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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



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.


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.


 D L D W L L

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.


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.


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?

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Newcastle To Reignite Interest In Leicester City Playmaker



Newcastle want maddison

According to The Times, Newcastle are considering making a fresh move for James Maddison in January.

The Magpies saw two bids knocked back for the former Norwich City midfielder in the summer transfer window, with the second offer believed to be in the region of £45,000,000.

It was reported that Leicester were holding out for £60,000,000 for Maddison’s services, which was deemed too high by The Magpies’ heirarcy.

However, The Times is reporting that Newcastle are still keen on signing the 25-year-old to add further creativity to their midfield three.

The Toon will be hoping to agree on a cut-price for Maddison because, come January he will have 18 months left on his current Leicester contract.

The Foxes have had a torrid start to the new Premier League season, occupying the league’s bottom spot with just one point on the board.

There is uncertainty around the future of Foxes’ manager Brendon Rodgers, as Leicester City chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha is set to attend Monday’s fixture against Nottingham Forest, his first for six weeks.

If Leicester fail to win on Monday night, it could mean the end of Rodgers’ time at the King Power Stadium.

Besides Leicester’s poor start to the season, James Maddison has been a shining light scoring 3 goals in 6 games from midfield.

What would Maddison add to Newcastle?

Maddison heat map

James Maddison heatmap – Credit: SofaScore

From the heatmap above, you can gather that Maddison is given a free role behind the striker, as he often takes up positions on the left, right and centrally.

Last season Maddison was 6th for big chances created with 11. Newcastle’s highest was Allan Saint-Maximin with 7.

In addition, Bruno Guimarães was The Magpies’ most creative midfielder with 3 big chances created and he only arrived in January.

This shows that Newcastle are lacking creativity from the midfield positions, hence the club’s eagerness to strike a deal for Maddison.

The Foxes’ star man doesn’t just give you creativity from midfield he also plays his part with goals too, something that again is lacking in Eddie Howe’s current midfield options.

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Fulham vs Newcastle United: Match Preview



The start of the new month marks the return of Premier League action for Newcastle United as they travel to the capital to face Marco Silva’s Fulham.


The newly promoted side couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season. 


Ever since they held Liverpool to a 2-2 draw, back at the beginning of August, their momentum has continued to carry.


Wins against Brentford, Brighton and Nottingham Forest, paired with an important point away to Wolves have placed The Cottagers in 6th place in the Premier League. 


Not to mention, two, narrow 2-1 defeats to fellow London clubs Arsenal and Spurs, away from home, that both proved Fulham are here to play with the big boys this season and really do mean business.


Newcastle have not managed to win a Premier League game since the opening day of the season and an unconvincing performance in their previous encounter with Bournemouth suggests all three points are needed this Saturday. Especially, if the Magpies wish to gather momentum to push for a European spot this season.


However, the international break has not exactly done Eddie Howe any favours when it comes to picking his starting eleven for Saturday.


Chris Wood (rib) and Alexander Isak (thigh) will both be unavailable due to injuries picked up on international duty for New Zealand and Sweden.


Elliot Anderson is also a doubt to feature after he was forced to pull out of the Scotland U21 side due to a hamstring injury. The youngster could still make the squad, however, as reports revealed he has been training throughout the week.


Check out our full international round-up:


Another positive for Newcastle United is the return of Jamal Lewis. Jamal started and played 153 minutes for Northern Ireland in their Nations League games against Kosovo and Greece.


Craig Hope, Daily Mail North-East football correspondent confirmed yesterday that he understands Bruno Guimaraes and Callum Wilson will both be “fine” for the Fulham game and that Allan Saint-Maximin has a “chance of bench”. He also confirmed the injured Jonjo Shelvey is making great progress and “is nearing return”.



As for Fulham, the obvious dangerman is former Magpies man Aleksandar Mitrovic who has already bagged himself six Premier League goals this season. However, the Serbian’s availability for his Newcastle United reunion is in doubt, this comes after the striker was spotted with a bandaged foot leaving the Ulleval stadium in Olso. Mitrovic scored in the 54th minute to make it 2-0 against Norway and put his side top of their Nations League B group.



New signings have made an impact for The Cottagers. Joao Palhinha, Andreas Pereira, Bernd Leno and Willian have all established themselves as first-team players since signing for the club in the summer. A few notable names with the likes of Leno and Willian having much-needed key Premier League experience.


Fulham haven’t beaten Newcastle since 2017 when they met in the Championship. Mitrovic was on the bench for the Toon that day as goals from Ryan Sessegnon and Tom Cairney handed Fulham a 3-1 win and all three points over Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle.


Since then, Newcastle haven’t managed to break the deadlock at St James’ Park when playing Fulham, drawing 0-0 in 2018 and 1-1 in 2020. However, they have been successful away from home keeping two clean sheets and scoring six goals in the last two away trips to Craven Cottage. Something Eddie Howe will look to continue on Saturday.


With Man United, Spurs, Wolves and Aston Villa all to be played in the month of October, these are the sorts of games the Magpies must take advantage of.


Kick-off is at three o’clock with England Darren as referee.


So, what do you think? How important would three points be for Newcastle on Saturday? Fulham a tough team to beat?


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Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Willock, Bruno, Joelinton, Almiron, Wilson, Fraser




Fulham 1 – 2 Newcastle United

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International round-up: Another striker injured and Pope starts for England



Image: @NUFC via Twitter

With a number of Newcastle United favourites in international action over the last week, some have impressed, but Chris Wood has added to a growing list of injury worries.

Nick Pope won his first international cap as a Newcastle United player during England’s disappointing 1-0 loss to Italy on Friday. He was picked ahead of Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale with Southgate’s first choice, Jordan Pickford, out injured. 

Despite the loss, solid shot-stopping and a command of his area may have helped Pope in his push for the World Cup squad. Pickford’s distribution and record for England will be hard to surpass, but Pope looks set to be England’s second choice keeper in Qatar this winter, as shown by Southgate sticking with him for Monday’s 3-3 draw with Italy. 

Pope’s performance against Germany was less than infallible, with a spillage leading to Havertz’s late equaliser. With England’s next action against Iran at the World Cup on 21st November, the Magpies’ no. 1 will hope he has done enough to be in Southgate’s plans.

Newcastle’s other representative in the Three Lions’ squad, Kieran Trippier, did not feature in either of the two Nations League games, with Reece James preferred at right wing-back.

Elsewhere, Ryan Fraser featured in two wins for Scotland, over Ukraine and Ireland. Against Ukraine on Wednesday, he impressed with two assists from corners. The Newcastle winger made another substitute appearance against Ireland on Saturday. Scotland face Ukraine again on Tuesday night, with the possibility of further action for Fraser in a packed schedule.

Down under, Chris Wood captained New Zealand in a 1-0 loss to Australia on Thursday. He faced the Socceroos again on Sunday, but was taken off with a rib injury. With Isak out too, Newcastle will likely be left with only the newly fit Callum Wilson as an attacking option come the return of the Premier League.

Miguel Almiron played the full 90 minutes of Paraguay’s 1-0 win over UAE on Friday, and could start again as the South American side face Morocco on Tuesday.

Newcastle star Bruno Guimaraes missed out on Brazil’s 3-0 demolition of Ghana on Friday, but could see action as his nation take on Tunisia on Tuesday.

Eddie Howe will hope his international contingent avoid any further injuries and are fit to face Fulham away on Saturday.

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