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Player Ratings: Bournemouth 1-4 Newcastle

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Newcastle United continued their great form since the restart winning 4-1 away at Bournemouth last night.

The Magpies dominated from start to finish. The away side went ahead after five minutes after Dwight Gayle latched onto a Saint-Maximin pass.

The Frenchman played a crucial role in the 30th minute as some great trickery allowed Sean Longstaff to double their lead. 

The second half started as the first half had ended. Saint-Maximin registered his third assist of the night when he played through substitute Miguel Almiron.

If the game was not over then, then it was in the 77th minute after Valentino Lazaro made it 4-0.

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Bournemouth did manage to score consolation goal with former Magpie Dan Gosling scoring four-minute into stoppage time.

Next up for Newcastle sees them return to St. James’ Park to face West Ham United on Sunday. 

Player Ratings

GK: Martin Dubravka – 7 

Made several good saves throughout the game. The only downside was conceding the goal but most of that blame lies with his defence.

RB: Emil Kraft – 7

A surprise inclusion in the starting XI. First game since January and looked very solid.

CB: Jamaal Lascelles – 8

A typical captains performance. Put his body on the line and kept his teammates in check.

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CB: Federico Fernandez – 7

Looked solid throughout the game. Seems to be forming a nice partnership with Lascelles.

LB: Javier Manquillo – 7

Swapped from RB to LB for this game but the positional change did not prevent another good performance.

CM: Jonjo Shelvey – 8

His best performance since the restart. Looked like a training session for him at times.

CM: Nabil Bentaleb – 6

Sloppy in possession at times

CAM: Sean Longstaff – 8

Got himself on the score sheet. Unfortunate to go off after 33 minutes with a hamstring injury.

RM: Allan Saint-Maximin – 9

Running out of words to describe him. Three assists last night and looked like something would happen every time he gets the ball.

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LM: Joelinton – 7

Played in an unfamiliar position. Help the ball up well and looked a threat on both wings.

ST: Dwight Gayle – 8 

2 goals in 2 games for the striker now. Level with Joelinton for goals in the league which could see him get more minutes.

Substitutions 

Miguel Almiron -> Sean Longstaff (30th minute) – 7 

Made the right impact off the bench. Scored the third goal to put the game to bed.

Andy Carroll -> Dwight Gayle (62nd minute) – 6 

Held the ball up well when he came on. Had a chance to score late on

Valentino Lazaro -> Allan Saint-Maximin (62nd minute) – 7 

Similar to Gayle he made the right impact off the bench grabbing his first goal for the club.

Isaac Hayden -> Joelinton (72nd minute) – 6

Kept things tidy when he came on. Missed a certain goal from eight yards out.

DeAndre Yedlin -> Javier Manquillo (73rd minute) – 5 

Used his pace to affect against a tiring Bournemouth side.

Five strikers that NUFC should target

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It has been clear to see that since the retirement of club hero Alan Shearer that Newcastle have lacked a goalscorer.

Since his retirement in 2006, the Magpies have had six no.9s that have failed to live up to the number.

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Obafemi Martins, Andy Carroll, Papiss Demba Cisse, Dwight Gayle, Salomon Rondon and Joelinton have all found it hard.

To put it into context Shearer scored 148 goals in 303 Premier League appearances for the Magpies. Whilst the six that have followed have only managed 96 goals in 350 Premier appearances.

Shearer – 148G in 303A = 2.04 goals a game on average

Six players since – 96G in 350A = 0.34 goals a game

The need for a striker has never been more evident than in this current Premier League season. This season Newcastle’s top goalscorer is Jonjo Shelvey with five goals, whilst Carroll, Gayle and Joelinton have three goals combined.

With a natural goalscorer in the side, Newcastle’s league position could have looked very different than now. The Magpies have lost 12 games this season but five of those have been by only one goal whilst also drawing nine games.

The rumoured take over from the Saudi-led consortium could lead to high profile strikers being a target. But for now, I have shortlisted five strikers who Newcastle should look at with or without the takeover.

Donyell Malen

The PSV Eindhoven and Holland striker has had a breakout season this year. The 21-year-old has scored 17 goals in 25 games (all competitions) with 11 of those coming in 14 Eredivisie games.

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The highlight of his season came against Vitesse where he scored all five goals in a 5-0 win at home.

