Only a number of missed chances prevented Burnley having a mountain to climb at half-time of Saturday’s game with Aston Villa, as they failed to maintain the level they had reached in wins over Hull City and Stoke City.
But Sean Dyche’s men could have ended up winning it late on after drawing level through the talismanic Danny Ings from the penalty spot. That continued their improvement in fortunes, although every game at Turf Moor is crucial, so they must target victory here.
There was a little frustration in the Newcastle camp after their lengthy winning run came to an end at West Ham United, with boss Alan Pardew left to bemoan first half wastefulness and a careless sending off for stand-in captain Moussa Sissoko.
The absence of the Frenchman is a blow for this game after his outstanding recent displays, but Ayoze Perez has been a revelation in attack, while Sammy Ameobi finally seems to be fulfilling his potential on the wing.
Ahead of the first Premier League meeting between the sides, Burnley could still be without Michael Duff as Matt Taylor and Sam Vokes continue to be sidelined.
Newcastle have a sizeable injury list, with Tim Krul, Ryan Taylor, Gabriel Obertan and Davide Santon definitely out, while Fabricio Coloccini and Emmanuel Riviere are doubtful. Jack Colback joins Sissoko in serving a one-match ban.
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