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Having drawn 0-0 at Wolves in the midweek game on Wednesday, it’s back on the road tomorrow, heading to the northeast and a trip to take on Newcastle at St. James’ Park. We beat them there in the League Cup earlier in the season, a game decided by a penalty shoot out, but we haven’t won a league game there since Peter Noble scored the only goal in a 1-0 win in April 1976, our last ever win in the old first division. It’s time to put that right; it’s time to go and beat them.

The draw at Wolves was the first time we’d kept a clean sheet in an away match in front of a crowd since the game at Newcastle in February 2020 which also ended goalless at a time when we were in a much more comfortable position in the table, the point meaning we dropped a place to ninth.

This time we go there in 18th place having won just once in our opening thirteen games. The draw at Wolves took us back above Norwich who had gone above us on the previous evening with a 1-1 draw at Newcastle who remain bottom with three points less than us.

We really do, as Sean Dyche has said, need to start turning draws into wins. We’ve lost just once in eight games but we’ve also only won one of them. We’ve drawn at home against both Norwich and Crystal Palace in that run while picking up points at Leicester, Southampton, Chelsea and Wolves.

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Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson has been available this season and has featured in all thirteen Premier League games, nine of them from the start. He said: “It’s a big game. It’s a big month though. We have a lot of games and we have to look at getting as many wins as possible and it starts on Saturday.

“It’s all about showing them good performances we have shown over the season, onto the pitch now with three points. We haven’t got enough of them this season, but we have been playing well, it’s just finding that balance of turning draws into wins.”

He played until the 72nd minute at Wolves before being replaced by Matěj Vydra and I’d expect him to start tomorrow. Nathan Collins and Jack Cork came in at Wolves and both played well, but I suspect they’ll give way to the returning James Tarkowski and Ashley Westwood who both sat the game out serving one match suspensions.

Unavailable for the Clarets are Ashley Barnes, Phil Bardsley and Dale Stephens. Barnes is going to be out for a while and Bardsley has a niggle according to Sean Dyche who also reported that Stephens was following COVID protocols.

They could be the only changes which would leave us lining up: Nick Pope, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Josh Brownhill, Ashley Westwood, Dwight McNeil, Chris Wood, Maxwel Cornet. Subs from: Wayne Hennessey, Will Norris, Connor Roberts, Nathan Collins, Kevin Long, Bobby Thomas, Erik Pieters, Jack Cork, Aaron Lennon, Jay Rodriguez, Matěj Vydra.

Newcastle have, since the start of the season, been sold and changed manager while still searching for their first win. Mike Ashley finally sold out to the Saudi backed consortium who allowed Steve Bruce one last game to reach a thousand as a manager and eventually appointed former Bournemouth and Burnley manager Eddie Howe.

Like us, they’ve drawn seven of their games but are still searching for a first win. They’ll get one, every team does, even Derby in 2007/08, ironically against Newcastle, but we don’t want to be the first team to lose to them.

They have four points from seven home games. They’ve picked up points at St. James’ Park against Southampton, Leeds, Brentford and Norwich while losing home games against West Ham, Spurs and Chelsea.

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The major threat usually comes from Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin and they’ve scored half of their league goals this season, Wilson with eight and Saint-Maximin with five.

Newcastle too have two players returning from a suspension. Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie (pictured above) both missed the draw with Norwich but can return although Ciaran Clark was sent off in that game and will sit this one out.

The Newcastle team against Norwich was: Martin Dúbravka, Javier Manquillo, Fabian Schär, Ciaran Clark, Jamal Lewis, Ryan Fraser, Jonjo Shelvey, Joe Willock, Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson, Joelinton. Subs: Karl Darlow, Emil Krafth, Federico Fernández, Isaac Hayden, Jeff Hendrick, Jacob Murphy, Sean Longstaff, Miguel Almirón, Dwight Gayle.

 

LAST TIME WE WERE THERE

 

It was our third game of the 2020/21 season. We’d lost 4-2 at Leicester in our first game before going down 1-0 at home to Southampton.

Things didn’t get any better for us with the home side winning 3-1 and by the end of the game it was a win that they very much deserved.

They went in front after just 14 minutes through Allan Saint-Maximin. He took it well but it should have been prevented. Nick Pope should have done better but we shouldn’t have allowed him to get a shot in.

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We offered precious little in the first half but came out after the break and dominated the game. Just past the hour we were level and rightly so with Ashley Westwood firing home on the volley after they’d headed out a Phil Bardsley cross.

I though we’d go on and win it at this point. We’d drawn level and were so much on top but it just didn’t happen. We immediately handed then initiative back to them and they were back in front four minutes later with Callum Wilson converting a Saint-Maximin cross.

A second Wilson goal, this one from the penalty spot after Pope had fouled Ryan Fraser, completed the scoring and we could have no complaints.

The teams were;

Newcastle: Karl Darlow, Emil Krafth, Fabian Schär (Javier Manquillo 55), Federico Fernández, Jamal Lewis, Jeff Hendrick, Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Allan Saint-Maximin (Ryan Fraser 73), Joelinton (Sean Longstaff 90+3), Callum Wilson. Subs not used: Mark Gillespie, Jacob Murphy, Miguel Almirόn, Andy Carroll.

Burnley: Nick Pope, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, James Tarkowski, Charlie Taylor, Josh Brownhill, Ashley Westwood, Dale Stephens (Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson 68), Dwight McNeil, Ashley Barnes (Matěj Vydra 78), Chris Wood. Subs not used: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Jimmy Dunne, Erik Pieters, Josh Benson, Robbie Brady.

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