Having had two weeks to reflect on their mauling at Manchester City, bottom of the table Newcastle United will be going all out for their first league win of the season against Norwich City.
It did not start badly for the Magpies at the Etihad Stadium, where they went ahead and had the title hopefuls rattled for a time in which their lead could have been extended. However, they caved in to the brilliance of Sergio Aguero, with the defence just collapsing and losing all belief as the goals flew in with regularity in a 23-minute spell either side of half-time. They have had plenty of time to dwell on that result, but the club’s army of supporters will be expecting a rousing response here.
This encounter will be far from straightforward, but if they can keep things tight at the back Newcastle to possess a threat going forward. Big-money summer signing Aleksandar Mitrovic seems to have found his feet and is becoming a powerful presence for opposition defences to deal with, so the service in to him must be accurate from the wide areas. If they toil again, the crowd may be quick to turn against their side.
Which will play into the hands of Norwich, who have already won handsomely in the North East this season, dispatching Sunderland with minimal fuss back in August and have generally looked full of energy going forward ever since they achieved promotion back to the top-flight. That said, they were perhaps outdone in that department by Leicester City last time out, so here Alex Neil’s men will be determined to win for the first time in four league outings.
It will be up to Cameron Jerome to seize upon any mistakes from what is bound to be a nervy Newcastle defence, with the striker looking to improve of his record of just one league goal this season so far. The men in form are to be found in wide areas, with Robbie Brady proving himself an effective close-season acquisition while Nathan Redmond is causing multiple problems with his trickery, and was at it again for the England U-21s in the week.
During the week, Newcastle were hit by the news that goalkeeper Tim Krul will be out for the remainder of the season, so Rob Elliot will deputise. On the bright side, Jack Colback, Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara could all return.
Wes Hoolahan has recovered from a heel problem he sustained against Leicester, and while Gary Hooper is back in training after injury, he will not be able to play a part here.
Last Meeting: Newcastle picked up a third successive win in November 2013 by exploiting the many vulnerabilities which existed in the away defence, going ahead inside two minutes thanks to Loic Remy’s back post header. The second arrived seven minutes before the break as Yoann Gouffran tucked home a rebound from close range, and they held on for victory despite Leroy Fer’s headed consolation.
Played for both – Ruel Fox: A familiar face during the early years of the Premier League, Fox began his career at Norwich in 1986 and stayed for eight years, helping them to third place in 1992-93. He left for Newcastle late in the following campaign, and there he netted 12 times in 58 league appearances before moving on in October 1995.
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