ENGLAND: Premier League
Time: 8:30 PM
Venue: St. James’ Park (Newcastle)
Midweek Premier League (PL) action kicks off with a basement battle as bottom of the standings Newcastle United host 19th-placed Norwich City, and despite their similar situations on paper, the two differ remarkably in form of late. For Newcastle, many thought the news of the takeover and the hiring of a different manager would galvanize a change of form, but with Eddie Howe’s first game in the dugout ending in a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal, Newcastle are still one of only two teams yet to keep a clean sheet this PL season.
They’re also still awaiting their first win, so the ‘Magpies’ are now on their longest ever winless run to start a league season. The St James’ Park faithful will be expecting a change of fortune here though, as the last time the home side on the day lost this particular H2H clash across any competition was January 1994 (W13, D5 since)!
Norwich will have something to say about that, especially as their 0-0 draw with Wolves over the weekend extended their mini PL undefeated streak to three outings (W2). In fact, the visitors last four game top-flight unbeaten run came back in February 2013 so the ‘Canaries’ will need to spread their wings here if they’re to continue their attempt to climb out of the relegation zone, but failing to net in five of their six away games shows why they’re the league’s lowest scorers.
New manager Dean Smith was appointed only a week after his counterpart Eddie Howe, but will be the one feeling more confident heading into their fourth managerial encounter (W1, L2), especially as the new Norwich boss has never experienced a PL defeat versus Newcastle (W3, D2).
Players to watch: Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin has scored five of his last seven PL goals at home, while Norwich’s only PL hat-trick since September 1993 was scored by current top-scorer Teemu Pukki against Newcastle during the 2019/20 season.
Newcastle’s form in last 5 matches: LDDLD.
Norwich’s form in last 5 matches: DWWLL.