Marcus Thuram

The son of World Cup winner Lillian, has taken the Bundesliga by storm since his move to Borussia Mönchengladbach. The speedy Frenchman built at 6″4′ has proved his level of versatility at the age of 22.

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He has scored 14 goals and assisted nine times in 39 games (all competitions) and whilst those stats might not say ‘superstar’ 17 of those games he played as a left-winger.

Moussa Dembele

The Frenchman has been scoring goals for fun since he joined Celtic in 2016. That caught the attention of Lyon who paid around £19 million for him in August 2018. Since the move to Ligue 1, Dembele has scored 31 goals and assisted seven times in his 60 league games.

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The downside may be the transfer fee that Lyon will demand. But when you consider Newcastle willingly spent £40 million on Joelinton, to spend the same or maybe less on Dembele seems a no brainer. 

Alfredo Morelos

The Colombian has been nothing short of box office since his move to Rangers in 2017. The striker nicknamed ‘El Bufalo’ because of his playing style is one of the reasons that Steven Gerrard’s side has bridged the gap to Celtic.

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He has scored 43 goals and assisted 17 times in 84 league games. However, it is his discipline that will be a concern if a move was to happen. He been booked 17 times and has been sent off six times in the league. 

Tammy Abraham

This is probably the most interesting one. With Chelsea having faced a transfer ban, Abraham was finally given his chance at Stamford Bridge. 

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Abraham has grabbed that chance scoring 13 goals in 27 games in the league this season. However, first-team action may be limited for him with Chelsea signing Timo Werner from RB Leipzig

A loan move with an obligatory to buy maybe the perfect deal for the Magpies.

Match Preview: Bournemouth vs Newcastle

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Newcastle United will travel to the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday night to play relegation-threatened Bournemouth. 

A win for the away side could put them just two points behind Crystal Palace in 11th place.

Sunday night saw Newcastle exit the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage losing 2-0 to Manchester City. The home side had played with their backs against the wall for the majority of the game. A Kevin De Bruyne penalty put City 1-0 up just before half time and Raheem Sterling wrapped the game up in the 68th minute. The big chance for Newcastle fell to Dwight Gayle who failed to score from six-yards out with the score a 1-0.

Bournemouth’s last game was away at Wolves last Wednesday where they suffered another defeat losing 1-0. The game was level until the 60th minute when Raul Jiménez headed home. The Cherries failed to register a goal on target for the 90 minutes

The reverse fixture between these two sides saw Newcastle come from a goal down to win 2-1 at St James’ Park. Unlikely goals from DeAndre Yedlin and Ciaran Clarke completed the comeback after going behind to a Harry Wilson goal.

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Interestingly, Newcastle are now undefeated in their last four league games (2W,2D) and they will look to continue that.

Bournemouth are on a worrying run of results. Eddie Howe’s men have failed to win any of their last six fixtures (1D,5D). In those six games, they only managed to score four-goal which is a concern. The only positive for Bournemouth is that the teams around them are in the same form as well.

The team news for Bournemouth sees striker Callum Wilson miss the game through suspension. The England international picked up his 10th yellow card. That should see Joshua King recalled the starting XI after missing the defeat away to Wolves. Whilst Danish midfielder Philip Billing will face a fitness test for a dead leg he picked up in their last game.

The team news for Newcastle sees a late fitness test for Matt Ritchie who missed the FA Cup defeat to City with a hamstring injury. However, first-team regulars Martin Dubravka, Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton should return to the starting XI. The manager Steve Bruce decided to rest key player for that FA Cup defeat.

Bournemouth team prediction: Ramsdale; Stacey, S Cook, Ake, Smith; Brooks, L Cook, Lerma, Billing, Stanislas; King

Newcastle team prediction: Dubravka; Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose; Almiron, Shelvey, S Longstaff, Hayden, Saint-Maximin; Joelinton

Player Ratings: Newcastle 0-2 Manchester City

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Newcastle United’s FA Cup run came to an end after losing 2-0 to Manchester City.

The first half belonged to the away side with Pep Guardiola’s men dictating the game with 82% possession. The home side just could not get a foot on the ball. As the half went on the home side managed to weather the storm but desperately needed to get in at half time level.

But on the 36th-minute centre back Fabian Schar gave away a penalty after bringing down Gabriel Jesus. That led to Kevin De Bruyne putting his side 1-0 up from the spot.

