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29 February 2020 Venue St. James' Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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PREVIEW: Newcastle United v Burnley

Build-up as the Clarets look to keep run going and hit magic 40-point mark

28 February 2020

The Clarets look to take another ‘leap’ forward as they head to St James’ Park for their 29 February meeting.

Sean Dyche’s men head north in search of a third successive away win and a fifth win in six games that would lift them up to eighth place in the Premier League.

The Clarets’ current form contrasts sharply with a Newcastle side with just one victory from their last nine league games.

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The Geordies – who have an FA Cup fifth-round tie at West Bromwich Albion to look forward to next Tuesday night – have also found goals in short supply in recent weeks.

Steve Bruce’s side has failed to score in four of their last five games in all competitions and last found the target in the Premier League with two late goals in a dramatic fightback at Everton more than a month ago.

A slip down the table to 14th place – albeit seven points clear of the drop zone – may have Tyneside on edge as the Clarets make their first Saturday visit since since 1982, when Kevin Keegan and future Burnley boss Chris Waddle were the goalscorers in a 3-0 home win.

But Dyche is determined to keep the attention on how his side looks to extend their fantastic run and the prospect of hitting 40 points for the season in record time as a Premier League club.

“The feel of the game will be important,” said the Burnley boss, who has seen his side keep clean sheets in three of their last four league games.

“There are a few questions getting asked up there.

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“The fans ask questions but on the other hand they have backed the team, generally, through a tough start and then a strong period and then they have just hit a few bumps lately.

“We go there in good shape ourselves and that’s the real focus. You’ve got to be aware of the opposition and do they come out all guns blazing, or do they come out a bit nervous?

“We will wait and see. But one thing we can control and want to control is our performance and our side of the game, so that’s what we will really focus on doing.”

Team news

The Clarets will again be without Ashley Barnes and Matt Lowton and winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson looks set to miss out after picking up a minor knock in training.

But top scorer Chris Wood – who scored the winner when the sides met in December – is likely to involved after recovering from the hamstring strain that forced him to miss last weekend’s win over Bournemouth.

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Newcastle are expected to make a number of changes and could welcome back midfield play-maker Jonjo Shelvey after five games out with a hamstring injury.

Dwight Gayle could also earn a start up front and full-back Javier Manquillo is back from injury.

But on-loan defender Valentino Lazaro is banned following a red card at Crystal Palace a week ago and Andy Carroll, Paul Dummett and Ciaran Clark are all sidelined by injury.

Form guide

The Clarets continue to go from strength to strength in an unbeaten five-match run in the Premier League.

The run, which includes four wins and successive victories away from home at Southampton and Manchester United, has lifted Sean Dyche’s men to 10th in the league table. 

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Newcastle are in 14th – six points back and seven points clear of the relegation places – following a post-Christmas dip.

The Geordies went ninth in the table when they beat Crystal Palace at St James’ Park on 21 December but have won only one of nine league games since.

Their two wins in that run have come in the FA Cup – against Rochdale and Oxford United – to set up a trip to West Bromwich Albion in found five next Tuesday night.

Steve Bruce’s side has also failed to score in their last three league games and no side in the top-flight has scored fewer than their 24 goals.

Opposition camp

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce: “The glaring facts are we don’t score enough so we have to be more of a threat in the opposing half and we have to be working on.

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“If that’s a new era then we will try. That has been our Achilles heel all season. In the past we were OK but I think it has waned a bit.

"We have to cause problems for the opposition and you  know what you’re going to get (with Burnley). They epitomise what Sean Dyche wants so it doesn’t surprise me they’ve got the results.

"I think only the top four have won more games so fair play to them. We have to match them physically and the demands they put on you.”

Match stats

The Clarets have only played five times before on 29 February – the last a 2-0 win at Cardiff City in 1992.

Ashley Westwood is set to make his 100th appearance for the Clarets and Chris Wood will also clock up a century if he features.

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Dwight McNeil is in line to make his 50th Premier League appearance.

