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First Team

Match Preview: Brentford vs Newcastle United

All the build-up to Saturday's clash in TW8

25 February 2022

We welcome Eddie Howe's Newcastle United to TW8 tomorrow for our latest Premier League outing. The Mapgies head south unbeaten in six, sitting two points behind us but, importantly, two points above the drop zone. Get all the build-up below. 

THE OPPOSITION

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Winless in their first 15 in all competitions, Newcastle have now won four of their last ten in the Premier League, following their takeover by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia in October.

The January Transfer Window saw five key arrivals as Newcastle sought to pull themselves away from trouble. Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Dan Burn (Brighton), Chris Wood (Burnley), and Bruno Guimaraes (Lyon) all arrived on permanent deals with Matt Targett joining from Aston Villa on loan. 

Their impact has been immediate with Newcastle now unbeaten in their last six league matches, and out of the bottom three for the first-time since October. A hat-trick of wins, over Leeds United, Everton, and Aston Villa were reeled off with Trippier netting twice in that run.

Only Burnley have seen less of the ball than The Magpies in the league this season (38.4%) while, unsurprisingly for team that has Allan Saint-Maximin (above) in it, Newcastle attempt the fifth-most dribbles of all top flight sides. 

Saint-Maximin is The Magpies' second-top Premier League scorer this season with five, one behind Callum Wilson, with no other Newcastle player scoring more than twice so far this campaign. 

THE GAMEPLAN

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Writing for Hot Off The Press, The Athletic's Chris Waugh, said: "[Howe] has settled on 4-3-3 and I think he is unlikely to shift from that. Martin Dubravka will be in goal and in Trippier’s absence, it will be interesting to see what they do to replace him; if Manquillo is not fit, I think Emil Krafth will come in a right-back; Targett was unable to play against his parent club Aston Villa so he will be the first choice left-back. In central defence, it will be two of Burn, Fabian Schar and Jamaal Lascelles, with a midfield three, at the moment, of Jonjo Shelvey, Joelinton (above) and Joe Willock. The latter pair play as No 8s either side of Shelvey, which is keeping Guimaraes out of the team. And up front, Howe will have Wood through the middle, Ryan Fraser on the right and Saint-Maximin on the left.

TEAM NEWS

Thomas Frank confirmed earlier today that Christian Eriksen will make his Brentford debut tomorrow while Ivan Toney is also available following a calf-injury. With Zanka coming through an hour against Rangers on Monday, Thomas now has a fully-fit squad at his disposal. 

For Newcastle, Kieran Trippier (foot), Callum Wilson (calf), Jamal Lewis (groin), and Matt Ritchie (knee) are all out while there are doubts over Javier Manquillo (foot) and Allan Saint-Maximin (calf). Ryan Fraser came off during United's 1-1 draw with West Ham last weekend but is set to be available. 

MATCH FACTS

  • January signing Chris Wood is yet to score for Newcastle United in five matches but has netted nine goals in his last 13 Premier League appearances against promoted sides, including a strike against Brentford for Burnley earlier this season.
  • Newcastle are unbeaten in six Premier League matches, winning three and drawing three. They last had a longer unbeaten run in the competition between May and November 2011 (14 matches).
  • Including penalties, both Brentford (44 per cent - 12/27) and Newcastle (42 per cent - 11/26) have scored over 40 per cent of their Premier League goals from set-piece situations this season.
  • Brentford striker Ivan Toney scored against his former club Newcastle in this season’s reverse fixture. The last players to score home and away against the Magpies in a Premier League season, having previously played for them in the competition, were Abdoulaye Diagne-Faye and Craig Bellamy in 2008/09.

THE MANAGER

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After 18 months out of the game following his departure from AFC Bournemouth, Eddie Howe returned to management with Newcastle United in November. 

Synonymous with AFC Bournemouth, Howe spent a quarter-century on the South Coast as a player and manager. He made 300 of his 302 professional appearances for The Cherries, before injury forced him to retire, aged 29 in 2007.

He then joined the coaching staff at Dean Court and was appointed caretaker manager on New Year's Eve 2008 with AFC Bournemouth second from bottom in League Two, seven points from safety. 

His time on the South Coast took him, and The Cherries, from 91st in the EFL to the Premier League. After preserving their Football League status during the 2008/09 season, despite a 17 point deduction, Howe earned League Two promotion the following season and added a promotion from League One three years later. In between those promotions was a short spell in charge of Burnley.

In May 2015, Howe led Bournemouth to the top flight of English football for the first time in their history, completing their journey from bottom to top in just five seasons. There The Cherries remained for five years, punching well above their weight and playing an attacking brand of football that has become Howe's trademark. 

Their relegation in 2020 ended Howe's eight-year spell in charge with the 43-year-old going on to make a strong start on Tyneside.

LAST TIME OUT

THE OFFICIALS

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Referee: Mike Dean

Assistants: Eddie Smart and Mark Scholes

Fourth official: Andy Madley

VAR: Darren England 

Assistant VAR: Derek Eaton

Newcastle United 2021/22

255 fouls - 8th in Premier League

59 yellow cards - Second-most in Premier League

2 red cards - Second-most in Premier League

HOW TO FOLLOW

Today's game will be shown around the world through the Premier League's broadcast partners. Click here to see if it is on where you are

There will also be live commentary on Talksport. For the Brentford angle, Lisa Grant and Karleigh Osborne join Mark Burridge on Bees Player.


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