Quadruple Newcastle United blow confirmed as Eddie Howe frustrated by player’s ‘needless’ decision
Newcastle United picked up a third straight Premier League win by beating Burnley 2-0 at St James’ Park - here are five talking points from the match.
and live on Freeview channel 276
Eight changes as double Newcastle United doubt injury blow confirmed before kick-off
Following the 1-0 Carabao Cup win over Manchester City in midweek, Eddie Howe made eight changes to his Newcastle side for the return to Premier League action. Only Nick Pope, Jamaal Lascelles and Alexander Isak kept their place in the side from the match.
Pope’s place in goal was always secure but injuries to defender Sven Botman and Callum Wilson saw Lascelles and Isak start. It was Lascelles’ first-time leading Newcastle out at St James’ Park in the Premier League since February 2022.
Wilson was a doubt for the Burnley match with a hamstring injury and failed a late fitness test while Botman missed out due to a knee injury, but were both in attendance for the match at St James’ Park.
The Dutch defender will be sidelined until after the international break while Howe is hoping to see Wilson back available in time for the trip to West Ham United next Sunday (2pm kick-off).
Anthony Gordon suspended for ‘needless’ offence
One player who definitely won’t be available for the trip to West Ham is Anthony Gordon. The in-form winger picked up his fifth booking in only seven Premier League appearances this season for kicking the ball away after referee Thomas Bramall had awarded Burnley a free-kick in the early stages of the match.
No player has picked up more bookings than the 22-year-old in the Premier League this season with Howe expressing his frustration by describing the winger’s latest offence as ‘needless’ and a ‘killer blow’ heading into the trip to the London Stadium.
Fortunately, The Magpies will have Gordon available for the match against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday (8pm kick-off) but after that he faces almost three weeks without a Premier League match due to the international break.
As impressive as Gordon has been this season, the needless yellow cards are something he will have to cut out of his game with Newcastle’s squad already stretched as it is due to injuries.
Miguel Almiron quietly getting back to his best for Newcastle United?
Miguel Almiron stunned many Newcastle fans by scoring eight goals in nine Premier League matches between October and December last year. It was an unprecedented run of form for the winger who had scored just once the season prior.
Many cynically thought it was just a freak ‘flash in the pan’ run from the Paraguayan. And for the most part, those people would be proven right as Almiron scored just twice in his final 23 matches of the 2022-23 season and has largely struggled to rediscover the form that saw him win the Premier League Player of the Month award for October 2022.
But after scoring at Sheffield United last weekend, Almiron made it goals in back-to-back games with the type of finish that epitomised his stunning run of form just under 12-months ago. Kieran Trippier won the ball back well in the Burnley half, releasing Almiron to cut onto his left foot and curl the ball into the top left corner from the edge of the box to give Newcastle the lead.
And in a side where players like Trippier, Bruno Guimaraes, and Sean Longstaff are shining once again, Almiron is another who is proving his worth by flirting with the performance levels he hit last season.
A potential selection crisis for Eddie Howe at Newcastle following ‘huge blow’ for Joelinton
In addition to the aforementioned injuries to Wilson and Botman, as well as Gordon’s suspension, Newcastle suffered a fresh blow with Joelinton forced off just minutes after coming on.
The Brazilian had only just returned from a knee injury against Manchester City on Wednesday night and was a second half introduction against Burnley but only lasted four minutes before being taken off with a hamstring issue.
While it’s unclear at this stage just how long Joelinton will be sidelined for, Howe described it as potentially ‘a huge blow’ for his side as they continue to combat a busy fixture schedule.
“It looks like a hamstring and that would be a huge blow because we don’t want to lose him but we’ll wait and see,” The Magpies boss told The Gazette.
It also leaves Newcastle short of options in both the midfield and on the left-wing. Howe will likely have to consider Elliot Anderson or Jacob Murphy on the left at West Ham while a return from injury for Wilson could see top scorer Isak shifted out wide.
Newcastle’s impressive penalty record
The Magpies’ impressive record from the penalty spot continued on Saturday with Isak converting from 12-yards after Gordon was taken down by Ameen Al-Dakhil.
After missing an awkward open goal opportunity in the first half, the Swedish striker scored in his third consecutive match with the coolly converted second-half penalty taking his tally to five for the season.
It was the 12th successive penalty Newcastle have scored in the Premier League, a run stretching back to Joe Willock’s saved penalty against Manchester City in May 2021, though the midfielder did score from the rebound.
Since then, Fabian Schar, Chris Wood (twice), Wilson (five times) and now Isak (three times) have all successfully converted from the penalty spot in a Premier League match for The Magpies.
And Isak’s strike wrapped up another convincing win for United as they now head into their first Champions League match at St James’ Park in over 20 years in a fine run of form.
Howe’s side have won four and drawn one of their last five matches in all competitions without conceding.
While Saturday’s 2-0 win over Burnley came at the cost of losing Joelinton to injury, Newcastle have rediscovered their confidence and eye for goal that played a big part in helping them qualify for the Champions League with a fourth place finish last season.