At the beginning of the season, it would have been a surprise to many to see Burnley nearer the relegation zone than the top half, but the pressure of the Europa League has seen them struggle and their clash with Newcastle is very much a six-pointer at the foot of the table.
Burnley, seventh last season, have suffered from the early effects of European competition alongside a regression to the mean, but even then, a failure to win their first 11 must have caused a great deal of concern. Back to back wins, including a 4-0 success against Bournemouth, looked to have arrested the slump but they have not won in five since and a relegation struggle has become reality.
Newcastle are actually having a little revival of late, with Rafa Benitez’s men having scored a crucial pair of wins against top half sides (Bournemouth and Watford) before the International break at St James’ Park.
Their away record might temper the enthusiasm of some but upon closer inspection, it’s a tad unflattering to the Magpies. Their only two defeats on the road have come in Manchester (a 2-1 loss to City and 3-2 defeat to United) and their other three away league games have ended in 0-0 draws (at Cardiff, Crystal Palace and Southampton).
Benítez will be without left-back Paul Dummett but his side have generally been deep-lying and restrictive on the road, a strategy which has worked for them so far, and they will probably ask Burnley to break them down.
Burnley v Newcastle United
20:00 Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches*)
JAN 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Newcastle 1-1 Burnley
OCT 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Burnley 1-0 Newcastle
JAN 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Newcastle 3-3 Burnley
DEC 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Burnley 1-1 Newcastle
*Previous fixtures took place from 1983 onwards
The Clarets earned a much-needed point at Leicester two weeks ago when they were battered for 90 minutes (lost the shot count 22-6, the corner count 12-1) and that resilience might suggest a draw could be on the cards here especially with Newcastle’s lack of goals – they’ve scored only nine times in 12 Premier League games this season. Three of the last four games between the two have ended all square and neither manager would turn down that result tonight.
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