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The home side did improve in the second half as they looked for an equaliser. Their biggest moment fell to substitute Dwight Gayle. The striker found himself unmarked from a Saint-Maximin cross only to miss the target from six-yards out.

That proved decisive as within two minutes Raheem Sterling found the bottom corner to wrap the game up for Manchester City. The away side still managed to create more chances as Newcastle found it impossible to find a way back.

Next up for Newcastle is an away trip to relegation-threatened Bournemouth on Wednesday evening.

Player Ratings 

GK: Karl Darlow – 7 

Surprising selection ahead of Dubravka. Made some good saves to stop Sterling early on. Had no chance with the penalty.

RB: Javier Manquillo – 5

Spent most of the evening chasing Raheem Sterling. Could not make an impact going forward.

CB: Fabian Schar – 4

An evening to forget for Schar. Gave away the penalty and was very sloppy in procession.

CB: Jamaal Lascelles – 5 

Dug in deep this evening. The change to a back three did not seem to help.

CB: Federico Fernandez – 5

Not a great performance tonight. He was second best to almost every ball.

LB: Danny Rose – 6

Probably Newcastle’s best defender on the night. Looked solid down the left-hand side.

RM: Allan Saint-Maximin – 7

Always looked to dribble at his opponents at every given chance. He created the home side’s best chance of the game.

CM: Sean Longstaff – 5 

Not the easiest game to make your comeback from injury. Game passed him by at times.

CM: Isaac Hayden – 4

Full of running but could not offer anything on either end of the pitch.

LM: Miguel Almiron – 4 

Man City’s possession game led to very little for the winger.

ST: Andy Carroll – 5

A frustrating evening for the Geordie. Lack of service led to the striker receiving a yellow card after taking his frustration out on Laporte.

Substitutions – requires longer than 15 minutes to receive a rating*

Dwight Gayle -> Andy Carroll (64th minute) – 4

Missed the game-changing opportunity. Has to be scoring those chances.

Joelinton -> Miguel Almiron (65th minute) – 3

Sent on to make a change. Ended up hardly touching the ball

DeAndre Yedlin -> Allan Saint-Maximin (74th minute) – 4

Made a few blocks.

Valentino Lazaro -> Danny Rose (75 minute) – 4

Left with very little time to have any impact on the game.

Matty Longstaff -> Isaac Hayden (79th minute) – N/A*

Match Preview: Newcastle vs Manchester City

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Newcastle United will welcome Manchester City to St. James’ Park tomorrow in the FA Cup quarter-final.

Both sides will be looking to make it through to the semi-finals and a chance to play at Wembley. 

Wednesday night saw Newcastle draw 1-1 at home to Aston Villa. The home side failed to hold onto a 1-0 lead with Villa scoring in the 83rd minute. A win for the home side would have seen them go one point behind ninth-placed Arsenal.

Thursday night saw Manchester City officially lose the title to Liverpool after losing 2-1 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The away side dominated the possession, but their defensive frailties cost them again as it has for most of the season. A Benjamin Mendy error allowed Christian Pulisic to go through one on one and slot past Ederson in goal. Then a save by Fernandinho on the line which any keeper would have been proud to make allowed Willian to make it two for Chelsea. Kevin De Bruyne scored a spectacular freekick to give City hope of being champions for one more week. 

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The sides have met once in the league already with a late Jonjo Shelvey goal earning Newcastle a point at home in a 2-2 draw

Newcastle come into this game in good form winning two and drawing two of their last four league games. Interestingly, Newcastle have not lost at St James’ Park since New Year’s day, losing 3-0 to Leicester City.

The big question regarding City is how will they respond to losing the title which had been theirs for the last two seasons. They should be confident of winning the competition after beating Watford 6-0 in the final last year.

The team news for Newcastle seems them without both Matty and Sean Longstaff again as the brother recover from injury. Both Matt Ritchie and Isaac Hayden will face late fitness test after picking up knocks midweek. Whilst Algerian midfielder Nabil Bentaleb will miss the game through suspension. 

The team news for Manchester City sees them without Fernandinho who’s ban carries over into the competition. They will be without Sergio Aguero through injury which could open the door for Gabriel Jesus to return to the starting XI. Another player who could return to the starting line up is Phil Foden, who will be looking to return from a dead leg.

Newcastle team prediction: Dubravka; Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose; Almiron, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin; Gayle

Manchester City team prediction: Ederson; Cancelo, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, D Silva; Bernardo, Jesus, Sane

Player Ratings: Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa

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Newcastle continued their unbeaten run in the league but will see it more as two points dropped.

