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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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