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Newcastle vs Brentford predictions: Magpies to triumph in lively encounter
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Dan Sait
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Eddie Howe has been steadily going about his business as Newcastle boss
Eddie Howe has been steadily going about his business as Newcastle boss

Newcastle’s performances have deserved far more than their league position suggests, with a series of impressive displays producing an underwhelming set of results.

Last weekend, however, Eddie Howe’s men finally got the goals that their play has warranted, unleashing against a Fulham side who had previously shown up well against Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool but who simply could not live with Newcastle.

True, the Magpies had an extra man advantage for much of that match but a Cottagers outfit who had not conceded more than twice in any of their previous eight games of 2022-23 collapsed to a 4-1 defeat as Newcastle picked them off expertly.

This weekend’s visitors to St James’ Park will also feel that they deserve a few more points than they have managed to collect, with Brentford showing that last season’s impressive 13th-placed finish was no fluke by again ruffling feathers in 2022-23.

Just two wins from eight – no matter the nature of their 4-0 defeat of Manchester United and 5-2 victory over Leeds – seems scant reward for a side who have played some of the most entertaining and impressive Premier League football this season.

But the Bees will know that this weekend’s trip to the north east will be a true test of their progress as Howe’s men are starting to look serious contenders for the European places

Newcastle vs Brentford (Saturday, 3pm)

Team news

Both managers have several key players absent for this weekend’s clash.

Howe will be without striker Alexander Isak, midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, winger Matt Richie, right-back Emil Krafth and reserve goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

However, the Newcastle boss will be hopeful of getting livewire attacker Allan Saint-Maximin – who has not featured since picking up a hamstring strain at the end of August – back into the Magpies’ squad.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank is set to be without centre-backs Pontus Jansson and Ethan Pinnock.

Club captain Jansson was forced off with a hamstring injury against Bournemouth last weekend and while Pinnock is closing in on a return following a knee injury in April, he is likely to be short of full fitness.

Pontus Jansson is set to miss the trip to Tyneside
Pontus Jansson is set to miss the trip to Tyneside

Defensive midfielder Christian Norgaard is expected to be out until the end of October with an Achilles problem and young attacker Keane Lewis-Potter is out with ligament damage.

The stats

Newcastle have not lost a league game to Brentford since 1948 – albeit they have met only six times in the league in the last 74 years.

Last season the Magpies won 2-0 in west London in February, having previously drawn 3-3 at St James’ Park in a frantic match that saw both teams take a lead within the first 31 minutes of the match.

Prior to that, Newcastle won both Championship clashes in 2016-17 and also won both meetings in a 1992-93 campaign that saw the Magpies claiming the second-tier title while the Bees were relegated.

While Newcastle have got off to a slow start this season, with five draws keeping their points tally down, Howe’s men have lost only to Liverpool – twice – and Manchester City in their last 16 Premier League outings.

Brentford sit only a point behind the Magpies having compiled a very similar record to this weekend’s hosts. Frank’s men have also won only two of their eight league games but have four draws, having lost to both Fulham and Arsenal.

However, both teams have been the better side in the majority of their drawn matches.

Brentford dominated possession, shots and expected goals when settling for a point against Bournemouth and Everton, while Frank’s men were denied by the woodwork in added time in their 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

Newcastle will consider themselves even more unfortunate not to have turned three of their draws into wins, however. They outclassed Bournemouth 2.0-0.6 on expected goals, racked up a huge xG tally of 2.7 against Palace but could not score, and dominated Wolves with an expected goals outcome of 2.0-0.8.

Prediction

Both clubs will be harbouring a sense of what might have been, with both teams having played well enough to be right in the thick of the race for European places.

But while Brentford are an impressive outfit on their day, they have a bigger drop-off in quality than this weekend’s hosts when things are not quite clicking.

Howe will be hugely frustrated to have collected only 11 points this term. But the only match in which Newcastle have been outclassed came away at Brighton in the second weekend of the season – and the Magpies’ resilience against Graham Potter’s superbly drilled unit was encouraging in its own way.

The fact that Newcastle then went toe-to-toe with Manchester City in their thrilling 3-3 draw and followed up with a performance at Anfield that deserved so much more than a 98th-minute defeat shows how far Howe’s men have come.

Injuries continue to hinder Newcastle’s progress but the potential return of Saint-Maximin could provide a huge lift.

The Frenchman would further elevate a side already buoyed by last weekend’s impressive defeat of Fulham and Newcastle look a good bet at 13/8 to win a match featuring over 2.5 goals.

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Premier LeagueNewcastle UnitedBrentford
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