The home side surrendered a 1-0 lead to draw 1-1 against Aston Villa.

The two sides went in level at half time. The biggest chance for the home side saw Joelinton’s goal-bound shot blocked by Tyrone Mings. However, they were fortunate not to go behind after Trezeguet missed a big chance at the back post after being left unmarked. 

The home side did find the breakthrough after substitutes Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle combined on the 68th minute. It was Gayle’s first goal in the league this season. 

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The away side then started to throw everything at Newcastle. A Conor Hourihane corner was flicked on by Ahmed Elmohamady and founds its way into the goal. 

Next up for Newcastle United sees them face Manchester City at home in the FA Cup on Sunday evening.

Player Ratings

GK: Martin Dubravka – 6 

Did not have too many saves to make. Will be disappointed with the Villa equaliser 

RB: Javier Manquillo – 6

Another solid performance from the Spaniard. Produced some decent crosses throughout the game.

CB: Jamaal Lascelles – 6 

Another good display from the captain. Did not back out of any challenges with three blocks.

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CB: Federico Fernandez – 8

Fantastic display from the Argentinian. Cleared everything that came his way and was vital in dealing with aerial threats.

LB: Danny Rose -6 

Another good display from Rose. Looked to be getting sharper, still lacking going forward.

RM: Matt Ritchie – 6

Slight performance dip from the weekend. Ran tirelessly but eventually ran out of steam. Tested Villa keeper Ørjan Nyland with a well-struck shot but was saved.

CM: Isaac Hayden – 6

Full of running yet again. Worked hard for the team.

CM: Jonjo Shelvey – 6

Not as effective as we know he can be. Still a decent showing.

RM: Allan Saint-Maximin – 7

Looks like a great bit of business from the Magpies. Always looks a threat, came close to scoring a wonderful solo goal.

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CAM/CF: Miguel Almiron – 6

Ran in between the lines well but a lack of service led to a quiet game for the South American.

ST: Joelinton – 5

Had a great chance in the 38th minute that was superbly blocked. Very little impact on the game apart from that chance. Subbed off in the 64th minute.

Substitutions – requires longer than 15 minutes to receive a rating*

Andy Carroll -> Joelinton (64th minutes) – 7

Made an impact when coming on. Provided his fifth assist since his move last summer.

Dwight Gayle -> Matt Ritchie (67th minute) – 7

Calm finish from Gayle, who scored his first in the league this season. Sadly, it did not turn out to be the winner

Nabil Bentaleb -> Isaac Hayden (86th minute) – N/A*

Valentin Lazaro -> Miguel Almiron (86th minute) – N/A*

Match Preview: Newcastle United vs Aston Villa

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Allan Saint-Maximin
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Newcastle United welcome Aston Villa to St. James’ Park on Wednesday night for their second game since the restart.

A win for Newcastle could see them push up the league into the top half. Whilst Villa desperately need points in their battle to avoid the drop.

Sunday afternoon saw Newcastle cruise to 3-0 victory over Sheffield United. Goals from Saint-Maximin, Matt Ritchie and Joelinton secured the emphatic win for the home side.

The sending off of Blades defender John Egan was the game-changer. With all three goals coming after the sending off.

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Sunday afternoon also saw Aston Villa surrender a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to Chelsea and lose an important three-points. The home side went ahead thanks to Kortney Hause capitalising on some poor defending to put his side 1-0 before half time. Then in the space of two minutes, Villa fell apart. Goals from substitute Christian Pulisic and then Frenchman Oliver Giroud capped a two-minute turn around for the away side. 

The reverse fixture between the two sides saw Newcastle fall to a 2-0 defeat away at Villa Park

This game could prove to be a perfect opportunity for Newcastle to win three games in a row for the first time under Steve Bruce.

Aston Villa are currently on a run of six games without a win. The away side have the second-worst away record in the league (2W, 2D, 11L).

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The team news for Newcastle sees Matty and Sean Longstaff as the home sides only injury concerns. The two brothers missed out at the weekend and this game may be too soon as well. The only selection headache for Steve Bruce maybe at right-back after Javier Manquillo impressed in place of DeAndre Yedlin.

The team news for Aston Villa sees long term absentees Bjorn Engles, Fredric Guilbert, Tom Heaton and Wesley still unavailable. Midfielder Danny Drinkwater is close to a comeback but this game may be too soon.

