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The nightmare before, during and after Christmas: Just HOW difficult will December be for the Magpies?

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Credit: @NUFC instagram - the Magpies face an extremely tough festive period...

Newcastle remain winless heading into the busy December period and are in desperate need of improvement on the pitch, having picked up just 7 points from a possible 42 this campaign.

Summary

The Magpies find themselves six points from safety following their disappointing 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Norwich and have the worst defensive record in the division, shipping a total of 30 goals so far this season.

Howe’s side face six important games in 27 days before the January transfer window and will require some outstanding performances if they are to give themselves a chance of maintaining their Premier League status come May.

With the expectation that the team from Tyneside will spend big in the transfer window, it’s vital they pick up a collect a decent tally of points to give the fresh talent a chance of survival. 

Credit: @NUFC instagram

The most important game is the battle with fellow relegation candidates Burnley on Saturday at St James’ Park and is a must-win for both sides.

Newcastle can ill afford another disappointing display and must not lose any more ground in their fight for safety. Dyche’s side currently sit 2 points ahead of the Magpies in 19th position and have two games in hand.

The failure to gain points on the Canaries on Tuesday evening means that Howe’s side are going to have to pull off a number of Christmas miracles in the next six games. This was made even worse by Leeds’ later winner from the penalty spot in the other game on the night.

Newcastle’s home record leaves a lot to be desired. SJP has proven a difficult venue and the Magpies face four testing games on home turf in December, including the visits of both Manchester clubs either side of Christmas Day. 

Newcastle travel to the King Power Stadium to face a Leicester side in desperate need of improvement given their slow start to the campaign. Everton away on the 30th December ends the nightmare run of fixtures for the Toon. 

Here is how the Premier League table looks heading into the season defining December fixture list: 

Howe’s side face two of the current top four, two underperforming sides in Man Utd and Leicester as well as difficult games against fellow strugglers Everton and Burnley – making up their upcoming fixture list.

But realistically, what is the best Newcastle can hope for from their festive fixture list?

The Fixtures 

(H, 4TH DEC) 

Burnley often provide a stern test of their opponent’s steel and the game on Saturday will be no different. Dyche sets his team up to be hard to beat as they often carry a physical threat in attacking areas. 

Striker Chris Wood will be hoping Newcastle have another shaky defensive performance come 3pm and will be looking to bully the Magpies’ second rate outfit. 

It’s likely that Jamaal Lascelles will return to the starting eleven for this one in replacement of suspended Ciaran Clark, with many hoping that Federico Fernandez takes his position instead. Howe is expected to keep the same system for the visit of The Clarets and will hope it lasts longer than eight minutes.

Newcastle have faced Burnley over one-hundred times in the 116 year history between the two sides – winning on 45 occasions. The side from Lancashire have won 44, with 11 games ending in a draw – a close contest to call. 

The most recent meeting between the sides came early in the season at SJP where the visitors came away winners courtesy of their penalty shoot-out win in the first round of the Carabao Cup.

However, It will be a very different game on Saturday as Newcastle must claim the spoils if they are to give themselves any chance of reaching safety by the end of the season. 

SCORE PREDICTION: NUFC 2-1 Burnley 

(A, 12TH DEC) 

The Foxes have had a disappointing start to the campaign, sitting in 10th position after thirteen games and failing to win in eight of their league games so far.

Rodger’s side have been in poor form at the King Power and will be hoping that their results improve before the visit of the Mags in just over ten days time.

Leicester smashed relegation candidates Watford 4-2 last time out and face bottom half Southampton and Aston Villa in the next two games before the battle with the team in Black and White.

Jamie Vardy is in fine goalscoring form following his brace at the weekend and is the second highest scorer in the Premier League, netting on nine occasions this season.

To everyone’s surprise, Newcastle came out 4-2 winners in the previous meeting between the sides but before that, the Foxes won four consecutive games against the Mags and many pundits will be expecting a similar outcome on 12th December. 

There are currently eleven points between the two sides – Rodgers’ side having a game in hand.

SCORE PREDICTION: Leicester 2-2 NUFC

(A, 16th DEC)

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are many people’s favourites to claim the Premier League crown come the end of the season and their form this season shows why. They are currently third in the table and have lost just once this season, away to West Ham last month.

