Newcastle United will be hoping their poor finish to the season will take an upturn on Monday night. After a bitterly disappointing defeat to Ipswich Town, United will want to bounce back against Simon Grayson’s side.
Can Newcastle get back on track?
There is no getting away from it. Newcastle United have been desperately poor since beating Huddersfield. A lack of fresh ideas from the players on the pitch has led to a staleness to their game. Players who had impressed earlier in the campaign have been disappointing. However, it won’t get better unless the players put a shift in. Against Preston on Monday, if they play like they have recently they will be beaten. Simon Grayson’s North End side sit eleventh in the Championship. Furthermore, they have a history of beating promotion chasers having defeated Brighton back in January.
United must also expect a response from North End themselves. After three consecutive defeats in their last three league games, Preston will be expected to respond. This further couples with the fact that they were beaten 6-0 at St. James in the EFL Cup in October. They will be plenty of Preston players wanting revenge on Monday.
However it’s not as dire as it sounds for United. Newcastle have beaten Preston twice so far, with two Aleksandar Mitrović strikes enough to see them off at Deepdale. United are at home. That can be an advantage especially if Newcastle fans can reproduce the booming atmosphere heard in the Leeds game. Newcastle will also hope to welcome back star striker Dwight Gayle and Ciaran Clark. Clark being missing at the back has been a major part in United’s failings. Hopefully his return will see an upturn in fortunes at the back. Coupled with Preston’s defensive injury crisis and you will hope Newcastle have enough.
Personally I believe two victories will be enough for United. Perhaps even less than that, hopefully in form Fulham can produce an amazing performance against Huddersfield. However, we should try to get the job done ourselves and not through the failings of others.
Feature image credit: Martin Le Roy