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Preview – Newcastle United vs Brentford: Howe takes charge of first game as Magpies boss



Newcastle United Football Club
Credit: @NUFC Instagram - Howe prepares for first taste of action as new NUFC boss.

Match Preview:

A winless Newcastle welcome newly promoted Brentford to St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon as Eddie Howe takes charge of his first match.

The visitors have enjoyed a decent start to their campaign and sit in 14th with 12 points, five places above their opponents. The 3pm clash is a must-win for Eddie Howe as his side find themselves firmly in the relegation zone and in desperate need of improvement on the pitch.

The fans will be hoping the appointment of the former Bournemouth boss will give the team a much needed lift and help to change the fortunes on the pitch. The Mags find themselves five points from safety in 19th position. 

The decision to bring Howe to Tyneside came prior to the international break and signals the start of a new era for Newcastle following the Saudi-led takeover of the club last month. 

In the build-up to Saturday’s match, the club have made some coaching staff changes. Interim coach Graeme Jones, first team development coach Ben Dawson and goalkeeping coach Simon Smith remain at the club and all form part of Howe’s new set-up.

Brentford travel North off the back of a 2-1 home defeat to bottom-club Norwich who claimed their first win of the season. The Canaries went on to part company with Daniel Farke and now battle for survival with new manager Dean Smith – recently sacked by Aston Villa.

Thomas Frank will want an instant response to his sides disappointing defeat last time out.

The Bees have lost their last 4 league games, all by small margins, and will be hoping to put their poor form behind them at St. James Park. Newcastle are still winless and go into the match having lost 3-0 to Chelsea last time out at home. The Mags will be looking to build on the well-fought point away on the south-coast in the previous game-week. 

The last meeting between the two sides was the quarter-final of the 2020 Carabao Cup which saw Brentford come out 1-0 winners after an extremely poor Newcastle performance. To some, this game was the turning point for Steve Bruce as fans began to question his abilities as manager.

Former Magpie Ivan Toney is set to feature for the away side and will be looking to prove a point on Saturday afternoon. The English striker made just two appearances for the Geordie’s and played a key role in Brentford’s promotion to the top-flight. He finished with a staggering 31 goals last season in the Championship but is yet to replicate his form in the Premier League – will he save his best for his former club?

Credit: Brentford FC Instagram – Bees prepare to head North.

This weekends fixture is the first of 3 home games against ‘lesser’ teams in which Howe will be expecting to pick up some much needed points. It will be an impressive feat if the new boss can guide Newcastle to safety and with the January transfer window still nine games away its important he gets off to a solid start. 

The team from Tyneside face a tough trip to the Emirates following the visit of Brentford, before games against fellow strugglers Norwich and Burnley both at St James Park.

Despite a large transfer budget available to the Magpies in January, performances need to improve quickly otherwise any additions to the squad may come too late as the current squad heads towards relegation.

The game involves two of the least in-form sides in the Premier League as both teams are desperate to claim a much-needed victory.

The sides have battled it out on 12 previous occasions with Newcastle winning 8 and Brentford claiming the spoils on 4 occasions – there is yet to be a draw. 

Team News

Ryan Fraser trained as normal this week after leaving the Scotland camp with a calf problem. Defender Paul Dummnet remains unavailable and is yet to feature this season. Martin Dubravka could make his first start of the season.

For Brentford, David Raya and full-back Josh Dasilva are out until 2022. Danish midfielder Mathias Jenson tested positive for covid last week and was unable to join the national squad, but could feature on Saturday. Kristoffer Ajer faces a few more weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring problem as Mads Sorensen and Shandon Baptise also miss out. Yoane Wissa may return. 

Howe is known for his attacking style of play and is expected to revert to a 4-4-2 formation with Allan St. Maximin and Callum Wilson as focal points up-front. 


Newcastle: D L L D L D

Brentford: D W L L L L 

Potential lineups: 

NUFC: Dubravka, Manquillo, Clark, Lascelles, Ritchie, Almiron, Hayden, Shelvey, Joelinton, Wilson, Saint-Maximin. 

Brentford: Fernandez, Goode, Pinnock, Jansson, Canos, Janelt, Norgaard, Onyeka, Henry, Toney, Mbeumo. 

What are your pre-match thoughts? Who would make your starting 11 for Howe’s first game in charge?

Join in the conversation and have your say…


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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United



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?




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?

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What We Learnt (Spurs 1-2 Newcastle)



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?


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