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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.


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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.


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?

Join in the conversation and have your say…

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Beth Mead left out of England Women’s World Cup squad



Euro 2022 top goal scorer Beth Mead is not included in England Women’s World Cup squad.

The 27-year-old Arsenal forward has not played since November having been a major doubt for the competition.

This comes after an anterior cruciate ligament injury which she still has not fully recovered from.

England head coach Sarina Wiegman has named the 23-player squad for this summer’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

Tottenham striker Beth England, who has not been involved since last summer’s Euro competition is included.

Chelsea centre-back Millie Bright, who has been out with a knee injury since March, has made the 23-player squad.

Sarina Wiegman confirmed Bright would captain the team in the absence of injured defender Leah Williamson.

Wiegman went on to say she never thought Beth Mead would be fit in time for the tournament, saying: “She’s so positive and going well, but the timescale she had we would have taken so many risks to get to the World Cup

“I’m not willing to take that risk to push her too much and she gets injured again. We need to take care of players.”

England play Haiti in their opening match on 22nd July in Australia where they look to build on their success following Euro 2022.

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Karl Darlow set for permanent move away from Newcastle United



After a successful loan spell to Hull City, Karl Darlow is poised for a permanent move away from St. James’.

Hull City manager Liam Rosenior has made it clear he wants to keep a hold of Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Signing for the club in 2014 from Nottingham Forest, he went onto make 100 appearances for the magpies with his debut coming in 2015 under Steve McLaren. His best stint for the club was during the 2020/21 season making 25 appearances. He then saw himself fall out of favour when Martin Dubravka signed for the club and now with Nick Pope cementing the position as his own, Darlow saw himself drop down the pecking order.

Signing for Hull City on loan in January, he has since made 11 appearances keeping 5 clean sheets in the process, with three coming in the last four matches against good opposition in Millwall, Blackburn, and Watford.

“He’s been magnificent since he’s come in,” Rosenior said after Darlow’s clean sheet against Watford on Saturday. “I think he’s massively enjoying working here, I think he’s enjoying the club, he’s settled in with the players really really well.

“What I really like about Karl was as soon as he signed he had his young family come and join him and settle down in the area, and I think that’s helped him. Hopefully we’ll have discussions in the summer about his long-term future.”

Rosenior revealed earlier in the week his intention to keep Darlow at the club, and Hull are believed to be in discussions with Newcastle over making the goalkeeper’s stay at the MKM Stadium permanent – as his loan agreement is believed to have as an option.

Contracted at St. James’ until 2025, it seems as though a permanent move to Hull City would be the best thing for Darlow with his position at Newcastle United seemingly gone.


Where do you think Karl Darlow will be next season – let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates –

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Our Premier League Team of the Season 2022/2023



With the season drawing to a close, we have put together our Premier League Team of the Season.

In what has been a season that is set to go right down to the very end, it has been yet another spectacular campaign of football with players breaking out on to the scene and some very memorable moments.

Lets have a look at who we have decided is in the starting 11 for the Team of the Season.

The starting 11 was chosen in terms of not only who we think has been the best in those positions, but also who has either exceeded expectations but also who has done exactly what was expected of them in their position.

Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier and Sven Botman mean Newcastle United make up 60% of the defence in this team, but for good reason. This season, the magpies are currently bosting the best defence in the league conceding the least amount of goals, 24 to be precise.

William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko make up the remaining two spots in the defence, the Arsenal duo have had a great campaign with the gunners still sat top of the league and looking to get their first league title in nearly 20 years.

A midfield three of Casemiro, Keving De Bruyne, and Martin Odegaard, three players so vital to their clubs and all having a wonderful season, it’s hard to put anyone else in there over them.

Up top, we have a front three of Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Erling Haaland as all three players have had goals, influence, and star power in their clubs to push them to the very top this season.

The substitutes include top of the league goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, which seems harsh to leave him out of the starting squad but up against Nick Pope, either could go in and it would be a good decision, but Ramsdale just makes it onto our bench.

Ben Mee has had a cracking season with Brentford seeing them looking set to enjoy a top half finish with him at the heart of defence. Luke Shaw gets on the bench after a solid season under Ten Hag at United.

Bruno Guimaraes, Gabriel Martinelli, and Harry Kane are the remaining players on the bench, all have had a fantastic season but unfortunately only make the bench for this squad.

Roberto De Zerbi is the manager of the season for us, having joined Brighton in September following Graham Potter’s departure, many thought this spelt the end of Brighton’s good fortunes in the Premier League, but not only did De Zerbi do better than expected of him, he has taken a very good Brighton and Hove Albion team and improved them navigating them to a top half finish.

Manchester City only see two players in this team, although they have had a great season, the rotation of the team sees a great team instead of individual players, which is a testament to how Pep Guardiola wants his teams to be.


Premier League 22/23 Team of the Season:

Nick Pope (GK), Kieran Trippier, William Saliba, Sven Botman, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Casemiro, Kevin De Bruyne, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, Erling Haaland.


Aaron Ramsdale (GK), Ben Mee, Luke Shaw, Bruno Guimaraes, Alexis Mac Allister, Gabriel Martinelli, Harry Kane

Manager: Roberto De Zerbi (Brighton)


Who would you put in your Premier League Team of the Season – Let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates –


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