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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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