Mo Salah is in ridiculous form and is the current Premier League top scorer with 11 goals to his name, just five less than the whole of the Newcastle squad this season. With the return of man-mountain Virgil Van Dijk at the back it’s hard to see they visitors troubling the scorers in this one. 

The difference in quality between the two sides is outrageous – the recent head-to-head record highlights just how dominant the Reds have been in this fixture. Liverpool are unbeaten against the Mags since 2015, where the home side came out 2-0 winners at SJP thanks to a 90+3 minute goal from Gini WIjnaldum who enjoyed spells at both sides.

Liverpool haven’t lost a league game against the Magpies at Anfield since 1994 and this has very little chance of changing come the fixture in mid-December – it could be backs to the wall job for Howe’s side.

SCORE PREDICTION: Liverpool 3-0 NUFC 

(H, 19th DEC)

Second placed Manchester City travel to St James’ Park in a couple of weeks and will be hoping to be Premier League leaders come the 19th December.

Guardiola’s side have failed to find the goalscoring form of previous seasons but have been no less clinical when it comes to winning games this season.

They are the third highest scorers in the Premier League, but may face injury challenges with boss Pepe claiming this week that they face a ‘crises’ with just fourteen first-team players available for selection. An absolute joke considering the difference in quality between the two sides.

Unfortunately for the Mags, Man City’s third team would probably give them a game at this current moment but fans will be hoping there are not many more years of misery as their side have been outclassed on a number of occasions in recent meetings with the Blues. 

However, the Magpies have enjoyed a decent home record against the visitors in recent times, unbeaten on two occasions in the previous five meetings. Many Toon supporters will be hoping for a transformation of their club, similar to that of Man City and look towards better times in the future. 

But for now, all eyes turn towards the challenging December run faced by the Magpies and will be hoping for Christmas surprise in this one. 

SCORE PREDICTION – NUFC 1-3 Man City 

(H, 27th DEC)

Newcastle face a Manchester United side in mixed form who have plenty of time to find momentum under their new interim manager Ralf Rangnick before they travel North to face Newcastle. 

Rangnick was previously linked with the Director of Football role at St. James’ Park before his move to Manchester on a six-month contract. His side have struggled in recent years on Tyneside, despite coming out 4-1 winners in the last meeting and winning the last four games between the sides. The Magpies won consecutive games at home against the Red Devils a number of seasons back, claiming a 1-0 victory on both occasions in 2018 and 2019 respectively. 

The role of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been a major talking point at Old Trafford but having scored twice on his Premier League return against the Mags back in September he will be confident he can bolster his tally under the lights on 27th December. 

The home side will be hoping they can pull off a Christmas miracle in this one – stranger things have happened. Man Utd have struggled against sides who have attacked them from the kick-off and Howe will be hoping that with support from the Geordie faithful his side can pull of an upset in this one. 

This one promises to be a real Christmas cracker.

SCORE PREDICTION: NUFC 2-2 Man Utd

Everton (A, 30TH DEC)

Rafa Benitez’s Everton welcome the Magpies to Goodison park for the last fixture in a manic December, hoping his side experience a dramatic change in fortunes. 

The Toffees are one of the most out of form sides in the Premier League and the fixture on the 30th Dec is perhaps Newcastle’s best chance of clinching victory during a tough festive period, other than the visit of Burnley on Saturday. 

The visitors in this one will be hoping to claim what could be their first away win of the season and have to travel to Merseyside on the front-foot and ready to attack from the off.

It will be Howe’s last opportunity to claim some much-needed points ahead of what promises to be a busy transfer window for the Geordies who are tipped to spend big come January. 

Newcastle are unbeaten in four league games against Everton and will be looking to extent that run to five and put pressure on their fellow relegation candidates.

The 2-0 away at Goodison last year kick-started Newcastle’s season as Graeme Jones was introduced into the backroom staff – Callum Wilson netted in both halves to help his side take the spoils. A repeat of this would help the Magpies gain momentum as they try to attract new talent in their hunt for safety. 

SCORE PREDICTON: Everton 1-2 NUFC

 

December promises to be a season defining month for the Magpies who are in desperate need of improvement on the pitch. It may be possible to pull off a few upsets in the festive period but realistically any points gained before January would be a bonus.

Eight points would represent an excellent return given the circumstance but still feels extremely hopeful as Newcastle remain winless after fourteen games – a record in the Premier League.

