining match fitness.

The addition of Gordon could see Joelinton be moved back to his preferred position as a box-to-box midfielder. This would see one of Sean Longstaff or Joe Willock drop out of the eleven, with Bruno Guimarães making that number 6 role untouchable.

Four days remain of the January transfer window, and it is yet to be seen if Anthony Gordon is the only player The Toon are adding to their ranks.

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Who’s place in the squad will he take?

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Gary Lineker shocked as ‘adult noices played on BBC Live on air!

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Gary Lineker - BBC one Live
Credit: BBC

Viewers on Tuesday night prior to the FA cup football games were left shocked and confused as noises of an adult nature were played in the BBC studio – Live on air!

 

Gary Lineker reacted fast to try to address and cover up the noise before going live to Alan Shearer.

 

See the clip below…

 

 

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