Newcastle United vs Brentford - Match preview and predicted line-ups
Newcastle host Brentford this weekend as they attempt to push on after the international break. They have won their last two league matches and they are beginning to build momentum, which is key in this division. It will be a tough match against a side that has finished in the top half of the Championship in each of the last two seasons.
It has taken some time for Newcastle to adjust to the league, but they have developed a lot since the end of the transfer window and their quality is beginning to show. Rafa Benitez will now expect his team to go from strength-to-strength and it would be a surprise if they don’t climb to the top of the division before the next international break. Their fixture list looks favourable over the coming weeks, but it is imperative that they start with a good result against Brentford.
The visitors to St James’ Park on Saturday will have aspirations of finishing in a play-off spot. They have captured the imagination of English football with their transfer policy. Brentford have embraced analytics and their continued success suggests that it can be a sustainable approach. It will be a huge test of their credentials on Saturday, but Newcastle have looked more beatable at home and there is no reason why Brentford can’t be confident of taking something from the game.
The Magpies have won seven of their last nine matches as they have climbed to third in the Championship. Their home form has been questionable as they have already lost twice at St James’ Park and that will be a concern for Benitez, who is known for wanting perfection.
Brentford are currently in seventh position and are well placed after the first eleven matches. Their recent form has been mixed, as they have won two and lost two of their last five matches, but they have been scoring goals with eleven over that period.
It is impossible to predict Newcastle’s starting eleven this season as they have an extremely talented squad and Benitez is known for his rotation. Matt Ritchie is likely to return to the starting eleven, while Aleksandar Mitrovic is also pushing for a start.
Sulley Kaikai could come into the starting eleven to replace the injured Lasse Vibe. The Crystal Palace loanee has scored against Newcastle before in his career and he will be full of confidence if he is selected. Scott Hogan will lead the line at St James’ Park after his strong start to the season.
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Rob Elliot is closing in on a return from injury, but he won’t be fit to play this weekend. Massadio Haidara and Rolando Aarons won’t be available this weekend due to injuries.
Lasse Vibe will be missing for the visitors after suffering an injury in their last league match against Wigan Athletic. Rico Henry, Alan Judge and Callum Elder are all going to be missing for the away side.
I expect Newcastle to build momentum over the coming weeks and that will begin with a win over Brentford. They have better players and it is difficult to see their struggles at home continuing for much longer. The incredible comeback win over Norwich City was a huge moment for this side and has created a belief within the squad that they can dominate this division. It won’t be easy as Brentford are a good side and won’t come to the North East to make up the numbers.
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