Fri 15 Sept 2023, 12:26 by NUFC News

Newcastle United vs. Brentford: Premier League gameweek 5 match preview

Newcastle United vs. Brentford: Premier League gameweek 5 match preview
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Eddie Howe and Newcastle United welcome Thomas Frank and Brentford to St. James' Park for the fifth game of the 2023/24 Premier League season on Saturday evening.

The fixture is set to be broadcast by Sky Sports, as Newcastle look to get their campaign back on track following three successive losses.

Kick-off is at 5.30 p.m. BST and the Magpies are looking to bounce back from the disappointing 3-1 defeat suffered at Brighton two weeks ago.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the first whistle, with all of the very latest team news, broadcast information, a predicted score, and more.

What's the latest team news?

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George Wood/Getty Images

The big story from Howe's pre-match press conference was that Sandro Tonali is extremely doubtful, having returned from international duty with Italy nursing a "slight thigh strain".

Sven Botman looks set to return from the ankle injury that ruled him out of the disappointing loss at Brighton, though, while Elliot Anderson is fine having pulled out of international duty with Scotland due to "injury".

Joe Willock (achilles) has suffered a new injury during his recovery from his hamstring trouble and will now not return to full training until mid-October at the earliest, though Emil Krafth (knee) is making good progress and is still on track for an October return.

Newcastle United Squad

Goalkeepers: Nick Pope, Martin Dúbravka, Loris Karius, Mark Gillespie

Defenders: Kieran Trippier, Tino Livramento, Javier Manquillo, Fabian Schär, Jamaal Lascelles, Sven Botman, Paul Dummett, Dan Burn, Matt Targett, Lewis Hall

Midfielders: Sandro Tonali*, Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimarães, Lewis Miley, Joelinton, Elliot Anderson, Matt Ritchie

Forwards: Miguel Almirón, Jacob Murphy, Alexander Isak, Callum Wilson, Anthony Gordon, Harvey Barnes

* = very doubtful

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Frank is still without former Newcastle striker Ivan Toney, who is suspended until January due to being found guilty of betting offences.

Joshua Dasilva, a thorn in our side in the past, is out for months with a hamstring injury, while Shandon Baptiste is unavailable due to dislocating his shoulder at the end of August.

Mikkel Damsgaard is a major doubt, too, with the Brentford head coach saying he only had a "slim chance" of being involved this weekend due to an ongoing groin problem.

Brentford Squad

Goalkeepers: Mark Flekken, Thomas Strakosha, Ellery Balcombe

Defenders: Aaron Hickey, Mads Roerslev, James Collins, Kristoffer Ajer, Ethan Pinnock, Zanka, Ben Mee, Charlie Goode, Rico Henry

Midfielders: Mathias Jensen, Christian Nørgaard, Vitaly Janelt, Frank Onyeka, Saman Ghoddos, Myles Peart-Harris, Yegor Yarmolyuk

Forwards: Bryan Mbuemo, Yoane Wissa, Kevin Schade, Neal Maupay, Mikkel Damsgaard*, Keane Lewis-Potter

* = very doubtful

How will the teams line up?

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Reuters

We expect Sean Longstaff to come in for Tonali on the right side of the midfield, as we think the Italian will be given the weekend to recover ahead of an emotional return to the San Siro on Tuesday evening.

Sven Botman will return in place of Matt Targett in the back four, with Dan Burn moving into his preferred left-back slot as a result. Bruno Guimarães and Joelinton should both start having returned in good time from Brazil duty thanks to a private jet chartered for them by the club.

Miguel Almirón was also on that flight but is less assured of selection, with his place under threat from the likes of Harvey Barnes, Jacob Murphy, and potentially even Alexander Isak, should Howe consider playing him from the left and moving Anthony Gordon over to the right.

Callum Wilson, likely buzzing after being away with England and putting pen to paper on a new contract at the club, may well get the nod up front. Isak played 147 minutes for Sweden during the break, with Wilson getting just seven, meaning our number nine will be the fresher of the two.

Isak will probably start in the San Siro instead as we enter a very busy period of the campaign.

Newcastle United (4-3-3)

Starting XI: Pope; Trippier (c), Schär, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimarães, Joelinton; Almirón, Wilson, Gordon

Substitutes: Dúbravka; Livramento, Lascelles, Hall, Targett; Anderson; Murphy, Isak, Barnes

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It seems that Frank will return to a 5-3-2 from the 4-3-3 he deployed in the Bees' 2-2 draw with Brentford last time out, with James Collins likely to bome back into the side in place of Kevin Schade.

