The Toon and English football fans alike welcome back domestic football this weekend as the Magpies take on Brentford at St James’ Park. Their opposition the Bees have enjoyed a solid start to their Championship campaign and currently sit in 7th position in the table.
On the back a stern rearguard has been where Saturday’s opposition have built momentum; they have conceded just 9 goals so far this season and have lost just three games – the same amount as us.
Up top they also have quite the bite with dangerous striker Scott Hogan netting 7 goals for them this season. Of course, the absence of Alan Judge after his horrific broken leg injury will help ease the work load in the centre of the park.
Where the game will be won or lost
From all accounts, Brentford have not been a side to ‘sit back’ and rest on their laurels this season. Whilst sides such as Huddersfield have come to St James’ and sat deep to claim a victory, it’s likely Dean Smith’s men will want to take the game to us from the off.
This in my opinion, with the pace we have on the break, will only play into our hands. Brentford have only conceded 9 goals this season but with us being the league’s most dangerous side going forward, I do not think this will be a case of the ‘immovable object meets the unstoppable force’.
Brentford’s admirable stubbornness to play football the ‘right way’ may in fact be their downfall tomorrow afternoon. With this in mind, I’d like to see Rafa field a high attacking line and have plenty of bodies forward for when we do break on the attack.
With Mitro’s fine international form and Diame’s questionable club form, I’d like to see the latter dropped this weekend and see a front two of Gayle and Mitrovic deployed by Benitez.
Despite my 1-0 prediction the other day, I believe this match will have more goals in it than originally expected. I still think we’ll win, and indeed I still think the margin of victory will be narrow but a scrappy win akin to the one we got against Rotherham will not be on the cards tomorrow I feel.
Therefore, as a result, I’m plumping for a 3-2 win in Tyneside this weekend.
With a little over 24 hours to go until kick off, feel free to get the banter and discussion started in anticipation for tomorrow’s game in the comments below.