Eddie Howe's Newcastle side head to Turf Moor on Super Sunday as the curtain falls on the Premier League 2021/22 campaign that has turned into one of the most memorable in history for Magpies' fans worldwide since the takeover went through in October, 2021.
A resounding 2-0 win over Champions League-chasing Arsenal at St James' Park on Monday night put a Top 10 finish within touching distance for Newcastle and laid down a marker about what could be achieved next season by Newcastle and Manager of the Year elect Eddie Howe, who is reportedly receiving a new contract at the club soon:
With number nine striker Callum WIlson restored to the Newcastle line-up, Howe fielded arguably the best XI that he has selected since taking charge at St James' Park and The Magpies led by Wilson's pressing up front and with blonde Brazilians Bruno Guimaraes & Joelinton tigerish and titanic in midfield, utterly dominated the match.
Guimaraes, who had been strongly linked with a move to The Emirates before signing for Newcastle, a subject he made explicit in a Twitter video just after the transfer:
seemed especially keen to impress and his Man of the Match performance:
got the goal it deserved to clinch it for Howe's heroes, who were serenaded by the Magpies faithful at full-time after saving the club from relegation during a lap of honour joined by the club's owners, players, staff and families:
It was announced earlier in the day on Monday that Newcastle's £40M record signing Joelinton was Newcastle's Player of the Season and the big Brazilian, whom regular readers of this column will know has always been a favourite of and tipped for success by this author while thousands doubted him, enjoyed the recognition at last of his quality:
Newcastle have already played Burnley twice this season having been knocked out of the League Cup on penalties by The Clarets way back in August when the football club was a different entity entirely still owned by Mike Ashley and led by Steve Bruce:
New Zealand international striker Chris Wood was a Burnley striker that day but made the switch to St James' Park following the £25M release clause in his contract being met by The Magpies and fellow January signing Kieran Trippier is also an alumni of The Clarets playing 145 games for The Turf Moor outfit after being signed by none other than Eddie Howe, who had an ill-fated spell as manager there in the 2011/2 season:
All three - Howe, Trippier and Wood - will be keen to get a good result at one of their former clubs to maintain standards and end the season on a victorious high but also as every Premier League place is worth millions in prize and TV money not to mention the kudos that comes with finishing in the top half of the best League in the world.
There’s a strong possibility Newcastle would actually have qualified for Europe THIS season if not for the kind of officiating witnessed at Chelsea by Leicester-based VAR John Brooks, who failed to award Newcastle a penalty and send Kai Havert off for an elbow on Dan Burn & the same official failed to send off Ashley Barnes for an elbow on Tyrone Mings last night again indirectly helping Leicester City.
Last season, Newcastle were still very much in a relegation fight when they visited Turf Moor in 17th position hovering just above the bottom three and were a goal down until supersubs Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson entered the fray and a masterclass from the Frenchman setting up Jacob Murphy for a smart finish and then a solo goal of real brilliance of his own running from the halfway line sealed all three points for Newcastle and set the club towards the eventual 12th placed position they achieved with a super run-in:
More of the same on Sunday will be appreciated by the Geordie faithful everywhere and Callum Wilson was under no illusions that he and his teammates will treat Sunday's game as another chance to prove their value to a Newcastle United club post-takeoever that is a "sleeping giant that is definitely awake":
Burnley Still In Relegation Trouble
Eyebrows were raised across the football world following the controversial sacking of long-serving manager Sean Dyche in mid-April but what transpired was his replacement Mike Jackson producing an instant new-manager bounce that the owners were hoping for & until recently, he had the best points-per-game record in The Premier League after winning three of his first four games to propel The Clarets to within points of safety:
Those three consecutive wins against Southampton, Wolves and Watford restored hope to Burnley after a barren start to the season even by their standards when they looked like they would finally be relegated after succesfully avoiding the drop for five straight seasons since promotion to the Premier League in 20015/16 and even qualified for Europe after a sensational 7th-placed finish in 2017/8 against the financial odds.
A draw at Aston Villa last night means Burnley go into the final day's game against Newcastle level on 35 points with Leeds but with a vastly superior goal-difference:
Caretaker Manager Mike Jackson paid tribute to his players espcially his "amazing" goalkeeper Nick Pope who made some more outstanding saves to deny Villa and was pleased it was "still in our hands" going into the big game against Newcastle on Sunday.
Ivory Coast winger-forward Maxwell Cornet has been their stand-out signing this season netting eight goals in his 24 Premier League games so far after transferring from Lyon, where he played alongside Newcastle's Bruno Guimaraes and it was he who won the penalty at Villa Park to claw his side back into the game to gain a crucial point & he will be Burnley's main threat at Turf Moor after going off injured early on at St James' Park in December.
Eddie Howe, in his last press conference of the season, renewed his vow to play his best side and finish the season as strongly as possible:
After revealing that Switzerland defender Fabian Schar will be having a late fitness test due to "concussion protocols" following that clash with Eddie Nketiah, Howe revealed how pleased he was with the standard set in the Arsenal performance:
And that he and his men would be doing everything they could to finish in the Top 10:
Prediction - Newcastle 3 Burnley 1