Newcastle United vs Burnley
Venue: Saint James’ Park
TV: BT Sport 1
Referee: Craig Pawson
Burnley will look to continue their strong run of form as they travel to St James’ Park on Tuesday night to face a Newcastle side high on confidence after their three points against Huddersfield.
The Clarets beat Spurs in their last match in a landmark result for the other teams battling against relegation. The Clarets are unbeaten in their last eight league games and have taken points off Manchester United as well as Spurs in this run. Sean Dyche has got his team playing like they did a year ago and they now seem to be in the strongest position of all the teams from 14th down.
Newcastle are on a good run of form as well; they have lost only once in their last five league games, a 1-0 defeat to Spurs. Rafa Benitez has been linked with the recently vacant Leicester manager job but it appears that Brendan Rogers will fill the role. Having said this, if there is a chance that Benitez’s head has been turned than this may have an effect on his players.
A win for Newcastle would take them above Burnley and potentially Crystal Palace, if they were to lose their match to Manchester United, into 13th. For a manager who has had his hands tied behind his back as much as Benitez, this would be a great achievement and testament to his management nous.
When asked about squad fitness Benitez says that ‘almost everybody’s fit’. Jonjo Shelvey could be in contention to make his first start since January after struggling with a thigh issue. Benitez should also have Ki Sung-Yeung, Paul Dummett and Joselu to pick from as they make their way back from injury.
Ciaran Clark and Rob Elliot both remain sidelined for the Magpies and Benitez will be calling on his new record signing Miguel Almiron to get his first goal for his new club. The Paraguayan player has impressed in his two appearances in a Newcastle shirt but the fans and players alike will be hoping that he can start adding goals to his game.
Burnley have no new injury concerns to deal with. Steven Defour, Aaron Lennon, Sam Vokes, Jonathan Walters and Nahki Wells all remain out for the Clarets. Dyche will be able to call upon Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson after they made their return from injury as substitutes against Tottenham.
Much has been made of Tom Heaton’s fine form since returning to the Burnley goal. Their unbeaten run has coincided with his return, which whilst it has not been ideal for Joe Hart, his impact on the team cannot be understated.
Predicted Starting XIs
Newcastle (3-4-3): Dubravka; Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune; Yedlin, Hayden, Longstaff, Ritchie; Ayoze Perez, Almiron, Rondon
Burnley (4-4-2): Heaton; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Wood, Barnes
Score Prediction: Newcastle 1 Burnley 1
A draw would do very nicely for both teams this time around. They look to be fairly well matched so I think the points will be shared at St James’ Park.