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Newcastle must beat Norwich to boost survival chances: How important is the game for the Magpies who look to maintain their Premier League status?



Credit: @NUFC Instagram - the game at SJP will be under the lights and kicks-off at 7:30pm...

Not to be overdramatic BUT, The Magpies currently sit bottom of the Premier League table and are without a win in their first 13 league games for the first time in their history and must beat relegation rivals Norwich on Tuesday evening.

Most Newcastle supporters understand that the current predicament is a direct result of Mike Ashley’s tortuous 14-year stewardship of the club.

Eight of the current squad featured when the Toon played Norwich in the Championship back in 2016. The game ended in a memorable 4-3 victory with late goals from Yoan Gouffran and Dwight Gayle. 

Karl Darlow, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett, Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey, Dwight Gayle and Isaac Hayden all played a part that day – highlighting the lack of quality in the current squad. 

Under Steve Bruce, relegation was a certainty.

The introduction of Eddie Howe as part of the new era created by the Saudi-led takeover, has given the city a lift and filled it with hope, excitement and expectation.

Howe’s front foot attacking style is something the Magpies have been starved of since Bobby Robson’s management. In his first game as manager, Howe created a buzz around SJP with comments about his attacking style and want to be successful on Tyneside.

It was certainly an entertaining affair which finished in a disappointing 3-3 draw with newly-promoted Brentford.

there were improvements in forward areas, but it was the same old story at the back as Newcastle shipped three goals at home for the third consecutive game. The Toon then travelled to Arsenal on Saturday where the difference in quality was expected but no less embarrassing. 

However it’s vital the new boss gets the support and time he deserves to try and fix fourteen years of horror. 

There are 8 games until the January transfer window opens, where Newcastle are expected to spend big in an attempt to save themselves from the realistic threat of relegation.

The current Premier League table…

The change in fortunes must come this week.

Firstly, with a win over fellow strugglers Norwich who have collected four points in two games under their new manager. Then the Mags must get three points against Burnley, also at St James’ Park.

Two victories in two games could close the significant gap to safety that seems to be widening with every game but doesn’t solve the defensive frailties that are clear for everyone to see. 

With the huge financial boost provided by the Takeover a couple of months ago, the atmosphere around the club has changed.

The potential to spend around £190million in January could be huge come the end of the season, meaning any points picked up before then will be a bonus.

But, anything less than six points from the next two games, both at SJP, would represent a disappointing return.

Especially given the upcoming fixtures in the Christmas period which include away games at Leicester and Liverpool before the home visits of both Manchester clubs.

Newcastle must gain some much-needed momentum and change the directly of the club before it’s too late. Being the richest club in the Championship is a distinct possibility if things don’t improve on the pitch, and fast.

The Team

Many may feel the decision to revert to a back four has already been made for Howe after the suspensions of Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie but the lack of depth in the squad is worrying. 

Cieran Clark may replace Lascelles but the better and more popular choice would be to bring Federico Fernandez out from the cold into the starting eleven.

Fernandez has been deemed widely as the best defender at the club and seems to organise the defensive line far better than the suspended no.6. He hasn’t featured since the abysmal performance away at Wolves which marked the predictable end of Steve Bruce’s tenure.

However, his inclusion on Tuesday evening seems a no brainer and would perhaps strengthen the back four.

Another player that seems to be out of favour is Spanish right-back Javi Manquillo, who has been one of the most creative players this season.

Providing 2 assists and scoring the well-worked goal at Old Trafford already means he has contributed more than the majority of players. He is often the preferred choice when reverting to four at the back, especially given the lack of options in that position. 

The 27-year-old played in Simeone at Atletico Madrid, albeit on just six occasions but does have some defensive knowhow. His ability to get forward and create may be able to help Newcastle in what promises to be a tight affair with the Canaries, making him most people’s first choice pick at right-back.

Jamal Lewis signed from the Canaries back in 2020 but has made just 25 appearances at left-back, despite the hope that he might be the exciting, forward thinking wingback the club needed to provide more attacking threat.

However, his lack of defensive positioning and struggles playing in a back four may be a deciding factor as to wether he features come this evening. He was a key part of the relegated Norwich side with one of the worst defensive records in the Premier League.

For me, it’s worth giving the lad a start to see if there is any improvement. Again, the lack of other options means that the 23-year-old is likely to part of the stating eleven and any other combination tried this season has failed to lead to a win.

Jacob Murphy may be Howe’s preferred option – only time will tell.

Howe is known for playing a 4-4-2 formation with plenty of forward runners and may be looking towards his preferred style come 7:30pm. With this in mind, it would be nice to see the defensive line shape up like this: 

If there was ever a game to attack, it’s Norwich at home. The Canaries have the worst attacking record in the league, netting just seven times in thirteen games. 

Newcastle set up defensively too often and have yet been put aside on seven occasions and conceded the most goals in the Premier League, 29.

Surely this puts into perspective that setting up to be hard-to-beat is long gone. It’s time to attack.

With that in mind, here is how we think the home side should set up in midfield for the must-win clash: 

This set-up gives Saint-Maximin the opportunity to focus on running at the defence and creating opportunities for his fellow attackers.

Likewise Joelinton, who is likely to put a foot in and help out defensively too. The Brazilian plays his best football on the left or right sides and was the star man last time out at St. James’ Park. 

