Newcastle vs. Brentford
Venue: St James’ Park
Kick off: 3PM
Newcastle United will be looking to claim back-to-back Premier League victories when they welcome Brentford to St James’ Park this afternoon.
The Bees, meanwhile, will be seeking to avoid a third successive top-flight game without a win.
After enduring a difficult run of six Premier League games without a win, Newcastle secured maximum points in emphatic fashion when they beat Fulham 4-1 away from home last weekend.
The dismissal of Fulham’s Nathaniel Chalobah just eight minutes into the contest unsurprisingly benefitted the Magpies, and a brace from Miguel Almiron along with goals from Callum Wilson and Sean Longstaff put them four goals in front before the hour mark.
Bobby Decordova-Reid then netted a consolation strike late on to prevent Nick Pope from keeping a fourth clean sheet this term.
Eddie Howe expressed a sense of relief at full time after his side claimed just their second league win of the season from eight games, but nevertheless they have climbed up to a respectable seventh place in the table, just three points off the top four and only one point behind sixth-placed Manchester United, who the Magpies will face next weekend.
Newcastle have turned St James’ Park into somewhat of a fortress in recent months, as they have lost only one of their last 14 league matches on home soil, although their last three have finished as a draw.
The Magpies also have an impressive record against Saturday’s opponents Brentford, as they are unbeaten in their last six league meetings against them, winning five times and drawing one – their last home encounter was in fact an entertaining 3-3 draw at St James’ Park in November last year.
After scoring in each of their opening six Premier League matches, netting 15 times in the process, Brentford have since drawn a blank in front of goal in their last two fixtures against Arsenal and Bournemouth.
A 3-0 home defeat to the Gunners before the international break was followed by a frustrating goalless draw away against the Cherries last weekend.
Thomas Frank’s side are clinging on to a place in the top half of the table, sitting in 10th spot and level on points in between Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton, while there are four points separating the Bees from both the top four and the relegation zone.
Brentford ended a run of 19 consecutive away games in the league without a clean sheet when they played out a goalless draw against Bournemouth last time out, and they will now be looking to keep back-to-back top-flight shutouts on the road for the first time since a run of three away clean sheet between December 1937 and January 1938.
However, the Bees have struggled to keep the ball out of the net when facing Newcastle in the North East, as they have conceded 11 times in their last three meetings at St James’ Park.
Newcastle United possible XI: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Willock, Guimaraes, S. Longstaff, Almiron, Wilson, Fraser.
Brentford possible XI: Raya, Hickey, Ajer, Mee, Henry, Jensen, Janelt, Dasilva, Mbeumo, Toney, Wissa.