Burnley (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

It may be deadline day, with us spending the day pushing through deals for Leicester stiker Islam Slimani and Prague stopper Martin Dubravka, but it is also a matchday – and tonight’s game is a massive one.

It’s easy to forget in amongst all the transfer goings on both in and out the club, however tonight’s game really is a big against a defiant Burnley side who won’t make it easy.

I go into this one not knowing quite what to expect. Will there be protests against Ashley or positivity surrounding late new arrivals? Will Rafa start Kenedy and introduce a potential new formation to fit him in? Will we find a massive result amongst this month of adversity or will a devastating defeat plunge us into deep deep water?

The seemingly imminent arrivals of Slimani and Dubravka are a timely boost ahead of tonight’s game, easing huge frustrations that existed this time yesterday, however this new-found positivity will soon dissipate if we don’t do the business on the pitch today.

Burnley are no mugs, hence their position in the league (8th!), and Swansea’s big win over Arsenal last night only piled more pressure on us to beat them tonight.


The Team

As ever with Rafa, it’s hard to say what side we’re going to play tonight, however this is the team I’d like to see start. It’s risky, but we’re without a league win at home in 7 games and something’s got to give:

It accommodates Kenedy superbly (who I fancy to start in a bid to give the home crowd a lift), also allowing Atsu and Murphy to start; being two players who have the ability to have a go at Burnley and get us on the front foot.

Ritchie on the right would be a tad worry given how he fared at wing-back away to Chelsea in the league, but this is a very different game and one we should be approaching in a much more positive manor.

Merino would normally be one of my first names on the team sheet, but with so much talk in Spain of Aletico Bilbao’s interest, I’d be unsure about starting him unless his head was 100% in the right place.



The Opposition

Ones to watch..

Ashley Barnes – A real unit of a striker who’ll hold the ball up well, win his physical battles and be a real threat when balls come into our box. He’s not flash, but he’s effective.

Lennon/Nkoudou – Two new loan signings who could start out wide and cause us problems on the break with their direct style and lightning pace.

Benn Mee – A solid defender and one whose played a massive part in Burnley’s superb season so far. He’ll be key for them – especially with Tarkowski likely to miss out

Nick Pope – He’s gone from strength to strength in Tom Heaton’s absence and has a tendency to shut teams out. Burnley don’t tend to give away too many chances, so we’ll have to be clinical to beat the man who has 9 clean sheets this season.

For an inside look into today’s opponents, take a look at this week’s edition of the ‘Opposition Opinion’ which can be found on the home page. A great insight into tonight’s opponents from a Burnley fan.



Newcastle – 15th (23 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 1 / Drawn: 2 / Lost: 2

Burnley – 8th (34 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 0 / Drawn: 2 / Lost: 3


Team news

Chelsea loanee Kenedy is available and could make his NUFC debut.

Aside from Jesus Gamez, it seems Rafa Benitez will have a fully fit squad to pick from – although the game might come too soon for Florian Lejeune whose back in full training but lacking match fitness.

For the visitors, Steve Defour is OUT, with star centre-back James Tarkowski facing a late fitness test – however Aaron Lennon is in line to make his debut.

Left-back Stephen Ward could return after missing Burnley’s last eight games, but Dean Marney (knee), Jon Walters (knee), Chris Wood (knee), Robbie Brady (knee) and Tom Heaton (shoulder) all remain sidelined.

Predicted Line-ups

Predicted NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1) – Darlow – Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett – Diame, Shelvey – Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy– Joselu

Predicted Burnley XI – (4-1-3-2) –  Pope – Bardsley, Mee, Long, Ward – Lennon, Cork, Westwood, Arfield – Hendrick – Barnes


Match Prediction


We’ve not won in our last 7 at home in the league, but Burnley are on a poor run of form themselves. You could say something’s got to give, but we’re struggling for goals (at present, lets hope Slimani helps) and they don’t tend to concede many.

