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Chris Sutton justifies his positive Newcastle United outlook

1 year ago
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Chris Sutton sees a lot of positives at Newcastle United.

Eddie Howe and his players starting the season with a completely dominant performance and win over Nottingham Forest, before a gritty disciplined goalless draw at Brighton.

Then up against the reigning champions and very hot favourites to do it again, Manchester City came to St James’ Park.

Newcastle United playing so well and well worth the point they got and arguably deserved all three.

Chris Sutton very impressed with what he saw against Pep Guardiola’s side…’The way they played, the way they got bodies forward and the way they attacked with real confidence.’

Eddie Howe has already shown great versatility this season with his tactics, as was the case last season. The Newcastle United head coach invariably finding the best way to get the maximum out of the players he has available, against whoever the opposition is.

Against Wolves, it will be interesting to see just what Eddie Howe does, both in terms of team selection and tactics. With Callum Wilson ruled out through injury, will it be Chris Wood or Alexander Isak starting, or possibly both of them…?

Whatever route Eddie Howe goes down, Chris Sutton sees an away win for Newcastle United. The BBC Sport man predicting a 2-1 NUFC victory and pointing to both Newcastle’s strengths and weaknesses, to justify his forecast.

I think that clearly, if Newcastle can play like they did against Man City, then you’d have to be very confident they can beat Wolves.

Wolves are a strange team, often playing what looks decent quality football but struggling to convert it into goals and wins.

Last season, only the top four conceded less goals than Wolves’ total of 43 they let in.

However, they scored 38 goals in the 2021/22 Premier League season, only the relegated trio scoring less.

This season has been more of the same really, playing pretty well at Tottenham last weekend but not scoring, losing 1-0. Couldn’t score in a goalless home draw against Fulham, whilst despite taking a sixth minute lead at Leeds in their opening game, they lost 2-1 despite having 60% possession and 15 shots in total.

Interesting to look at the slightly longer form of both clubs, starting with and including Newcastle winning 1-0 at home to Wolves in April.

For Wolves it is played 10, won 0, drawn 3, lost 7 with 6 goals scored and 19 conceded. In 5 of the 10 Premier League matches Wolves have failed to score.

In the same time period, Newcastle have played 11 PL matches, winning 7, drawing 2 and only losing 2 (home to Liverpool and away at Man City. Eddie Howe’s team with 6 clean sheets in the 11 games.

Whilst nobody pretends Newcastle United have become massively better in the goal threat department, scoring 16 in these last 11 Premier League matches makes them look prolific compared to Wolves. With Alexander Isak now having been added, hopefully he can now help that goal threat to grow further.

Looking at the form of the two teams this season and especially back to early April, then clearly you have to fancy Newcastle United this afternoon.

Chris Wood won and scored the penalty that beat Wolves in that 8 April 2022 match at St James’ Park and no surprise to me if this is another 1-0 scoreline.

I certainly think that if Newcastle can score first, you have to really fancy our chances. Here’s hoping.

Chris Sutton talking to BBC Sport:

“Wolves just don’t score.

“They create numerous opportunities and have some talented players, I don’t know how long we have said this about them but it is just that finishing touch.

“Because of that, I think they might come a cropper against Newcastle, who were absolutely brilliant against Manchester City in the 3-3 draw at St James’ Park last weekend.

“The way they played, the way they got bodies forward and the way they attacked with real confidence, I am going to go for Newcastle.

“Prediction is Wolves 1 Newcastle 2”

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