Brentford (5-3-2)

Starting XI: Flekken; Hickey, Collins, Pinnock, Mee, Henry; Janelt, Nørgaard (c), Jensen; Mbuemo, Wissa

Substitutes: Strakosha; Roerslev, Ajer, Zanka; Onyeka, Ghoddos; Lewis-Potter, Maupay, Schade

Who will referee the game and who is the VAR?

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Getty Images

Craig Pawson of Sheffield has the whistle for this one, with support from Lee Betts and Marc Perry on the lines. Tony Harrington is the fourth official and John Brooks is the VAR, with James Mainwaring assisting him in the booth.

Last season, Pawson issued four yellow cards per game in all competitions, though only reached for his red card on three occasions in all, once in every three matches.

He took charge of four Newcastle games in 2022/23, overseeing the draws with Bournemouth (H), Crystal Palace (A), and Manchester United (A), plus the commanding 5-1 win over West Ham (A).

What kits will the teams be wearing?

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Serena Taylor/Newcastle United Football Club

It'll be back to black and white for the Magpies, following the debut of the green away kit at Brighton.

Brentford will be wearing their light blue away kit, as they did last season, having not changed over the summer.

What have the head coaches said about the game?

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Brentford Football Club

Howe spoke to the media at Darsley Park on Friday morning, with his most notable comments being as follows:

"I think said after (Brighton) that my preference would always be to play again after a disappointing result. But it wasn't to be, so we've come back here and worked well, I think, with the players that we had left with us - around about 12 players, initially. The lads have been good, training has been good, and now we're ready for the next game.

(Brentford's success is) probably a mixture of a lot of things really - shrewd recruitment would be one, (and) a brilliant coach who's done amazing things on a consistent basis with the team. They continue to innovate as well - they're always moving the team forward and changing things, and Thomas (Frank) deserves a lot of credit for the job that he's done.

I think it's a game we obviously want to do well in. We know, and we understand, the game that we're in. I don't want to build it up any more than it is, really.

It's a game that we have to approach in the right way, it's a difficult game, a very dangerous opponent. They've got good skills and a good way of playing, got their obvious threats, but for us, we have to return to our highest level of performance. I think if we do, then I'd back us to get the job done."

Frank held his pre-match press conference 24 hours earlier than Howe, commenting:

"I think they (Newcastle) have done very well. I think they had a fantastic season last year and I think Eddie Howe and his coaching staff have done a top job. Qualifying for the Champions League is fantastic. In many ways, I think it was fully deserved.

Maybe they haven't got the results they wanted in the first four games, but I have looked at all four games and they were very tight. They could easily have got more out of them than they did. I think they are a very dynamic, physical, high-intensity team that is very difficult to play against, with very good set pieces as well.

We know that St. James' Park is one of the best grounds, home grounds, maybe the best. If they are on it they should be able to create more noise and I think they have a fantastic atmosphere when you're there, so it's a game we're looking forward to playing."

Are tickets still available?

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Brentford Football Club

This one is a complete sell-out, though a few lucky (and determined) members have been able to grab tickets during the resale period this week. If you have some time and want to try your hand, then you can do so on the club's official booking website. We'd recommend quick bursts of refreshes, rather than popping in and out every few minutes.

Where can the game be watched or listened to?

Sky Sports have the rights for this one, with the game being beamed out in the UK and Ireland on the Main Event and Premier League channels.

Audio-wise, it's on BBC Radio 5 Live Sport nationally and BBC Radio Newcastle locally.

LiveSoccerTV has all the overseas listings you need if you're abroad.

What's our head-to-head record with Brentford?

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Getty Images

We've only played the Bees 16 times in our history, coming out with 11 wins (69%). The other five games have seen a solitary draw (6%) and four defeats (25%).

PlayedWonDrawnLostFor
Against

16

11

1

4

36

22

Last term we won 5-1 at St. James' thanks to goals from Guimarães (2), Murphy, Almirón, and an own goal from Pinnock. Toney notched a penalty for Brentford in reply.

At the Gtech, Wilson and Gordon changed the game for us when coming on at half-time to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory. Toney had given the Bees the lead from the spot before a David Raya own goal and a peach from Isak in the second half sealed a huge win for the Magpies.

What's the official NUFC.news score prediction?

We can't see another 5-1, but we're backing Howe and the lads to get back on track here against a tricky opponent. We'll go for 2-1 Newcastle with Wilson getting on the scoresheet.

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