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    Newcastle United vs Norwich City Preview. Newcastle can not keep taking their foot off the gas.

    By Ryan Carter. Twitter: @TheRyanJCarter.

    Newcastle United need to put in the same level of effort against all of their Premier League opponents and not just show up for the big games, as Norwich City travel to the North East.

    The Magpies have performed well in recent matches against some of the division’s top teams.

    Steve McClaren’s side has taken points from both Chelsea and Manchester United and they have also played well against Arsenal and Manchester City despite losing.

    But when presented with an opponent they should feel confident in playing against, Newcastle seem to shy away and fail to produce the quality of football they have shown they are capable of.

    Earlier this season, the North East team travelled to West Ham, when Slaven Bilic’s players still appeared to be finding their feet following some poor performances.

    Meanwhile, Newcastle had taken a point from Old Trafford and came close to winning the contest late on, before narrowly losing to an Arsenal side who were made to fight for their win.

    Many people, including myself, thought this fixture would surely result in McClaren picking up his first league win in charge of the Tyneside team.

    What happened instead was West Ham were allowed to play with such freedom that it just looked painfully easy for the London club to take the win.

    Now Newcastle are in a similar situation, as they face a beatable opponent in Norwich after putting in some good performances against the best the league has to offer.

    If this scenario ends in the same result, the pressure will continue to build on the club at the bottom of the league table and confidence will be low heading into the Tyne-Wear Derby next weekend.

    There was bad blood the last time these two teams met in a goalless draw, which saw both sides go down to 10-men following Loic Remy and Bradley Johnson’s dismissal after the pair clashed.

    Johnson, who played for Norwich at the time, later had his red card withdrawn despite being the player to incite the coming together.

    The history books favour Newcastle in this contest, as the Magpies ran out 2-1 winners the last time the Canaries travelled to St James’ Park.

    Norwich’s last win over their North East opponents came in 2011, when they claimed a 4-2 win at Carrow Road.

    But fans will have to go all the way back to 1988 to find the Norfolk club’s last away win in this fixture.

    That could all change though, as Alex Neil looks to build on his team’s strong start to life in the Premier League.

    The Scottish manager’s side has claimed nine points and scored double the number of goals Newcastle have scored so far this season, having found the back of the net 12 times already.

    This game could also see former Magpies defender Sebastien Bassong play against the club who brought him to the Premier League from FC Metz in 2008.

    The Paris-born centre-back made 30 appearances for Newcastle and played well enough to be awarded the club’s player of the season.

    His strong performances failed to help his old side however, as they were relegated and the Cameroon defender was quickly sold to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer.

    Bassong then joined Norwich in 2012 and despite a loan move to Watford last season, he has become an important player for his latest club.

    The biggest injury news going into this game is Newcastle’s first choice goalkeeper Tim Krul’s ACL injury which will keep him out for the rest of the season.

    With Krul out, Rob Elliot will most likely start ahead of young ‘keeper Freddie Woodman, who had to be recalled from his loan spell with Crawley Town.

    Kevin Mbabu,  who has been impressing at left-back recently, is a doubt after picking up an injury at the Etihad Stadium two weeks ago.

    Rolando Aarons, Gabriel Obertan, Emmanuel Riviere, Steven Taylor and Sylvain Marveaux are all expected to miss the game but Jack Colback, Massadio Hairdara, Daryl Janmaat and Paul Dummet could all return.

    Youssouf Mulumbu is Norwich’s only injury doubt with the midfielder still out with a metatarsal fracture, as Gary Hooper and Lewis Grabban are both expected to make the trip to the North East.

    This game really is a must win for Newcastle, as the gap between themselves and the team’s above the bottom three continues to grow.

    Failure to take all three points will not sit well with fans and will leave the team in a terrible position going into their clash with Sunderland.

    But Norwich have proven themselves as a team who can create plenty of chances, and they will be facing a goalkeeper with a lot of pressure resting on his shoulders.

    Score Prediction: Newcastle 2-2 Norwich
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    Item Reviewed: Newcastle United vs Norwich City Preview. Newcastle can not keep taking their foot off the gas. Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ryan Carter
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