Newcastle team prediction: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose; Ritchie, Shelvey, Hayden, Saint-Maximin; Almiron; Joelinton 

Aston Villa team prediction: Nyland; Konsa, Hause, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Nakamba, Hourihane; El Ghazi, Samatta, Grealish

Player Ratings: Newcastle vs Sheffield United

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Newcastle United started where they left off before the restart winning 3-0 at home against Sheffield United.

The win for the home side has seen them now record back to back wins for the first time this calendar year.

The two sides went in level at half time with the score at 0-0. The biggest chance of the first half fell to Joelinton. The Brazilian striker went through one on one with the keeper only to scuff his chance. 

The second half started as even as the first half only for Sheffield United defender John Egan see a second yellow card for a shirt pull. That would prove to be the game-changer with Saint-Maximin scoring five minutes later from a Matt Ritchie cross. 

Ritchie then went from provider to goalscorer, he picked the ball up from just outside the box and unleashed a bullet that gave Henderson no chance. If the game wasn’t over then it was in the 78th minute. Joelinton made up for his earlier miss by getting onto the end of an Almiron cross to wrap the game up.

Player Ratings

GK: Martin Dubravka – 7

The Slovakian was never troubled today. He did the basics right and will hope he has a few more games like this during the rest of the season.

RB: Javier Manquillo – 7

Looked very comfortable today. Kept Stevens very quiet and managed to get forward and support his teammates when required. Only loss of concentration was when he let Billy Sharp get beyond him with the score at 1-0. 

CB: Jamaal Lascelles – 7

Solid Captains performance at the back today. Very strong in the air and looked comfortable with the ball at his feet.

CB: Frederico Fernandez – 7

Identical performance to his centre back partner. Did not put a foot wrong in the game and looked solid.

LB: Danny Rose – 7 

Looked very assured at the back today. Tended to hit the long pass instead of looking to play it short. Overall solid game

RM: Matt Ritchie – 9 – Man of the match

Very good day at the office for the Scottish winger. Always involved with anything in the game. Set up Saint-Maximin for the first goal, then produced a rocket to get himself on the scoresheet. 

CM: Isaac Hayden – 8 

Full of running in the midfield. Got himself an assist, setting up Ritchie for his sides second.

CM: Jonjo Shelvey – 7 

A decent performance from the Englishman. Very rarely gave away possession.

RM: Allan Saint-Maximin – 8

Top performance today from the Frenchman. Always looking to run with the ball and caused problems with his dribbling and pace throughout. Got himself on the scoresheet and a nice goal.

CAM/CF: Miguel Almiron – 8

Caused Sheffield United problems all game with his running between the line and constant pressing. Got himself an assist with a lovely ball to Joelinton to make it 3-0

ST: Joelinton -8

Showed great character to come back from the miss in the first half. Lovely link-up place with Almiron to put the game to bed. His first goal at St. James’ Park should do his confidence the world of good.

Substitutions – requires longer than 15 minutes to receive a rating*

Andy Carroll -> Joelinton (79th minute)

Nabil Bentaleb -> Saint-Maximin (79th minute)

Valentino Lazaro -> Almiron (85th minute)

Fabian Schar -> Shelvey (85th minute)

DeAndre Yedlin -> Ritchie (90+2 minute)

Match Preview: Newcastle vs Sheffield United

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Finally, after 100 days from the last game, the Premier League was back on Wednesday night. Newcastle United will welcome Sheffield United to St. James’ Park this Sunday. This will be Newcastle’s first game at home since 29th February where they drew 0-0 against Burnley.

The big news throughout lockdown for Newcastle United has been the negotiations between Mike Ashley and the Saudi-led consortium. Many fans will have hoped the takeover would have been complete by the time the season resumed.

The deal looks like it will need more time before it can be confirmed. 

Looking at this weekend’s opponents, Wednesday night saw Sheffield United draw 0-0 away at Aston Villa.

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However, the away side was on the end of a technical glitch. Goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland stumbled over the line with the ball in his hands from an Oliver Norwood free-kick. Referee Michael Oliver’s watch failed to signal that be ball had crossed the line which ultimately cost Sheffield United the three points.

The reverse fixture between these two sides saw Newcastle leave Bramall Lane with all three points in a 2-0 win. Goals from Saint-Maximin and Shelvey were enough for the Magpies to get the win.

