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Paul Merson struggles with the facts when it comes to Newcastle United

2 months ago
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Paul Merson has been talking about Newcastle United, again.

He reckons today is a ‘cup final’ for the club and the fans, which is nice, because in 14+ years of Mike Ashley there was not even any desire to want to get to a cup final, never mind actually manage to experience one.

Of course this particular ‘cup final’ today against Burnley, is only one (a cup final) in terms of its potential importance. A first win of the season that could potentially get this recovery mission properly started and at the same time beat a relegation rival. Alternatively, any other kind of result in this ‘cup final’ would be a serious setback.

Paul Merson points out the opposition that lies ahead in December for Newcastle United after today’s match, although as usual, he is a bit loose with the facts…

I know Newcastle do have a tough looking schedule BUT when Paul Merson claims ‘They’ve got visits to Liverpool, United, City, and Leicester coming up…’ Well, even the Premier League when conspiring against us, wouldn’t have NUFC playing four away games in a row.

December may look tough but it isn’t impossible to pick up points, a win is obviously massively needed against Burnley to kick things off BUT with the right attitude and seeing the benefits of proper full on training, I think Newcastle could just surprise a few people.

After all, with pretty much the same players, Newcastle last season got draws home and away against Liverpool. Last season NUFC won 4-2 at Leicester and indeed have won on three of the last four trips there.

Newcastle actually play the two Manchester clubs at home this month. Yes, Newcastle lost at home to Man Utd last season but had beaten them in two of the last three previous visits. As for Man City, at St James Park it had been two draws and one win for Newcastle in the last four PL games on Tyneside, then last season NUFC actually led three times before losing a crazy game 4-3.

Paul Merson then doesn’t mention the other December match which is Everton away, the blue scousers in shocking form with six defeats and a goalless draw in their last seven PL matches under Rafa.

As for today, Paul Merson predicts that Newcastle United will draw this ‘cup final’ with Burnley.

Which to be honest is fair enough when you look at the stats, the two clubs have played 27 Premier League games between them and the combined stats show one win, 12 defeats and fourteen draws.

Indeed, in most recent times it is emphasised even more, as Newcastle since jettisoning Steve Bruce have lost only two of six, but the other four have been draws not wins.

For Burnley it is even more astonishing, their last eight PL games show six draws, with only one defeat at Man City, the other game their only league win of the season – beating Brentford 3-1 at home.

Paul Merson claims Burnley ‘know how to keep it tight defensively’, when in reality they have already conceded 12 goals in their seven PL away matches, only one less than Newcastle have conceded away this season.

Last season Newcastle beat Burnley 3-1 at St James Park and 2-1 at Turf Moor, the victory at home saw ASM and Callum Wilson getting the goals and causing Sean Dyche’s team all sorts of problems. This pair haven’t been really firing on all cylinders in recent matches so today a perfect time to change that.

We can expect Eddie Howe to send his team out onto the attack from kick-off, as was the case against Brentford and Norwich.

Get the first goal and avoid any self-harm such as that inflicted on us by Ciaran Clark, then Newcastle United can be in business. Picking up a first win of the season without having to wait until Santa visits…

Paul Merson talking to sportskeeda – 4 December 2021:

“This is a massive game for Newcastle.

“It’s a cup final for them because, after this match, their fixture list starts to get messy.

“They’ve got visits to Liverpool, United, City, and Leicester coming up and they need a result here.

“Burnley are a hard team to beat.

“They know how to keep it tight defensively, and I don’t think they’re going down this season. Burnley did well to get that 0-0 result against Wolves and will likely make sure that they don’t lose this game.

“Prediction: Newcastle United 1-1 Burnley”

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