Newcastle Utd vs. Brentford
Venue: St. Mary’s Stadium
Kick off: 4PM
Now the only team without a win in the 2021-22 Premier League season, Newcastle United prepare for battle with newly-promoted Brentford at St James’ Park this afternoon in the first game of the Eddie Howe era.
The Magpies rescued a point in a 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion last time out, while the Bees became the first victims of Norwich City in a 2-1 defeat.
After being frustrated in their pursuit of serial Europa League winner Unai Emery, Newcastle moved to appoint former Bournemouth coach Eddie Howe as their new leader, with the 43-year-old in attendance alongside Amanda Staveley to witness the Magpies and the Seagulls do battle on the South Coast.
From Leandro Trossard’s controversially-won penalty to Lewis Dunk going in goal, Brighton players certainly made the headlines on the day, but another one-pointer extended Newcastle’s miserable winless run in the Premier League.
Trossard tucked away his VAR-awarded spot kick with 24 minutes on the clock to put the Seagulls in the ascendancy, but Isaac Hayden was in the right place at the right time to level the scores in the second half and earn his side a hard-fought point at the Amex.
However, Norwich’s win over Brentford means that Newcastle are now the only team in the division yet to record a victory this season, and the 19th-placed Magpies are now level with Norwich and five clear of safety before the first game of a new era.
Howe needs no reminding of the pressure he is under to deliver a positive result this afternoon , with Newcastle taking just two points from their five league games at home this term and conceding a whopping 13 goals at St James’ Park already – the worst such defensive record in the top flight.
Having seen their fast start to life in the Premier League turn into a nightmare few weeks, Brentford now hold the unwanted honour of being basement side Norwich City’s first victims of the new season following a 2-1 defeat on their own turf.
On the ground where both Arsenal and Liverpool both failed to produce the goods, Norwich went into the half-time break 2-0 up thanks to goals from Mathias Normann and Teemu Pukki, and Rico Henry’s second-half tap-in could not inspire a comeback for the Bees.
That victory was not enough to save Daniel Farke from the axe at Norwich, but Thomas Frank remains in the Brentford hotseat and will desperately seek to reverse his side’s fortunes this weekend, with the Bees suddenly slipping to 14th in the table.
Brentford have suffered four defeats on the bounce in the Premier League, but only one of those losses has come on the road, and not since their League Two days in the 2007-08 season have they sunk to five consecutive losses in domestic action.
However, Burnley and Norwich were both without a win in the new season before coming up trumps against Brentford, so Newcastle fans have every right to dream of a perfect start to life under Howe this afternoon.
Newcastle prevailed in both of their encounters with Brentford during the 2016-17 Championship season, but the Bees knocked the Magpies out of the EFL Cup in the quarter-finals last term thanks to Josh Dasilva’s winner.
Newcastle United possible XI: Dubravka, Manquillo, Clark, Lascelles, Ritchie, Almiron, Hayden, Shelvey, Fraser, Wilson, Saint-Maximin.
Brentford possible XI: Fernandez, Goode, Pinnock, Jansson, Canos, Janelt, Norgaard, Onyeka, Henry, Toney, Mbeumo.