Newcastle vs Brentford preview: Howe bounce for Toon?

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Newcastle vs Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 3pm.

Team news

New Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has a decision to make over his goalkeepers ahead of his Magpies bow against Brentford.

Martin Dubravka made his first appearance since suffering a foot injury during the summer in Slovakia’s 6-0 World Cup qualifier victory in Malta on Sunday and is now pushing Karl Darlow for a return to the starting line-up.

Paraguay frontman Miguel Almiron is due to return from international duty on Friday, while defender Paul Dummett remains the only man in the treament room with a long-term calf problem.

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Eddie Howe says he is trying to implement a new coaching philosophy with his players at Newcastle following his return to management

Brentford’s Mathias Jensen is available after spending the international break in quarantine following a positive test for coronavirus.

Fellow midfielder Yoane Wissa is edging closer to rejoining the squad after a month out with an ankle problem, while central defender Matthias Jorgensen faces a late fitness test.

Shandon Baptiste is in contention for a squad place after six weeks out with a dislocated shoulder.

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How to follow

Follow Newcastle vs Brentford in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel from 5.15pm on Saturday.

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Take a look at our favourite stats ahead of Matchweek 12 in the Premier League

Last time out…

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brighton’s draw with Newcastle

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Norwich’s win against Brentford

Jones Knows prediction

Newcastle need an Eddie Howe bounce – and quickly.

The Toon remain the only side still without a Premier League win this season as this is technically their worst ever start to a league season.

The ‘manager bounce’ theory is one that gets a lot of airtime without much delving done into the numbers. I’ve done some minor digging on that part. In the last 32 occasions where a manager has taken over a club mid-season in the Premier League, the record of results in their first home game reads: W14-D5-L13.

That is a much higher loss-rate (40 per cent) than I was expecting to find.

The appointment of Howe is a difficult one to weigh-up. It’s a step into the unknown for Howe away from Bournemouth and from what we’ve seen so far from the new Newcastle owners, there is a lack of planning and strategy from a football decision-making point of view. That could make Howe’s job tougher than it needs to be. Of course, the ceiling of their potential is much greater with Howe in charge as he could be the real deal, but I’d be much more confident of their survival chances if they appointed someone of the ilk of Roy Hodgson.

Brentford are on a run of four straight defeats, but their performance data remains strong. In three of those matches, they won the expected goals battle with their attacking metrics remaining very strong. In that period, only Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and West Ham have amassed a bigger total expected goals for figure than Brentford (6.57), with only City posting more shots on goal from inside than box than the Bees (46). They have the firepower to score twice at St James’ Park and ruin Howe’s first day.

SCORE PREDICTION: 1-2

BETTING ANGLE: Brentford to score two or more goals (6/4 with Sky Bet)

Opta stats

This is only the ninth ever league meeting between Newcastle United and Brentford and their first in the top-flight – their last league encounter was in January 2017, a 2-1 win for the Magpies at Griffin Park in the Championship.Brentford have lost their last five away matches against Newcastle in all competitions, with these games coming between 1947 and 2016. Their one win at St James’ Park was in September 1934, a 5-2 win in the second-tier with Ernie Muttitt scoring a hat-trick.Newcastle are the only side without a win in the Premier League this season, with 11 games their longest run without victory from the start of any league campaign. However, the last two winless sides in the Premier League this season got their first victory against Brentford (Burnley on MD10, Norwich on MD11).Along with Watford, Newcastle are one of two sides without a clean sheet in the Premier League so far this season, while only Norwich (26) have conceded more than the Magpies so far (24).Brentford have lost each of their last four Premier League games, with the Bees last losing five consecutive league games back in December 2007 in League Two. Three of the five sides Brentford lost to in that run are no longer in the Football League (Macclesfield Town, Darlington and Grimsby Town).Brentford have conceded seven goals in their last three Premier League games, shipping at least twice each time. The Bees had only conceded seven goals in their first eight games in the competition, and only conceded more than once on occasion.This will be Eddie Howe’s first game in charge of Newcastle. Only one of the last eight managers to take charge of the Magpies have won their first Premier League game at the helm (D3 L4 – incl. caretakers), with Alan Pardew beating Liverpool 3-1 in December 2010.

Premier League Preview – Souness on ‘angry’ Liverpool’s point to prove vs Arsenal | Delph’s impressive return |Kane’s confidence boost

Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness, and football writers Oliver Yew and Ben Grounds to look ahead to the Premier League weekend.

PART 1 | How will Liverpool respond after their first defeat of the season? Graeme Souness explains why they’ll be ‘full throttle’ against an Arsenal side who, he feels, are still a long way off, despite their recent unbeaten run

PART 2 | Oliver Yew and Ben Grounds look at the contrasting impacts of Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus this season, and discuss Fabien Delph’s surprise return to form with Everton, ahead of his side’s trip to a club he won two Premier League titles with

PART 3 | Harry Kane scored seven goals in two games during the international break but will that translate to the Premier League? We talk Tottenham ahead of Antonio Conte’s first home league game in charge, and explain the reasons behind Leeds’ slow start.

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