Newcastle United are on a roll as one of the form teams of The Premier League after extending the team's unbeaten run in the top flight to six matches with a 1-1 draw away at 5th-placed West Ham on Saturday thanks to a superb finish by Joe Willock:
It was the 22 year-old midfielder's first goal of the season and came as a relief to the player and everyone connected with Newcastle after that sensational scoring run of seven Premier League goals in his last seven games of the 2020/21 campaign persuaded The Magpies to part with £25M for him from Arsenal:
It was deserved for a superb all-round performance from Willock in which he hit the heights of last season and Newcastle as a whole performed very comfortably in the home of the 5th-placed Hammers who beat Newcastle 4-2 on the opening day.
Next up is a another away game this time at Brentford's Community Stadium against Thomas Frank's Bees side who are rock bottom of The Premier League Form Table with just one draw and one win in The Premier League in their last ten matches while Newcastle are one of the form sides in the division and along with Liverpool are one of only two sides unbeaten in the top flight of English football so far in 2022:
The Danish boss of newly-promoted Brentford, Frank claims he would still prefer to be in the position of his Bees than the clubs below them having made a good start to the season and having 24 points on the board but they are dropping like a stone having lost eight of the last 10 & another loss to Newcastle would see The Magpies leapfrog them:
The wildcard in Frank's pack is fellow Dane & international star Christian Eriksen, who had a heart attack at The Euros playing for Denmark & despite having an internal defibrillator fitted, was not allowed to play in Serie A after several on-pitch tragedies in Italy and made the switch from Inter Milan to Brentford in the January window:
"The minutes are getting more and more," said Eriksen. "I feel like I am in a good place mentally going into the games and body wise, which is most important at the moment.
"I am actually a bit surprised my body is acting as it is. Of course, I have been training hard but I didn't expect it to be as good as I feel now. So it's definitely something very positive."
and has set up three goals in two friendly games from set pieces, something The Magpies will have to be on guard for after conceding from a free-kick on Saturday but Eriksen's Premier League comeback can't come quick enough for him:
"It's getting more and more real. Walking onto the pitch is something I still cannot really imagine how it would feel. But I am looking forward to it."
Former Newcastle striker Ivan Toney, who scored for Brentford in the 3-3 draw in November on his return to St. James' Park, is on the road to redemption in the eyes of the Bees' faithful after a video emerged of him saying "F*** Brentford" on social media:
Perhaps the biggest threat to Newcastle not extending that unbeaten run or getting the win that will put them on 25 points for the season isn't a Brentford player at all but the man in the middle - referee Mike Dean, who was at his controversial and biased worst when Newcastle played at Liverpool before Christmas and the Merseysider didn't blow his whistle to stop the game when Magpies midfielder Isaac Hayden was down with a head injury, denied Ryan Fraser a possible penalty & ran across the eyeline of Newcastle players as Trent Alexander-Arnold was shaping to shoot what would be the decisive goal:
Newcastle made a formal complaint to The Premier League in December following a string of suspect decisions by officials in games against Leicester, Liverpool and Man City and Eddie Howe revealed in his pre-match presser than the club received a reply back but didn't elaborate further than that, saying:
Cautiously, officating may have improved for The Magpies lately although a penalty should have been awarded against Leeds when Allan Saint-Maximin was brought down and Cristiano Ronaldo should have been sent off for Manchester United for a high challenge on Ryan Fraser & Arsenal are the latest top flight team to seek clarification from officials chief Mike Riley about key decisions including a spate of red cards including two yellow cards in 55 seconds against Gabriel Martinell:
Newcastle's own new midfield signing Bruno Guimaraes is champing at the bit for his first start for his new club after joining The Magpiea in January but has so far been restricted to cameo roles off the bench in the dying minutes of matches though with the Triple-Joe midfield of Joelinton, Joe Willock and JonJo Shelvey playing out of their skins, it may be indeed 'dangerous' to drop form players as Eddie Howe says while attacking talisman Allan Saint-Maximin, who missed last week's game with a knock is undertaking a late fitness test but could very well play from the start:
Its a huge game for Newcastle and Brentford in what has been described as a "battle royale" of relegation that could involve all ten teams in the bottom half of The Premier League so another win and continued upward momentum would be massive. HWTL.
Prediction - Newcastle United 3 Brentford 1