Jay Rodriguez is on 49 goals for the Clarets.

Burnley are looking to do the double over Newcastle for the first time since 1960/61.

There have been no penalties in a league game involving Newcastle so far this season.

The 24 goals scored in 13 league games at St James’ Park this season is the lowest for any single venue.


Andy Madley

VAR: Jarred Gillett


Saturday 3pm

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Match Reports

REPORT: Newcastle Utd 0 Burnley 0

Clarets dig deep as Pope keeps it clean again in front of watching England boss

29 February 2020

The Clarets extended their unbeaten Premier League run to six games as goalkeeper Nick Pope racked up another clean sheet in front of watching England boss Gareth Southgate.

In truth, Pope has had more demanding games in reaching 11 shut-outs for the season – the highest figure for an individual keeper in the top tier.

But he was still a model of calmness and serenity as he stood tall to extend Newcastle’s goal drought and make it three games without defeat on the road for the Clarets, who moved up to ninth in the table.

The big ‘leap’ to 40 points didn’t quite materalise on the year’s extra day.

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But another notch up the ladder was still a welcome one as Burnley’s mean streak came to the fore on a day of few real chances – other than that of Pope, James Tarkowski and their defensive colleagues to show Southgate they remain in top form ahead of the March international dates.  

It had been 28 years since the Clarets last played on 29 February and 10 years longer since they had been to St James’ Park on a Saturday.

And rarely in that period have they had it so good as Dyche’s side looked to extend their unbeaten run and reach the landmark that would surely secure a fifth successive season of top-flight football.

Newcastle have also had their ups and downs across the decades and in a bid to improve on a run of one win in nine league games – and find a first goal in four – manager Steve Bruce made five changes to his starting line-up.

Two of those returning were Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie and the pair certainly added to the Geordies’ goal threat in a first half shaded by the home side.

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Ritchie headed one effort just wide from a Gayle cross before sending a deflected effort against the outside of a post just before the break.

Gayle and the lively Miguel Almiron also had efforts on target which Pope wasn’t overly extended in keeping out as the Clarets were stretched on the break.

But Burnley also had their moments at the other end, invariably following set-plays with the impressive Tarkowski heading down for Jay Rodriguez to threaten before being crowded out and then being denied a heading chance by the finger tips of Martin Dubravka as he clawed away a teasing Jeff Hendrick cross.

With not too much happening for the front me, though, it took less than 15 minutes of the second half for Dyche to make a change as fit-again top scorer Chris Wood replaced Matej Vydra to make his 100th Burnley appearance.

And immediately the Clarets’ threat level went up as he headed a Dwight McNeil cross wide moments after what should have been a decent chance for Rodriguez.

The striker looked to have been played in by a back-pass but was still flagged off-side which appeared to leave him undecided with an attempted finish he blazed over the top.

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That came in Burnley’s best spell of the game but as the clock ticked down Newcastle also sensed a possible winner as Ritchie fired a long-range effort not far wide of Pope’s left-hand post.

United sent on the flying figure of Allan Saint-Maximin to try and make the difference and he made space for one skidding effort which Pope easily dealt with before Charlie Taylor made a vital block to stop Almiron pulling the trigger.

There was one late scare for the Clarets as Newcastle failed to make the most of a stoppage-time break-away.

But on an afternoon they refused to buckle, Burnley got their reward for a fourth clean sheet in five league games to keep the momentum going.

Burnley: Pope; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Vydra (Wood 58), Rodriguez. Substitutes: Hart, Brownhill, Brady, Pieters, Lennon, Long.

Booked: Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee

Newcastle United: Dubravka; Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose; Shelvey, Hayden; Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton (Saint-Maximin 78); Gayle. Substitutes: Darlow, Schar, Lejeune, Yedlin, Longstaff, Bentaleb.

Booked: Rose, Gayle, Shelvey, Manquillo.

Referee: Andy Madley

Attendance: 52,219

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