Burnley (H) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

If you thought the Norwich game was a must win, this is a game of monumental importance.

After our 10-men dug deep for a hard fought yet frustrating point against a side I’m sure we would’ve beaten with 11 on the field, we simply have to beat Burnley this weekend.

Who knows, Eddie Howe may be able to deliver a few earlier Christmas presents over the festive period, but you struggle to see how we’ll find wins against the likes of Leicester, Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd – teams we’ll face in our next four – if we can’t beat Norwich or Burnley at home.

Putting Tuesday’s frustrations aside and focusing on the positives, there’s plenty of reasons to believe we’ll have too much for Burnley.

We did the double over them last season and will have a real point to prove after they dumped us out of the Carabao Cup on penalties just a few months ago.

They’re also a side that have never got to grips with Allan Saint-Maximin – who has two goals and two assists in two Premier League meetings with the Clarets.

Callum Wilson is also available after avoiding his fifth yellow of the season in midweek – a player who scored twice in this fixture last season – while the return of Federico Fernandez and resurgence of Joelinton and Jonjo Shelvey also give us reasons to be hopeful ahead of this one.

They’ll throw balls into the box and be competitive all over the pitch, but if we defend as we did on Tuesday, arrive with the same determined attitude and find ways to hurt them like we have in recent meetings, I am confident we’ll come away with all three points.

It’s also worth noting that, for all the fears we’re as good as gone, we could be just THREE from safety if a win on Saturday is followed by defeats for Watford and Norwich – who play Man City and Spurs respectively.

Team news

Both Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie are back from one-game bans, however Federico Fernandez and Jamal Lewis could keep their places after rock solid displays on Tuesday.

Ciaran Clark is suspended after his red in midweek, while Paul Dummett and Elliot Anderson will be missing once again.

As for the visitors, Toon target James Tarkowski is back from a ban – as is first choice midfielder Ashley Westwood – however Phil Bardsley and Ashley Barnes have been ruled out with knocks.

Predicted line ups

(4-4-1-1): Dubravka – Manquillo, Schar, Fernandez, Lewis – Fraser, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin – Joelinton – Wilson.

(4-4-2): Pope – Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor – Gudmundsson, Brownhill, Westwood, McNeil – Corent, Wood.

The big question heading into this one is whether Lascelles or Ritchie return to the side after Fernandez and Lewis performed well in their absence on Tuesday.

There’s no way Fernandez can be left out after such a commanding display in midweek, yet Howe did talk up Lascelles in his pre-match press conference – a player who may be needed for his aerial ability alone against this big Burnley side.

With Schar’s ability to create from deep often key in winnable home games like these, it creates a potential headache for Howe. Who does he leave out? Or does he opt for a back three with attacking wing-backs out wide?

I think he may go with the former, on the basis Schar isn’t as good in the air as Lascelles and Fernandez – who will have their hands full with Wood – and also picked up a couple of heavy knocks on Tuesday. If he’s fully fit, however, I wouldn’t be surprised to see us play with a back three.

On the basis we stick with a four-man defence, I believe Lewis and Manquillo will keep their place, with Hayden replacing Willock in midfield.

Fraser also seems likely to be handed a start, as he was unlucky to be withdrawn straight after Clark’s red card on Tuesday.

Match prediction

Burnley are a very functional side who aren’t always pretty on the eye, yet they often make you work hard for a win.

That said, they never seem to like players who expose their lack of pace by running at them, meaning the likes of Saint-Maximin could do damage – providing he’s much more ‘at it’ than he’s been in recent weeks!

They’ll throw balls into the box, be direct and make it much more difficult for our defence than 10-man Norwich did on Tuesday, so it may take another improved defensive display to cope with McNeil’s superb deliveries, Wood’s aerial threat and the explosive Maxwell Cornet; who has scored four in his last five for the visitors.

The good news is, I do see us causing problems at the other end. They don’t often press, which could see Schar and Shelvey thrive, while Saint-Maximin could cause havoc if his recent meetings with Burnley are anything to go by.

We simply must win and I think we will.

Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Burnley


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!