Only time will tell…

Thoughts?

How many points will Newcastle accumulate in their six December fixtures? Can the Magpies claim their first win on Saturday? Who should Howe bring in to strengthen the side?

Join in the conversation and have your say.

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Police Alerted After Newcastle United Fan Urinates On Statue Devoted to Sunderland Legend

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Police have been alerted about social media footage which appears to show a Newcastle United fan urinating on a statue of Sunderland football legend Bob Stokoe.

The tribute, outside Sunderland’s Stadium of Light ground, recreates the late Stokoe’s famous dance across Wembley’s turf after he had masterminded the club’s 1-0 FA Cup final victory over Leeds United.

Footage has now emerged on social media of a male wearing a Newcastle United change shirt while apparently urinating on the statue.

In response to the images, a Sunderland Football Club spokesperson said on Monday: “This matter has been referred to the police and we will not be making any further comment at this moment in time.”

Stokoe, ironically, is also a hero and an FA Cup winner on Tyneside. Born in 1930 in Mickley, in Northumberland, the central defender made 261 appearances for Newcastle United and was a member of their 1955 FA Cup final winning team.

Arriving at Sunderland in November 1972 while they were struggling towards the bottom of Division Two, he plotted the club’s FA Cup final triumph in May the following year before guiding the Black Cats back to the top flight in 1976.

He resigned just months later following a poor start to their Division One. Stokoe died at the age of 73 in 2004 in Hartlepool after suffering from pneumonia.

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Newcastle Fan Gets ‘Attacked’ by Aiden McGeady in Bar With Sunderland First Team

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A video was published to Twitter which shows a Newcastle fan get ‘attacked’ by Aiden McGeady in a bar with the Sunderland first team.

Twitter user @rheppellhardy, who has since deleted his account following backlash, wrote a tweet on Wednesday night explaining what happened in a Stack venue, before the post started to gain traction.

He said: “Why the fuck has the actual Sunderland first team come and started on me and big Premier League Aiden McGeady ripped me top in the stack 🤣🤣🤣.

 

He issued the above video before captioning it with: “Someone who I’ve never heard of said how much are yous on ur skint 🤣 league 1 yina”

Again he wrote in another post: “Scuse me mate can a have a word, do you know who I am” 🤣🤣 No fucking clue mate”

There were plenty of reaction tweets too….

@worthy_noah: “I remember my first pint aswell mate”

@worthy_noah: “Not sure I went on like this much of a cock like”

@MackemTalk_: “You saw the state of you lad he’d Snap you in half But again You had to act like the Big man Because Your boyfriends where with you”

Did you see what happened?

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Fans urged to clap at Newcastle match in memory of teen

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Mason Kirk (Credit: Family Picture)

Fans are being encouraged to clap at Newcastle match on Saturday in memory of teen who died from cancer.

Mason Kirk passed away suddenly from a rare form of cancer in January – ITV reports.

The family of the 17-year-old are urging people to clap at the 17th minute of the Newcastle vs Brighton match.

His dad Michael told ITV News Tyne Tees: “After complaining about back pain for several weeks and unsuccessful trips to a walk-in centre, and his GP, I took him to A&E where he received an MRI scan that showed lesions in his spine.

“We were transferred to the RVI, which is where we received a diagnosis no parent wants to hear – aggressive and inoperable late-stage ATRT cancer in his spine and brainstem”

“Mason died on the 27 January, just nine days after he was diagnosed.

“It’s took awhile for me to pull myself round (as I suffer from severe mental illness). So I decided to begin organising something to raise awareness of ATRT and teen cancer, and to pay tribute to our beautiful brave son.

“Mason was an avid Newcastle United fan, I took him to his first game when he was 6 and he caught the NUFC bug. Later, he and his friends bought season tickets.”

Michael continues: “Mason’s memory will live on through myself, his Mam Leanne, his little brother Alfy, cousin Liam and the rest of our family.

“He was the nucleus of our lives…our world is shattered but we cannot let our courageous son’s story go untold.”

“We realise things are tight for a lot of us at the minute but we’d like any donations to go to Great North Children’s Hospital or the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.”

ITV also said that Mason will feature in the programme.

Go here to donate to Great North Children’s Hospital.

Or to donate to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation go here.

 

 

 

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