By Alex McNulty
Burnley will be looking to kick-start their season as they head up to Tyneside to face Newcastle on Saturday night.
The season has started slowly for the Clarets with two defeats in their opening two fixtures, a 4-2 defeat at Leicester and most recently a 1-0 defeat at home against Southampton.
If that wasn’t enough of a blow for Sean Dyche’s men, it is the first time since 2014/15 that they have lost their two opening top-flight fixtures, when they were ultimately relegated at the end of the season.
Burnley have struggled with injuries even this early into the season, with Dyche naming four players on the bench against the Saints under the age of 21 and yet to play a Premier League game.
Newcastle, on the other hand, have had a reasonable start to the season, sitting 10th after one win, one draw and one loss in their opening three fixtures.
Last time out they were the benefactors of the new handball rule that is being applied this season, in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
With time added on, the Magpies were awarded a penalty after a header from Andy Carroll inadvertently hit Tottenham’s Eric Dier on the arm.
And with their only shot on target in the whole game, Callum Wilson scored the penalty to take a point back to St. James’.
Burnley will be without a number of key players for the trip to Newcastle.
Ben Mee, James Tarkowski, Johan Berg Gudmundsson, Jack Cork, Robbie Brady and James Rodriguez have all picked up injuries before and since the season has started.
New signing Dale Stephens will hope to be in better condition, after getting thrown in at the deep end in the defeat to Southampton.
However, Dyche will be pleased with what he saw from his new recruit as Stephens registered more tackles than any other player.
Newcastle will be without striker Dwight Gayle and goalkeeper Martin Dubravka until at least late October through injury.
The Magpies also have a few doubts for the game at St. James’ Park, with Fabian Schar, Allan Saint-Maximin and Matt Ritchie all likely to miss the fixture.
The last five meetings have seen Newcastle have the better set of results, with two wins, two draws and one defeat.
Burnley will be hoping they can replicate what they did on 14th December 2019, when they won 1-0 at Turf Moor, to get some points on the board this season.
Newcastle United vs Burnley – Saturday 3rd October, 20:00 Kick Off – Sky Sports Premier League