Unless we can play tonight with renewed energy or ideas then I think we’ll struggle to break Burnley down. The atmosphere around St James’ tonight could have a big bearing on how we play – and today’s transfer developments suggest it might be more positive than we anticipated.

Heart – Kenedy plays a blinder, it’s a great atmosphere after Slimani’s unveiled and we win 2-0.

Head – Burnley are a tough nut to crack and we have to settle for a point.

PredictionNewcastle 1-1 Burnley

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & 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.

56 thoughts on “Burnley (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

  1. Despite the signings, come the summer we will back at square 1 all over again, with the same crap squad – even Colback. Unless there are clauses in these deals.

    I am interested to know what Slimani and this new keeper can do. I do get the impression the side will transition faster if they all stay fit, which is vital.

    Cheers for the thread Olly. We really need to win tonight. But Burnely is a tough club these days.


  2. Thanks Olly,
    Well I have managed to avoid DL day and SSN and bugger me we have two incoming.
    Not totally sure Slimani is the answer but hopefully better than what we currently have. Just a pity he’s injured and of course won’t be able to face Leicester either, maybe we’ll get 8-9 games out of him. Know nowt about the incoming keeper, just hope he’s better than Sels.

    Interesting that all we are doing is loans and getting shot or loaning players out, one offsets the other financially so not much getting spent. Does this mean a club takeover still on the cards should we survive I wonder or just the FCB being tighter than a knats arse.

    Good news for Ice, Jacks gone on loan to NFFC, though a sale would of been better, especially given his astronomical wages.
    As for tonight, god only knows, we are up against an awful mean defence and have impotent forwards so a hopeful point is all that looks likely .
    Olly I prefer Lascelles in a back four if I’m honest but interesting team.


  3. Kimtoon: I am imagining Icedog doing a jig, dancing around a maypole, John Travolta in the white suit pointing to the sky, Arrogant Alan doing his bad dad dance – now that Jack is gone 🙂


  4. I have just read that the bookies have slashed the odds on Fernando Torres’ coming too the toon . Would like him in untill the end of the season , he could do a job coming off the bench for a few cameo apperances .


  5. Life is Black and White:
    I have just read that the bookies have slashed the odds on Fernando Torres’ coming too the toon . Would like him in untill the end of the season , he could do a job coming off the bench for a few cameo apperances .

    Mitro’s deal is broken. I feel lucky we had Slimani in already.


  6. funrafa hope thats not true or i could see the fat kunt Ashley pulling us out of the Slimani deal .


  7. Ian Dennis‏Verified account

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    Understand Alexsandr Mitrovic loan deal from Newcastle United to Anderlecht has broken down #NUFC

    Do we still get Slimani now


  8. Funrafa been on a belgian site and that is whats being Said their Silami failed his medical and we have bloked Mitro move


  9. Bryan Swanson‏Verified account

    Follow Follow @skysports_bryan

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    Aleksandar Mitrovic’s loan move from Newcastle to Anderlecht is off because Anderlecht failed to sell another player to fund move. Mitrovic still expected to join another club. #NUFC #SSN


  10. Just dont know what to believe ,seems wierd that no incoming deals have been announced by the club yet after 2players have already had medicals


  11. Atsu misses putting rebound away from 6 yards out, deary me, shocking. Original shot was off the post 🙄


  12. Well it seems that donkeyloo cannot score even from a penalty. The first one we get this season and he misses it… I think Diame is having a decent game so far and a Kenedy will be good too. Let’s hope second half is better.


  13. If Slimani failed the medical, we are done done done.

    But I will be glad to see Ashley lose big value on his asset. Some price for him to pay.


  14. Strong rumour Slimani has failed medical doing the rounds, nowt to do with mitro move breaking down is it ? maybe I’m a cynical old cow.

    Bournemouth ahead v Chelsea
    and Brighton winning 👿

    Big sides doing us no favours last couple of days


  15. Same story as a number of games this season – 14 attempts so far – 4 on target – 1 goal.
    Creating the chances but not finishing them off.

