Newcastle vs Preston: Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted-line ups

The moment has finally arrived. After results went our way over the weekend, seeing Huddersfield and Reading BOTH lose, Newcastle can officially earn promotion tonight with a win over Preston.

A return to the Premier League awaits, however, we must remain focused on the job in hand, with Preston planning to spoil the party at St. James’ tonight.

Newcastle may have been boosted by results elsewhere on Saturday, but are without a win in 3 themselves, with our dismal defeat at Ipswich this time last week causing real concern amongst fans.

With the prize at stake, the team must seize their moment and show the sort of energy, enthusiasm and desire that was displayed against Leeds in our last home game.

Not only is this a huge opportunity to seal our return to the Premier League in front of our own fans, a win would also see us keep alive our slim title hopes, with Brighton slipping to a 2-0 defeat at Norwich on Friday night.



The opposition

Preston have had a respectable campaign, currently lying 11th in the Championship table.

The Lilywhites form has, however, taken a considerable dip, seeing them lose their last 3. It is also worth noting that they are without an away win in their previous 9, winning just once on the road since the turn of the year.

Whilst we cannot afford to take anything for granted, you’d have to hope Newcastle (a team with everything to play for) show more desire than Preston – a team with very little to play for.

Top scorer Jordan Hugill will provide a physical presence up top for the visitors, with winger Aiden McGeady one to watch, having scored five goals from outside the box this season – more than any other Championship player.


Team news

The game will come too soon for Dwight Gayle who’ll sit out once again as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Ciaran Clark has returned to full training over the past week & is in line to make a timely return to the side.


Preston look set to field a makeshift defence, with first team defenders Tom Clarke and Greg Cunningham ruled out through injury, with right-back Alex Baptiste out through suspension.

Tyias Browning could make a welcome return to the defence, however the Everton loanee will be lacking match fitness after 2 months out.


Predicted line-up

Newcastle United – (4-2-3-1) – Darlow – Anita, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett – Shelvey, Hayden – Ritchie, Perez, Gouffran – Mitrovic

FIVE changes from Ipswich?

Hanley OUT, Clark IN? Hanley was poor last Monday and will almost certainly drop out. It would be harsh on Mbemba, who did well in his last outing against Leeds, but I expect Clark to return to the side if deemed fit enough. Clark has been a key player this season and his calmness and composure has been missed in recent weeks.

Yedlin OUT, Anita IN?  Yedlin may be the preferred option at right-back, especially at home, however the American looked off the pace at Ipswich last week. Anita, in contrast, was outstanding in his last outing at home to Leeds. It goes against what I usually prefer to see at St. James’ Park, but given the pairs most recent performances, I expect the Dutchman to get the nod for this one.

Atsu OUT, Gouffran IN? The Ghanaian provided the assist for Murphy’s goal at Ipswich last week, but looked low on confidence and struggled in the main. With the stakes high in front of an expectant St. James’ Park crowd, I expect a recall for the the experienced Gouffran.

Diame OUT, Perez IN? The pair tend to rotate and Diame did little at Ipswich to retain his place in the side. Perez worked his socks off in his previous appearance against Leeds and will most likely return to the side tonight.

Murphy OUT, Mitrovic IN? Murphy may have bagged a goal at Ipswich last week, but I fancy Mitrovic to get his chance once again tonight. The Serbian was superb in Newcastle’s last home game against Leeds and has tormented the visitors on more than one occasion already this term, scoring 4 goals in our previous two appearances against Preston this season.


Match prediction

Preston have little left to play for and recent results suggest Grayson’s side may already have one eye on their summer holidays.

While this can’t be relied upon, I expect Rafa and the team to make no mistake tonight.

They will be looking to put right the wrongs of last week and with promotion on the line, I fully expect a big effort from all involved and an even bigger three points to seal our Premier League return.

Prediction: Newcastle 3-1 Preston

Time to finish the job. Howay the lads!