A victory in Newcastle’s last game away at Southampton will mean that a win this weekend will see them win back to back games for the first time this calendar year. 

Sheffield United will look to continue their recent form of five games without defeat since their last defeat to Manchester City.

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The away side also have the 7th best away record in the Premier League, picking up 20 points so far.

The team news for Newcastle sees both Matty and Sean Longstaff face last fitness tests. While Dwight Gayle and Kieran Clarke will both be out with knee and ankle injuries. Some good news though as Martin Dubravka has used the break to recover from his injury.

Whilst Danny Rose, Valentino Lazaro and Nabil Bentaleb have all had their loans extended. 

For Sheffield United, they will be hoping that both Jack O’Connell and John Fleck will be available after missing the game against Aston Villa.

Newcastle team prediction: Dubravka; Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose; Ritchie, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin; Joelinton, Almiron

Sheffield United team prediction: Henderson; Basham, Egan, O’Connell; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; McBurnie, Sharp

Newcastle eye up move for Michy Batshuayi

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Newcastle United have identified Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi as a potential transfer target according to the Daily Mirror. 

The Belgian forward has had a mixed time at Stamford Bridge going from scoring the goal that secured the Premier League title in 2017 to being sent out on loan to three separate clubs.

It is now thought that Batshuayi is one of a list of transfer targets being considered by the Toon but they will face competition from West Ham and his former club Crystal Palace for his signature. 

Chelsea have reportedly set a £40m asking price for Batshuayi who has scored 25 goals in 77 appearances for the Blues since signing for the London club in 2016.

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This means that Newcastle will have to wait until their long-awaited takeover is complete before making their move as it is unlikely a transfer for this amount of money will be sanctioned while Mike Ashley is still at the helm. 

What went wrong at Chelsea?

With Chelsea set to secure the services of Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, Batshuayi has found himself surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.

Having already fallen behind Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud in the pecking order the addition of a world-class forward like Werner has meant that he is unlikely to get many opportunities at the club.     

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Batshuayi joined the Blues after an impressive spell in France that saw him net 23 goals for Marseille in the 2015/16 season.

Chelsea paid the French club £33m for his services and he continued his good form at Euro 2016 and was on the scoresheet for Belgium in their 4-0 drubbing of Hungary.

Following the tournament, he started life in England fairly comfortably. His engaging and charismatic off-the-pitch persona in interviews and on social media quickly endeared ‘The Batman’ to Chelsea faithful.

And Batshuayi contributed on the pitch too. While Diego Costa was Chelsea’s main striker Batshuayi chipped in with nine goals throughout the season as they became champions under Antonio Conte. 

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This included the goal that sealed the Premier League title in a win over West Brom. 

However, he failed to make much of an impact after this. He scored just twice in the league the following season and found himself on loan in Germany with Borussia Dortmund for the second half of the campaign. 

Loan spells at Valencia and Crystal Palace followed in 2018/19 and while he scored goals he was unable to convince either club that he was worth investing in long-term.

This season felt like now or never for Batshuayi at Chelsea. A new regime under Frank Lampard meant a clean slate for everyone. 

But the emergence of Abraham and experience of Giroud has meant he’s been restricted of opportunities.

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Scoring the winner against Ajax in the Champions League did him no harm but with just a solitary Premier League goal to his name the writing was on the wall.

Batshuayi at Newcastle?

With Batshuayi clearly needing a new challenge a move to Newcastle may just suit all parties. 

If the takeover does, as expected, get over the line then he will be joining a very different Newcastle to the one that we’ve been used to over the last decade or so. 

The club will have the financial backing to challenge the top six and be able to attract a different caliber of footballer. As has been evidenced with the list of players they’ve recently been linked with. 

Newcastle fans are well known for worshipping their forwards. While he can add width if necessary Batshuayi strengths lie in the central striker role. A position Newcastle has failed to competently fill recently. 

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A quick look at their current squad shows just one Premier League goal from an out and out striker. This goal came from summer signing Joelinton when he netted the winner against Tottenham in August but since then he’s been devoid of confidence and quality. 

In the Premier League, Newcastle’s top scorer is Jonjo Shelvey with five showing that goalscoring is one of the Toon’s biggest areas of improvement.

While Batshuayi has struggled to make his mark at Chelsea he knows where the goal is and a move to the North-East may be the fresh start he needs.