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Match Preview – Shrewsbury Town vs Sunderland AFC: The Black Cats search for back-to-back wins

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Credit: Shrewsbury Town Instagram

Sunderland travel to Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday evening looking for back-to-back League One victories for the first time since mid-October.

Shrewsbury are fighting for survival at the foot of the table as visitors Sunderland sit just outside the play-offs and could move up to 4th with a win. 

The home side have spent large periods of the campaign in the relegation zone. With just four wins from their 17 league matches this season you can see why. They have conceded in five of their last six games but will be hoping for a performance full of defensive steel come Tuesday evening.

The visitors will be eyeing up the midweek fixture against relegation candidates Shrewsbury as a potential catalyst to climb to the top of the table once again.

The side from Shropshire need to bounce back quickly from their 2-1 weekend loss to mid-table Cheltenham. Stability is required If they are to extend their stay in League One to six consecutive seasons, starting with a good result at home on Tuesday evening. 

Victories on the road have been hard to come by for Johnson’s side as Sunderland have lost more away games than they have won so far this campaign. This coupled with their poor record against Shrewsbury makes this fixture a troubling one for the visitors. 

Sunderland have won only one of their previous three trips to New Meadow with Johnson’s squad hoping for better returns come Tuesday night.

Four of their five league defeats this season have come away from the Stadium of Light so the team from Wearside need a big performance to maintain their position near the top of League One. 

The 2-0 home win over Ipswich last Saturday ended a three game losing streak for the Black Cats who are looking for a spark to ignite their season. 

Credit: @Sunderlandafcofficial Instagram – McGeady seals 2-0 win over Ipswich

Sunderland’s attackers have been starved of goals in recent games and have found the net on just four occasions in the previous six fixtures. 

Salop’s form has been hampered partly by issues on the touchline, as Manager Steve Cotterill has just recently returned following Covid-19 complications.

However, given the success over Sunderland in previous years, this fixture might provide a platform for Shrewsbury to build from as they look for improvement on the pitch.

Black Cat boss Johnson has come under increased pressure following his sides recent run of poor results as the Black Cats will be looking to build on their performance last time out. The 40-year-old has been tasked with promotion to the Championship after a painful three year absence. 

Sunderland left it late on Saturday with goals from Luke O’Nien and Aiden McGeady coming in the 85th and 93rd minute respectively – can they use their late momentum to put in a memorable performance tomorrow evening?

Team News

Two late goals for Sunderland at home to Ipswich on Saturday means the team from Wearside can cement their position in the play-off places with a win at New Meadow.

It’s likely that goalscorer McGeady will return to the starting eleven on Tuesday, however the biggest threat comes from elsewhere. 

Ross Stewart will be keen to add to his tally of 10 goals this season in the trip to Shropshire as Sunderland look to win two games on the bounce. 

There are no fresh injury worries for the away side who are able to put out a full strength team for the second game running.

Daniel Udoh’s strike for Shrewsbury on Saturday inside five minutes gave his side the perfect start last time out. However, the early goal was cancelled out by two first half strikes for Cheltenham before half-time.

Shrewsbury’s star man Elliot Bennett saw red midway through the first period which made it hard for Salop to hold onto their lead. 

More importantly, Bennett misses the visit of Sunderland tomorrow evening as Matthew Pennington is likely to slot in at right wing-back, whilst Aaron Pierre takes his place in the back-three. 

Shrewsbury have no pressing injury concerns going into the clash with the Black Cats. 

Form 

L L

L L W

Leading up to this clash, Sunderland:

  • Have failed to emerge victorious at New Meadow in their previous two fixtures.
  • Have lost their last 2 away League One matches.

Potential Line-ups

SAFC:                                                                                                                            STFC:

Potential Shrewsbury team to face Sunderland.

Potential SAFC team to play Shrewsbury

 

Will Sunderland make it two wins on the bounce? Can Johnson’s side make the play-offs this season?

Pre-match thoughts?

Join in the conversation and have your say..

More to follow…

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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United

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North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..

 

“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”

 

Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.

 

What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.

 

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Which Newcastle Players Are Going To The World Cup?

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Newcastle

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar gets underway next week and here are all the Newcastle players involved in the tournament

Callum Wilson (England)

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is a player that has consistently shown the quality to earn a spot in an England squad at a major tournament but has sadly had his chances diminished by injuries in the past.

However, Wilson is currently injury free and is on the plane to Qatar! The Coventry City academy graduate averages a goal every 130 minutes in the Premier League this season, which is the second-best return of all English players behind Harry Kane.

The 30-year-old may have to bide his time for an opportunity due to England captain Harry Kane being the first-choice striker. That said, Wilson gives Gareth Southgate a great alternative should England find themselves chasing a game.

Kieran Trippier (England)

Gareth Southgate has always been very fond of Kieran Trippier’s abilities and what he brings to a team. For example, in Euro 2020 Southgate opted to play Trippier at left-back ahead of a more natural option in Ben Chilwell due to the 32-year-old’s experience and leadership qualities.

Trippier brings bags of experience at major tournaments after reaching the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020.

With injuries at right-back to the likes of Reece James and uncertainty around the fitness of Kyle Walker, Trippier could start at right wing-back in England’s World Cup opener against Iran.

Nick Pope (England)

The last player to complete The Magpies’ England trio is Nick Pope. Toon’s No.1 has been outstanding since arriving from Burnley in the Summer and has earnt his place in England’s World Cup squad.

