Soccer English Premier League 13 March 2023
Newcastle vs Wolves - Match Preview
By the end of January, the mood around St James’ Park had reached its peak as the Toon Army celebrated Newcastle United reaching their first domestic final since 1999 whilst the club were third in the Premier League (PL) table. More recently, Eddie Howe’s side has been winless since the start of February and come into this contest on the back of three straight competitive defeats - all by the same 2-0 scoreline.
Those losses did come against Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City, meaning alarm bells won’t be ringing just yet, but aspirations of sealing Champions League football have taken a hit and Newcastle were four points behind fourth place ahead of the game week, albeit with games in hand on those around them. What should be a concern for the Magpies is a dearth of goals, for no side, has scored fewer (six) since the PL’s return from the World Cup break.
It has been a completely different story for Wolves, who started last month out of the bottom three on goal difference alone, but finished the previous round-up in 13th after an impressive run of just two defeats from six matches (W3, D1). Their most recent outing was a 1-0 home win against Tottenham, which also consequently ended a run of four games without a clean sheet.
They have to go all the way back to August 2022 for their last clean sheet on the road, though, whilst against Newcastle, they’re on a remarkable streak of conceding exactly one goal in each of their last nine league H2Hs since returning to the PL (W2, D6, L1). Manager Julen Lopetegui may therefore have to offer an even greater incentive than the lunch he bought for the playing squad following their 3-0 home win against Liverpool!
📋 Key battle: Newcastle’s goalkeeper Nick Pope had accumulated the most PL clean sheets (12) at the end of the last round, courtesy of the third-highest save percentage (77.8%). Currently, on a goal drought lasting more than one year, Wolves' Raúl Jiménez boasts three goal contributions across his last three H2H meetings with Newcastle.
⚡ Hot stat: All but one of the last 15 PL H2Hs saw both teams score on the day.
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