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26 February 2019 Venue St. James' Park Attendance

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PREVIEW: Newcastle Utd v Burnley

Tale of the tape ahead of the Clarets' trip to Tyneside

26 February 2019

The Clarets head to Tyneside for another mid-week date looking to continue their remarkable revival.

For the second season running it will be a night under the lights at St James’ Park for Sean Dyche’s men, who drew 1-1 at Gallowgate 13 months ago.

The two sides are yet to meet on a Saturday in the Premier League, having played on a Monday (twice), Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (New Year’s Day 2015) since their last Saturday fixture in the old Second Division in March, 1983.

Regardless of the day, though, Burnley couldn’t be travelling to the North-East in better spirits thanks to the eight-match unbeaten run in the Premier League which has transformed their season.

From a position in the bottom three as recently as two games ago – the Clarets kicking off at Brighton in the relegation places – another win tonight could take them to within a point of Bournemouth in 10th place.

Newcastle – looking for a fourth successive home success – will have something to say about that as they look to continue their own impressive run which has eased their relegation fears and taken them to one place and two points behind the Clarets in 15th spot.

Equally, a full programme of mid-week fixtures could see the pack tighten again just above the bottom three if results don’t go Burnley’s way.

And so while Dyche admits the feel-good factor around the Clarets remains at a high following Saturday’s landmark win over Tottenham, there is no feeling of ‘job done’ as the one-game-at-a-time mantra remains firmly in place.

“There's a good feeling around our camp at the moment and it grows whenever we get good results,” said the Burnley boss, whose side overcame Spurs with one of their best performances of the season to seal the points with a late Ashley Barnes strike.

“We are not complacent, you don't get that with this group, they are well aware of pressures in the Premier League, they know how demanding it is.

“We continue to look at the next game as the most important.

“The players deserve a lot of credit for this run but they know that the next game is the most important, we've spoken about that for many times.

“We didn't lose sight of it when we weren't doing so well either, it's an unforgiving league and we know that.

“We know that we've got to continue the good work that's getting done and with good performances.”

Team news

The Clarets have a near fully fit squad with no absentees from last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Tottenham.

Steven Defour remains sidelined, along with longer-term absentees Aaron Lennon and Jon Walters.

Newcastle are missing only defender Ciaran Clark and ex-loanee Accrington Stanley goalkeeper Rob Elliot through injury.

Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has been out of action since early January with a thigh problem but could be back in the United squad.

Manager Rafael Benitez must decide whether to give record buy Miguel Almiron a second start in four days following his full debut in Saturday's win over Huddersfield Town.

Form guide

Two in-form teams go head-to-head on Tyneside.

The Clarets extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to eight games with their weekend win over Tottenham.

Sean Dyche’s side hasn’t lost in the league since Boxing Day and, along with Manchester United, hold the only unbeaten league record in 2019.

Newcastle started the year poorly with back-to-back defeats (albeit against Manchester United and Chelsea) as part of a five-match winless run in the league.

But since then, the Magpies’ only league loss came at Wembley against Tottenham as they have also pulled themselves out of the bottom three.

And Rafa Benitez’s side has won its last three home league games, including a 2-1 success over champions Manchester City and Saturday's 2-0 victory over the struggling Terriers, after waiting for more than two months for three points in front of their own supporters.

Opposition camp

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez: “Burnley are in form, they are doing well. They have confidence and they are very tough, physical team.

“We will try to play how we did at Turf Moor, but it’s a different kind of test. We have to see what we can do and try to win.

“We did well at this stage last year and we know how difficult Burnley will be. We approach this game with no complacency. We had control against Huddersfield, which is not just about possession, and we created chances. I hope we can do that again and carry on.”

Match stats

Burnley have been re-writing their Premier League history and rolling back the years to 1966.

The Clarets’ eight-match unbeaten run is their longest in the top tier since that year.

Sean Dyche’s men are also trying to extend their unbeaten away run to five games – something Burnley last achieved in the year England lifted the World Cup.

And also in 1966, Willie Irvine was the last Burnley player to score in five successive top-flight matches as part of a six-game scoring streak. Ashley Barnes will make it five in a row if he’s on target against at St James’ Park.

The sides meet in a league game for the 100th time. Burnley have 42 wins to Newcastle’s 38.

Newcastle’s win at Turf Moor in November means they will be looking to complete a first league double over the Clarets since 1954-55.


