Brentford-Newcastle United Preview

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Eddie Howe intends to send out his players against Brentford with the intention of “making the city proud” as he takes charge of his first Newcastle United match.

Following a period of managerial uncertainty following the drawn-out sacking of Steve Bruce, Howe was named as Newcastle’s new boss on November 9.

Newcastle recently became the richest club in world football, but before they can even consider challenging for major titles, the Magpies first have to steer clear of relegation danger.

Saturday’s visit of Brentford to St James’ Park provides 19th-place United with the chance to get off the mark with their first win of the season in what is their 13th game in all competitions.

For former Bournemouth boss Howe, it is also an opportunity to showcase some of the attacking flair he was known for during his time at Bournemouth.

“I’d like to think you’ll see a Newcastle team playing in the way I want them to and a way befitting of what the Newcastle supporters want to see as well,” he said.

“How quickly we can get there? Well, we’ll see but I’d like to think you’ll see a team that’s playing for the shirt, the supporters and the badge and doing the team and the city proud.”

Brentford are seven points clear of Newcastle, and four above the relegation zone, but they have lost four in a row following on from a strong start to their first Premier League campaign.

Despite two more managers losing their jobs during the international break, Brentford boss Thomas Frank is not concerned about his future.

“It’s not easy but I think it is so important to stay composed, calm and do the things you believe in day in, day out,” he said.

“It’s important to keep all the noise out from the media, everyone else and inside my own head and trust in what you do.

“In terms of performances I think it has been really good, like seven or eight out of 10, and I’m very pleased with that.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Newcastle United – Ryan Fraser

Fraser is one of a trio of Newcastle players known by Howe from their time together at Bournemouth. The Scotland international left the Cherries under somewhat of a cloud, but the pair insist their relationship remains good. Howe certainly got the most out of Fraser in the 2018-19 season when the winger finished behind only Eden Hazard (15) for assists in the Premier League with 14 to his name.

Brentford – Ivan Toney

Toney has made a mockery of Newcastle’s decision to cash in on the striker for a small fee by scoring goals for fun at Peterborough United and then Brentford over the past three years. United supporters have become used to their former players coming back to haunt them down the years, with no team in Premier League history conceding more goals to a player that used to play for them (49).

KEY OPTA FACTS

– This is only the ninth ever league meeting between Newcastle United and Brentford and first in the top-flight – their last league encounter was in January 2017, a 2-1 win for the Magpies at Griffin Park in the Championship.

– Brentford have lost their last five away matches against Newcastle in all competitions, with these games coming between 1947 and 2016. Their one win at St James’ Park was in September 1934, a 5-2 win in the second-tier with Ernie Muttitt scoring a hat-trick.

– Newcastle are the only side without a win in the Premier League this season, with 11 games their longest run without victory from the start of any league campaign. However, the last two winless sides in the Premier League this season got their first victory against Brentford (Burnley on MD10, Norwich on MD11).

– Along with Watford, Newcastle are one of two sides without a clean sheet in the Premier League so far this season, while only Norwich (26) have conceded more than the Magpies so far (24).

– Brentford have lost each of their last four Premier League games, with the Bees last losing five consecutive league games back in December 2007 in League Two. Three of the five sides Brentford lost to in that run are no longer in the Football League (Macclesfield Town, Darlington and Grimsby Town).

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