(Fancy having your say? Send any articles/ideas over to us at & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

54 thoughts on “Newcastle vs Preston: Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted-line ups

  1. Cheers Olly. Good preview. Surely the lads will not wilt under the pressure tonight? Backing us for 3-0.


  2. Cheers Olly, both Mitro and Perez got goals against Preston when we last played them in the league so yes I expect to see both get the nod tonight.


  3. Good article Olly. I sort of agree with you but that would be changing half the team and that is what I ****ed at Rafa about last week. Yes, I am a hypocrite.


  4. Agree with your probable team Olly. However Rafa does have a habit of springing surprises. I am going to be on tenterhooks all day. Looks like being a cold night so I hope the score keeps me warm and happy.


  5. Huddersfield won’t win tomorrow so in fact we don’t even need to win.
    I think we will though and Olly, that’s the team I would pick. Wouldn’t mind seeing a pairing of Clark and Mbemba though.


  6. Good write up Olly. I think Rafa may start with Murphy up front rather that Mitro but otherwise I agree with all the rest.

    Gutted that I will miss it. It’s on the TV in Dubai but unfortunately I’m in Shanghai and 7 hrs ahead ?? I hope I wake up to a win and confirmed promotion or I’m going to be in a foul mood for my full day of meetings. ?


  7. Am I reading that right? Have they not won since 2nd Jan or is that their home form Olly?


  8. Andy-

    That’s actually their away form. They beat Bristol City 5-0 at home on April 4, and beat Reading at home a few weeks before that. But they’re at our place, so hopefully their poor away form continues.


  9. They’ll want revenge for the 6 we put passed them but our lads know how important this game is so I’m going for the win.


  10. I think Rafa will use the best team at the moment to get a win. Yes I agree with Kim that Preston will definitely want a revenge, so in the end it will be the team who is more hungry for the win.


  11. BIG CONGRATULATIONS to all Toon fans! Newcastle is officially back to PL!! You deserve it! And hopefully you will never suffer it again!!!!


  12. And that’s that
    Well done lads and Rafa. 🙂 😛 😎

    We’ve left a space for you Sunderland, enjoy :mrgreen: 😈


  13. Get innnnnn!

    Job done! Superb job from Rafa this season, shame we won’t be facing the scum next year mind 😆


  14. Peter Lovenkrands‏Verified account @lovenkrands11 · 54m54 minutes ago

     More

    @Nufc toon toon toon…..
    We are going up We are going up…


  15. Well done everyone! Great achievement and somewhat harder than people think.

    Now the real work starts but with a huge caveat. I don’t believe Ashley will back him sufficiently because his form is crystal clear. In many ways this restricts the enjoyment I have as I see the iceberg.

    For now though, I will enjoy the moment and enjoy the last game of the season where we can show our appreciation for a huge achievement.


  16. Stewie: I read in the Guardian comments section that Hull are the only other relegated team to get automatic promotion the following season since we did it.

    I think it is about 50/50 that Ashley will sell up. He can probably break even if he wants but his ego might want to make a profit.


  17. Wahey!

    Now for the off season shenanigans and the usual internet bulltwang. I see the Ashley is a skinflint/He’s selling the club crap has already started again.

    I’ll leave you to it, then.


  18. BrisV: you don’t think Ashley will sell if he got a decent offer? He has put up NUFC for sale before and doesn’t attend hardly any games anymore. How can you say it is crap that he might want to sell up? You make no sense at all, man.


  19. Also BrisV: you don’t need to leave anybody to anything as you have only been on about twice in a year. How can you miss somebody who is never on?


  20. Same as it ever was – come on and have a dig, then say you are leaving when you are never here anyway. There must be something in the water in Australia.


  21. Are Aussie Magpie Fan and BrisVegas the same person? They are never on for months and then both show up on the same day. They usually have the same patter as well.


  22. Brisvegas:

    Now for the off season shenanigans and the usual internet bulltwang. I see the Ashley is a skinflint/He’s selling the club crap has already started again.

    I’ll leave you to it, then.



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