Pope has the joint most clean sheets in the Premier League this season (6) alongside Manchester City goalkeeper, Ederson and fellow England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

It remains to be seen if Gareth Southgate picks Pope to be his first-choice goalkeeper in Qatar ahead of Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale. Pope started both of England’s last games in the Nations League back in September.

Bruno Guimarães (Brazil)

Moving to South America and the favourites to win the competition, Brazil. Bruno Guimarães has been one of Newcastle’s stand-out players this season and has deservedly earned himself a spot in Brazil’s very competitive World Cup Squad.

Guimarães has statistically been the best midfielder in the Premier League so far this season and will be hoping his performances have done enough to earn him a start against Serbia in Brazil’s opening fixture.

That said, Brazil manager Adenor Leonardo Bacchi has predominantly played with a midfield two of Manchester United duo, Casemiro and Fred at the base of the Brazilian midfield.

Fabian Schär (Switzerland)

The Magpies’ centre-back has been in great form alongside Sven Botman at the heart of Newcastle’s defence this season and will be hoping to continue his form in Qatar.

Schär has some tough competition in his position in the form of Manchester City centre-back Manuel Akanji and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Nico Elvedi.

Switzerland find themselves in the same group as tournament favourites Brazil, which will see Schär reunited with Toon teammate Bruno Guimarães in Gameweek 2.

Who didn’t make the squad?

The most surprising player to not make their country’s squad is Sven Botman. The former Lille centre-back has been a major part of why Newcastle has the Premier League’s best defence so far this campaign.

Louis van Gaal has a great pool of centre-backs available to him and opted for the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij and Nathan Ake over Botman.

Another Toon player with World Cup disappointment is Joelinton, who has failed to follow Bruno Guimarães on the plane to Qatar.

Joelinton has been a revelation under Eddie Howe following his remarkable transformation from a striker to a box-to-box midfielder. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Joelinton this year.

Have Your Say

Who do you think will win the World Cup?

Which Newcastle player will be the best performer?

Let us know on our Facebook page!

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What We Learnt (Spurs 1-2 Newcastle)

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deadline day

Newcastle United were victorious at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium yesterday, winning 2-1 and now sit fourth in the Premier League. This is the first time they’ve been there at this stage of the season in 10 years.

 

Goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron were enough to scare away any chances of a second-half Spurs comeback. That’s six goals for Miggy in what is now his best-ever season for goals in black and white.

 

With 21 points, just five behind Manchester City and seven behind current league leaders Arsenal, the Toon are looking better than ever, but what did the victory yesterday tell us?

 

Toon are charging for Europe

 

If you didn’t believe it at the start of the season you should now. Eddie Howe has transformed Newcastle into a team with a winning mentality with a real sense of togetherness in a squad who are willing to battle for one another, week in and week out.

 

Very few teams will travel to London this season and manage to come away with a point, never mind three when playing Spurs. Not only this game, however, but Man City (3-3), Liverpool (2-1) and Brentford (5-1) have also shown that Howe and his side mean business this season and are willing to go toe to toe with some of the very best teams, coaches and players in the world. 

 

In his first signing interview, Sven Botman said, “Newcastle wants to reach the top and the top is in the league and, at the end, maybe in Europe.” Maybe he didn’t specifically mean this season but now he and the rest of his teammates should believe that they have a real chance of playing European football next season.

 

Almiron transformation shouldn’t go unnoticed

 

Almiron made 30 appearances last season in the league and finished with just one goal and no assists. Now, after just 12 games and six goals, the Paraguayan is already on course to smash his previous goal-scoring records which have seen him accumulate nine Premier League goals over the course of four seasons. 

 

Loved by the fans and with the full support of his teammates, it can only get better for the Paraguayan at this point. His goal against Tottenham showed the dribbling, flair and finishing quality he withholds, something that Steve Bruce and Rafael Benitez could never get out of him.

 

Eddie Howe must be awarded credit for this development, as with the current budget the club has, he could’ve easily found a replacement in the summer. But, just like Joelinton, Miggy has cemented his spot in Newcastle’s starting eleven and is proving every week why he deserves to be there.

 

Wilson & Burn should be considered by Southgate 

 

On TalkSport recently, Neil Warnock warned Gareth Southgate saying his loyalty to players might be his downfall and said Dan Burn is “Mr Steady Eddie” referring to his versatility, being able to play left-back or centre-back.

 

Burn started 28 Premier League games last season and this season has 11 out of 12. His consistent dominating performances in Newcastle’s back line have put him into the conversation for a first-ever England call-up and I don’t think many would disagree. With John Stoned injured, Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings not in good form and not getting regular game time, Gareth Southgate’s defensive decisions should now be a lot more challenging.

 

Callum Wilson has proved yet again his abilities as a top Premier League striker. His goal against Spurs not only put him in the headlines over England captain Harry Kane but also made it four in eight for the English man this season who has averaged 2.8 shots per game with an average scoring frequency of 162 minutes. 

 

With no clear-cut backup striker to Kane, is Wilson ahead of Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham in the race to be England’s number two striker?

 

So, what do you think? Do Newcastle have a serious chance at European football next season, can Almiron stay at his best and should Wilson and Burn be considered for a World Cup call-up?

 

Join the conversation on our Facebook page …

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