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    Newcastle United v Norwich City


    The Sky Sports cameras visit St James' Park on Sunday as Norwich City make the long trip up the East coast to take on struggling Newcastle United in an important game for both teams.

    Last weekend's international break was timely for both teams after defeats on the first Saturday of October. Despite taking the lead, Newcastle were hammered 6-1 by league leaders Manchester City, whilst Norwich fell short against high-flying Leicester City. The results left Newcastle bottom of the league, still searching for their first win of the season, compared to Norwich who are sitting 13th just five points above the drop zone. 


    Those defeats added to a dismal run of form for both teams. Newcastle are one of just two teams in the football league to have not won a game, amounting to their worst start to a campaign since 1898. The Geordies have been starting games well but have thrown away seven points from winning positions, the worst record in the league. They haven't won a Premier League game since 24th May. Norwich have been playing fluid, open and expansive football but have only taken three points in one of their last six games, drawing another three.

    Looking at the league table, the smart money for Sunday's fixture will be on the away side. However, Norwich have never won at St James' Park in the Premier League, picking up just one point from six games, a record that is only over-shadowed by Old Trafford. Newcastle have in fact not lost in five meetings anywhere between the teams, keeping four clean sheets in the process. Alex Neil will be desperate for one of these, with Norwich one of just three teams yet to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League this season.


    If Steve McLaren didn't have enough problems to deal with, the loss of Tim Krul for the majority of the season certainly won't help matters. With both Krul and Karl Darlow out of action, Newcastle will be relying on Robert Elliot until a replacement is brought in, reportedly the unhappy Victor Valdes from Manchester United. Steven Taylor and Emmanuel Rivere are also injured but Kevin Mbabu, Gabriel Obertan and Rolando Aarons could all return. Papiss Cisse is expected to start as the home side try to find a winning formula.

    Norwich will definitely be without Youssouf Mulumbu and Gary Hooper, but Lewis Grabban could recover from an ankle injury to be part of the squad. Alex Tettey and Nathan Redmond both scored for their countries in the week and Dieumerci Mbokani will be on a high after opening his Premier League account and being named on the shortlist for African Player of the Year in the past fortnight.


    Key Players:
    Georginio Wijnaldum- the Dutch midfielder will be disappointed after the Netherlands' shock exit from Euro 2016 qualification, but has been one of very few bright sparks for Newcastle so far this season, scoring two and setting up one in the opening eight games. 

    Wes Hoolahan- the Irish playmaker couldn't help his country avoid a third place finish in their Euro 2016 group, but has been playing out of his skin for Norwich with five assists from seven games, second only to David Silva of Manchester City.

    Chris Lincoln's Prediction: Newcastle United 0-1 Norwich City
    The home side will be affected by throwing away winning positions against Manchester City and Chelsea in their last two league games and a handful of their players also experienced a disappointing time on international duty. Norwich have been playing better than their recent results show and I expect them to break through a rusty Newcastle defence backed up by an inexperienced goalkeeper. Steve McLaren could be feeling the pressure come Monday morning.
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    Item Reviewed: Newcastle United v Norwich City Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Chris Lincoln
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