The centre of midfielder is always a big talking point and tonight it will be no different.

Jonjo Shelvey has played both games under the new manager and is the most creative option in that position. He was decent against Arsenal despite having very little of the ball and having to chase the opposition all over the Emirates.

Isaac Hayden is the most defensive midfield option in the side and will provide the cover when Newcastle are attacking. He is a ball-winning midfielder and his performances are often underrated as a lot of his work goes unnoticed.

His passion and spirit is something that Newcastle are going to have to show a lot of in the next few months if they want to maintain their Premier League status come May.

Hayden could be an important player even if Howe spends big in January…

Joe Willock is yet to replicate his unstoppable form of last season but has been asked to defend a bit too much when playing in a midfield two.

The cover provided by two deep lying central players may give him the opportunity he needs to be a threat going forward and break the lines frequently to provide opportunities for the home side.

His attacking abilities were there for all to see last campaign and if given a more advanced role, the ex-Arsenal midfielder may be able to gain some confidence and put in a match-winning performance this evening at SJP. 

Striker Callum Wilson has severely lacked service all season buy has already managed to net a couple of important goals.

The experienced Englishman will be looking forward to the must-win battle with the hope of increasing his season goal tally while helping his side to their first victory of the campaign.

Hopefully the more forward thinking approach and the push to play at a higher-tempo will provide our talisman with plenty of chances.

Predicted Line-up

The 4-2-3-1 formation has the potential to become 4-5-1 or 4-4-2 very easily and perhaps there will be glimpses of style changes throughout the game, depending on how it is going. With the line-up listed below, the Magpies have the best chance of claiming their first three points – role on 7pm: 

HWTL – Our Prediction: 3-1 Newcastle (Wilson x2, Maxi x1)…

Pre-match thoughts? Who would make your starting eleven for the visit of Norwich this evening? Will Newcastle claim their first win of the season? 

Score predictions?

Join in the conversation and have your say…


Newcastle United to Reveal New Shirt Sponsor?



Newcastle United Kit Idea - NUFC kits

footballinsider247 are reporting that the main shirt sponsor slot for Newcastle United is expected to be filled by airline SAUDI, who sponsored Newcastle’s mid-season tour of their owners’ homeland in December.

They state ‘This site revealed in February that there is frustration at St James’ Park that they have inherited a kit deal with Castore worth just £5m per year with no break clause and several seasons left to run.’

Newcastle’s recently appointed CEO Darren Eales has already previously expressed that the club at looking at all commercial opportunities and fans on Twitter were keen to mock up their expectation for the new shirts, see below and let us know your thoughts and also see our below video on how NUFC can increase commercial avenues..

Eddie Howe’s team are currently in a strong position to achieve a European slot which would increase revenue into the club allowing more spend whilst staying within Financial Fair Play which is something Howe has spoken about on several occasions as they look to stay within. If the club do reach a European slot it should help significantly with recruitment in the summer by making it a more attractive proposition to any incoming targets.

What do you think of the kits – let us know on our facebook page and join in on the conversation.

You can also download our FREE app –

Newcastle United Kit Idea - NUFC kits
Newcastle United Kit Idea - NUFC kits
Newcastle United Kit Idea - NUFC kits
NUFC Concept Kits Designs
NUFC Concept Kits Designs
Credit: NUFC kit concept – twitter


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Amazon filming Newcastle United for “All or Nothing” style documentary



Amazon Prime are currently filming behind-the-scenes footage at Newcastle United for a new documentary.

The docu-series will provide an insight into the club and its efforts to secure a top-four finish and a piece of silverware in the 2022-23 season.

Reports today revealed that camera crews have been filming a four-part documentary for their All or Nothing series. Sky Sports’ Keith Downie confirmed that the series will cover the club and the new owners as they attempt to qualify for the Champions League and win a trophy.

The All or Nothing series has previously documented other Premier League Clubs including Manchester City, Arsenal, and Spurs as well as the Brazilian national team, Juventus, and the All Blacks of rugby.

Newcastle face Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final on February 26 at Wembley.

The Magpies have featured three times in Europe’s most prestigious competition.

Most recently in the 2003-04 season as they reached the third qualifying round, eventually losing on penalties to Serbian side FK Partizan.

The season before the Toon finished third in the 2002-03 Champions League group stages, winning twice against Bayer Leverkusen and drawing with Inter Milan 2-2 at the San Siro. The lineup that night; Given, Solano, O’Brien, Dyer, Shearer (C), Bellamy, Speed,  Griffin, Hughes, Dabizas and Viana.

The series is expected to air later this year and will be available on Amazon Prime.

Based on previous seasons, you can expect exclusive access to training sessions, team meetings and match days, giving fans an in-depth look at what goes on behind the scenes on a day-to-day basis at Newcastle United.

It is set to be an incredible storyline and one that should provide fans with some real insight into what it takes to compete at the top level of professional football.

What do you think Newcastle fans?

Does this excite you or do you stand more with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp who once said the cameras could be intrusive to the dressing room when he turned down the offer from Amazon In 2018?


Join the conversation on our Facebook page…

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Newcastle target rejects Everton move following £45m bid.



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.

Have Your Say!

Would you want Newcastle to sign Conor Gallagher?

Does he start?

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