The Magpies have lost 11 of their 12 games played on a Monday night and will want to put an end to combat that stat in this evening’s trip to Burnley (8pm)
Back to back home wins for Rafa Benitez’s side has seen them soar to a heady 15th in the Premier League table, level on points with Burnley, but ahead on goal difference.
While not exactly a six-pointer just yet – no-one will want to lose ground on their rival and get dragged into a relatively early, relegation dog-fight.
Home advantage can count for a lot in these ties, particularly among sides where goals are hard to come by. These aren’t the type of games that either side can afford to throw away either if they want to avoid being dragged into a relegation dog-fight the other side of C********.
The Lancashire side won this fixture 1-0 last season. And while Sean Dyche’s side have suffered a Europa League qualifying hangover and seen their excellent home form of last season desert them – Newcastle haven’t won on the road this season either.
Given Rafa Benitez’s pragmatism – this double-result option could be the smart play – despite the prohibitive odds.
We’re not expecting a goal bonanza though as Newcastle’s games this season have seen the fewest goals (24), with the Magpies scoring nine but conceding 15. Meanwhile, Burnley’s 4-0 win against Bournemouth was an outlier in a series of results, that has seen them either remain scoreless or score just one goal in their other four home ties.
The visitors two goals in that 3-2 defeat at Manchester United is the only time they’ve breached zero or a single goal on the road in the Premier League this term.
Burnley have opened the scoring in all four ties against Newcastle in the top tier, but we think the visitors would take avoiding defeat tonight, as another positive.
Injuries worries with captain Jamal Lascelles, midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and forward Yoshinori Muto all facing late fitness tests, will determine how Benitez sets up his team, but confidence has been raised off the dressing-room floor at least after back-to-back home wins.
The Magpies should have enough in the locker to rattle the onion bag at least once and match anything the home side throw at them.