    And as I type this Burnley equalize!!!

    How many ******* times man!!


  16. Chance after chance after chance. We just miss them. The folly of. It gettibg Slimani earlier is all to see.


  17. Can’t kncok the effort, Stem. Just the lack of quality up front. Sorry to say but Joselu cost us again. How many chances does he need to miss?

    Positive is we played well and created chances. Slimani should score goals.


  18. It’s this loyalty to Joselu I don’t get. The kid can’t finish!!. I don’t care what else he does for the team – you need your forwards to be a goal threat & he’s NOT.
    Whether Slimani comes or not – if Mitrovic stays he HAS to move above Joselu in the pecking order.


  19. What a ****ing kick in the nuts that was… we should’ve been 4-0 … off the post, missed pen ??? donkeyloo misses open goal … then Of course Burnley equalise. MOTM for me was Diame today. I thought he did really well.


  20. How important was saving our goal difference vs City now… 4 teams including us are 1 point above relegation zone on 24 points but we are 14th on goal difference. 2 teams in drop zone on 23 points… how about that ****wit pundits?


  21. Slimani passes his medical. Also looks like Mbemba on his way to Fulham…? Pissed off by that. I liked Mbemba. ?? I think that leaves us light in defence.


  22. Dubai Toon:
    How important was saving our goal difference vs City now… 4 teams including us are 1 point above relegation zone on 24 points but we are 14th on goal difference. 2 teams in drop zone on 23 points… how about that ****wit pundits?

    DT: it is so close down there that that might be the difference. Last time we were relegated we were like minus 10 behind the Mackems on GD and we knew if we had the same points we were fcked. Everton rolled over and let them stroke their belly in the end but it might not be the same this time.


  23. This weekend a lot of teams down the bottom are playing each other. Not a time to lose as we’re one of them!


  24. Rafa clearly pissed off. Like he said, he wanted players early because we had games against Swansea and Burnley. It’s just like he knows how to do things and the club don’t listen.


  25. Yet another game we should have won easily. Usual panic at the end. Diame had a very good game. Yedlin poor and Atsu abysmal. Murphy who replaced him much better. Hope we haven’t lost Mbemba because Clark is poor at the moment defensively and passing.


  26. I can’t believe we let Mbemba leave. We did not get people in for that position how can we let him leave?!


  27. I know I probably need to find better things to be with my time, but I’ve looked though our fixtures & chances created –

    Hudds – 13 – L
    Forest – 29 – L
    W Ham – 17 – W
    Swans – 16 – W
    Stoke – 14 – W
    Brighton – 17 – L
    L’pool – 8 – D
    Saints – 19 – D
    Palace – 7 – W
    Burnley – 12 – L
    B’mth – 16 – L
    Man Utd – 12 – L
    Watford – 12 – L
    W Brom – 14 – D
    Chelsea – 8 – L
    Foxes – 10 – L
    Everton – 16 – L
    Arsenal – 10 – L
    W Ham – 11 – W
    Man City – 6 – L
    Brighton – 11 – D
    Stoke – 14 – W
    Luton – 33 – W
    Swans – 12 – D
    Man City – 6 – L
    Chelsea – 9 – L
    Burnley – 14 – D

    What I’m trying to highlight there is that in a large portion of our games so far this season, we have created plenty of opportunities to win at least 6-10 more points than we have now.
    I know we all know what the problem has been this season – a total lack of quality in front of goals – but to see that amount of chances created like that is nuts.


  28. Slimani in, but did we get that keeper too?.

    Mitrovic to Fulham – could that be a future sweetener for a Cairney deal with them?! ??‍♂️


  29. Sharpy – your stats just highlight how ridiculous our transfer budget has been. If we had spent £20m in the summer extra on a striker we’d probably be top 10 and ready to Bank another £130m next season.


  30. Does that fact we’ve only made loan signings give me false hope that the club could still be sold.
    Ashley hasn’t committed any of his money this window, so could that takeover be reignited or is that just wishful thinking?.


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