Craig Pawson


Tuesday, 8pm

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Match Reports

Newcastle Utd 2 Burnley 0

Two first-half goals hand Clarets first Premier League defeat of 2019

26 February 2019

On the warmest winter’s day on record, the Clarets lost away from home for the first time since the week before Christmas. It’s been that long.

A fifth successive away game without defeat in the top flight for the first time in 53 years therefore eluded them as Burnley’s unbeaten Premier League run ended at eight matches.

It was great while it lasted, and the benefit is a place six points above the relegation zone before Southampton play on Wednesday night.

Should the Saints win it will remain at five, even though Newcastle pushed Sean Dyche’s side a place down the table to 15th thanks to a fourth successive home win secured by first-half goals from Fabian Schar and Sean Longstaff.

The frustrating thing from a Burnley point of view was that Rafael Benitez’s side needed to do no more than that to continue their recent progress as they kept the Clarets at arm’s length.

Two missed chances just before the break were the nearest Burnley came to getting something out of the contest.

But after the recent endeavours they have put in, peaking with last Saturday’s win over title-chasing Tottenham, Dyche’s men could be excused a low-key performance before they re-group ready to go again against Crystal Palace next weekend.

The enforced absence of Ashley Westwood through illness brought a change to the Clarets’ winning formula as Johann Berg Gudmundsson returned to start his first game since early January, with Jeff Hendrick moving inside from the right flank.

And both had a containing job to do in a cagey opening which saw Newcastle enjoy most of the possession without really threatening.

But just as it looked as though the Clarets may be feeling their way into the contest, the home side struck out of the blue.

Central defender Schar had scored twice in a win over Cardiff which had launched United’s winning home run last month but it’s fair to say the Swiss international may never have hit a sweeter shot than the angled 30-yard drive he crashed in off the inside of a post to make it 1-0.

The Clarets responded with an acrobatic effort from top scorer Chris Wood, whose airborne volley following a corner was well saved by Martin Dubravka.

But crucially, Newcastle were able to double their lead seven minutes before half-time to get clear daylight.

Matt Ritchie had been a problem for the visitors all night with the space he found down Newcastle’s left side.

And although his latest cross was flicked off the head of Salomon Rondon by Ben Mee, homegrown midfielder Longstaff was unchecked as he collected the loose ball to drive home on the volley and claim his first Premier League goal.

The Clarets needed a reply and almost got it with an effort from Gudmundsson, arguably fouled by Ritchie as he looked to get onto an Ashley Barnes knock-down, whose first-time effort flew well wide of the target from 10 yards.

And a minute before half-time Barnes created another opening with a header beyond United’s back line to James Tarkowski, who should have done better with a volley in front of goal when he might have swung the balance Burnley’s way.

Dyche wasted no time in making a change to try and sustain some momentum as Robbie Brady replaced Dwight McNeil at the start of the second half.

The Clarets certainly looked brighter but seven minutes after the break Newcastle had the chance to put the game beyond Burnley and give Miguel Almiron his big moment on his second start for the Tynesiders.

A ball over the top from Ayoze Perez gave Almiron a run at goal but Newcastle’s new record buy never really looked like getting the better of Tom Heaton, who stood tall to deflect his effort wide.

But the Clarets’ threat was also beginning to peter out and with just 20 minutes to go Peter Crouch was sent on to try and offer something different.

Newcastle looked leg weary after their recent efforts and a goal for the Clarets may well have had them hanging on.

Crouch did his best, nodding down a corner for fellow substitute Matej Vydra to go close with an effort on the turn which was blocked by Dubravka.

But with no sustained head of stream and a succession of late stoppages disrupting play, there was no real promise of a Clarets comeback and the prospect of staving off a first defeat of 2019.

Newcastle: Dubravka; Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune; Manquillo, Hayden, Longstaff (Diame 84), Ritchie; Perez (Joselu 87), Almiron (Dummett 80); Rondon. Substitutes: Ki, Yedlin, Darlow, Atsu.

Booked: Longstaff

Burnley: Heaton; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Cork, Hendrick, McNeil (Brady HT); Barnes (Crouch 70), Wood (Vydra 83). Substitutes: Lowton, Gibson, Hart, Ward.

Booked: Hendrick, Crouch, Mee.

Referee: Craig Pawson

Attendance: 48,323

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