38 thoughts on “Burnley (H) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

  1. I think the 11 is right, but I’d rather see Murphy in for Fraser – I’d also play him further forward and move Joelinton further back and go more 4-3-3.


  2. Not hopeful for this one, Burnley will be hard to break down. Of the two must wins, the Norwich one was the most likely and we all know we blew that early doors. Still you never know our luck has to change sometime and at some point we must surely win a game.


  3. So Lascelles is back and Fernandez on the bench. Shame. Miggy starts and Murphy on the bench. 442 by the looks of it … I have a bad feeling on this one…


  4. I will stop calling Joelinton Donkey but you have to admit 90% of his games for us have been shyte. There are actually excuses though. They tried to convert him into a number 9, which he is not. Then in the Bruce teams he was left on his own with absolutely no support and expected to bring down the hoofs and wait for players 30 yards away to catch up.

    Joe was Bruced which is why I see a lot of people wanting him to do well. He always tried. But he is not a centre forward. I think that is why most of us want to see him given another chance without the Bruce/Jones/Steves combo. Let us see if there is somethong there when he doesnt have **** coaches.


  5. Wham/Chelsea has been a pretty good game.

    Hope ours is as good and we get the win.

    Howay the Lads.


  6. I think that’s a big mistake going with Lascelles ahead of Fede. Fede was brilliant when he came in against Norwich. I think he’s showing too much respect to the likes of Clark & Lascelles. He might want to eventually bring Lascelles back – but he should be making him work!! He should have left Fede on and said the Lascelles ‘win your place back’.

    Will Lascelles step up and repay Howe? – hope so ??.


  7. Sharpy, Eddie may think Fede is a bit tired after the effort he put in on tuesday after not starting for so long. I agree though, would of liked to see him start .


  8. Football For All
    NEW: Michael Emenalo has rejected Newcastle United’s offer to become their director of football


  9. We need to get our foot on the ball here like. Burnley are running us ragged and bossing us.

    Let’s get going and get the crowd lifted.


  10. St James’ Park rises in the sixth minute with applause for Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

    Nice touch in memory of that poor little lad . 😥


  11. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, Eddie may think Fede is a bit tired after the effort he put in on tuesday after not starting for so long. I agree though, would of liked to see him start .

    Kim – Silva plays week in week out for Chelsea and he’s 37. That’s the first run out Fede has had this season.

    Burnley are bullying us here!!. We need to show some fight FFS.


  12. Sharpy but he hasn’t played for yonks mate, could get injured with two games so close that’s all i’m saying.


  13. Recruitment is going to be so important in January. We desperately need players with a bit of grit & determination about them – players who will step up in games like this!!. Burnley players better than ours, but to a man they play with more grit & determination.

    I know this is a huge game, but it needs our players to step up, not coast through it hoping for a goal on the break – when will we learn the opposition can’t score if they don’t have the ball


  14. ??? aye Alreet then ??? excellent finish Wilson!!!.

    Come on then!!! Keep them out til half time then take control of the second half!!.


  15. Gilly. It has been really even with quite a few mistakes from both sides. Good that we are ahead.

    I think we have the more skilled players though.


  16. We need to keep things tight in the second half. I think Burnley will come out hard so stop them for the first 10 mins and they’ll get frustrated I reckon.
    I think we’ll need to score again coz we don’t do clean sheet and I have zero confidence in Schar/Lascelles


  17. 1 nil to us is about right. Still a bit (A LOT) worried about our defense.

    We need a defensive mid desperately. Cant go 5 at the back again though.

    This game has been scrappy but still infinitely better than a Bruce/Jones bore-fest.


  18. It might not be the greatest game in the world, but you have to remember where we are coming from with these same players. We usually set up 8-0-2 and had 30% possession under Bruce/Jones. Then Graeme was given the best chance he would ever get in football and we had 25% possession against Palace and 21% against Chelsea.

    At least we are giving it a go, even if it is only against Burnley.


  19. What’s mad is we only have 1 win all season – and yet we are 2 wins off 11th spot – that’s how tight it is this season.

    Forget the 40 point thing – we just need to be 1 point better than 3 other teams this season. Everything is still on imo.


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