Newcastle United will look to put further distance between themselves and the Premier League bottom three this weekend when they welcome 10th-place Burnley to Tyneside.
As it stands the Magpies are seven points above the relegation zone, but performances under Steve Bruce have flattered to deceive at times this season and they remain three wins away from the coveted 40-point safety mark.
Burnley were just creeping into relegation trouble around mid-January, but emphatic wins over Leicester City, Manchester United, Southampton and Bournemouth — as well as a draw with Arsenal — have seen them skyrocket into the top half of the table.
Read on for Newcastle vs Burnley preview, TV coverage information, team news and more.
When is Newcastle vs Burnley and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: St James’ Park
Date: Saturday, 29 February 2020
Kick-off: 3:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): N/A
Last five meetings: Newcastle vs Burnley
14 December 2019: Burnley 1-0 Newcastle (Premier League)
26 February 2019: Newcastle 2-0 Burnley (Premier League)
26 November 2018: Burnley 1-2 Newcastle (Premier League)
31 January 2018: Newcastle 1-1 Burnley (Premier League)
30 October 2017: Burnley 1-0 Newcastle (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: Newcastle (LWWDL) 5-4 Burnley (WLLDW)
Ones to watch
Newcastle: Allan Saint-Maximin
Newcastle are not the most prolific or clinical of sides. In fact, the Magpies have scored the joint-fewest goals in the Premier League this season (24), while also firing a blank in their previous three league outings.
If Bruce’s men are going to buck that worrying trend, then they will need their most potent and threatening forwards to up their game for the visit of Burnley. Arguably their most lethal weapon in the final third is summer arrival Allan Saint-Maximin, though he remains without a direct contribution since providing the assist in Newcastle’s 1-0 win over Chelsea last month. This game could be determined by whether the skilful Frenchman turns up.
Key stat: Saint-Maximin has completed over double the successful take-ons in the Premier League of any other Newcastle player this season (73).
Burnley: Matej Vydra
With Ashley Barnes missing the last six games after undergoing surgery on a hernia issue last month, Sean Dyche has had to look for a trusty source of goals elsewhere in his squad, and that has — more recently — come in the guise of forgotten man Matej Vydra.
The Czech castaway appeared on borrowed time at Turf Moor and was even mooted with a move away from the club in January, but Dyche retained the services of a forward he afforded just five league appearances before the New Year, and that decision has paid dividends as Vydra has netted in back-to-back games for the first time in two years.
Key stat: In eight Premier League appearances this season Vydra has two goals to his name and one assist.
The injury problems have been mounting up for Bruce in recent weeks but he could be set to welcome back Jonjo Shelvey, Christian Atsu and Javi Manquillo this weekend. Emil Krafth is also pushing for a return to full fitness but may not be risked on Saturday.
Elsewhere Valentino Lazaro will miss this match owing to the straight red card he picked up against Crystal Palace, while Ciaran Clark (ankle), Jack Colback (knee), Paul Dummett (thigh), Andy Carroll (groin) and Jetro Willems (ACL) all remain sidelined.
Confirmed XI: Dubravka; Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Rose; Shelvey, Hayden, Ritchie, Almiron; Joelinton, Gayle
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Despite strike duo Vydra and Jay Rodriguez providing the goods in recent weeks, Dyche will certainly be relieved to know Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes are nearing returns to full fitness. Both have a chance of making the matchday squad this weekend, pending late fitness tests, but given the form of Vydra and Rodriguez, Dyche will be in no mood to rush either forward back and risk further injury.
Confirmed XI: Pope; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Westwood, Cork, Hendrick, McNeil; Rodriguez, Vydra.
Certainly Newcastle have looked bereft of ideas going forward in recent times, but Bruce will be determined to put things right, meaning he could send out his side with more of an attacking impetus, which could yield a greater reward up-front.
Burnley have been in tremendous form of late, so they are certainly due an off-day and that could come against Newcastle, who will be desperate to widen the chasm between the relegation zone and their own standing in the table.