Wolves urged to stay positive

Nuno Espirito Santo is determined not to get too carried away by Wolves' impressive 2-1 victory against Chelsea at Molineux.

Wolves hit back from going a goal behind to defeat the 2016/17 Premier League champions on Wednesday and Nuno is keen to maintain the momentum when his side visit Newcastle United, 7/2 to be relegated this season, on Sunday.

The victory against Chelsea ended a run of six games without a victory for Wolves, who are 17/10 to win at St James' Park and 13/2 to triumph 1-0.

Nuno said: "We won a very difficult game, but we didn't solve all our problems. We made mistakes against Chelsea even though we won. We have the same approach, positives and negatives, and we try to find solutions and prepare for Newcastle.

"The way we conceded the goal, we were organised and suddenly there's a deflection and you're behind against a big team.

"The reaction was very good and this is the building of a team that wants to compete against any opponent. We still have a very long way to go, but the way we reacted was very good."

Nuno has a full squad to choose from for the trip to the north-east apart from the injured Jonny.

Wolves can be backed at 9/1 to beat Rafa Benitez's team from behind.

Pellegrini calls for more of the same

Manuel Pellegrini was as pleased that his side kept a clean sheet as he was with the quality of the goals West Ham scored in the 3-0 win at Newcastle United.

The Chilean thought his Hammers team had played so well on Tyneside that they could have scored four or five more goals.

Javier Hernandez grabbed a brace, and should have scored at least two more goals, while the outstanding Felipe Anderson netted a super late third goal as Pellegrini's team eased to victory at St James' Park.

But the veteran West Ham manager was particularly pleased that his side kept only their second clean sheet in the Premier League this season.

Pellegrini said: "We are very satisfied because I think the team played a very good game. We scored three good goals and created at least four or five more chances to score. And we kept a clean sheet, which is not very normal for us this season, so we're pleased. It was the complete game."

West Ham host Cardiff City on Tuesday, with Pellegrini adding: "I think that the worst mistake we can make is that a fixture is available to win easily for us.

"I think that we need to play the next game the same way and knowing that we need to work hard to recover without the ball and, in attack, we need to play the same way."

The Hammers are 13/20 to beat Cardiff and 15/2 to secure a 2-0 victory against Neil Warnock's outfit.

Dyche expects duo to feature

Burnley boss Sean Dyche hopes that Steven Defour and Johann Berg Gudmundsson will be able to play in Monday's crunch clash against Newcastle United.

However, Ben Gibson and James Tarkowski will once again miss out.

Defour fell awkwardly during the 0-0 draw at Leicester City a fortnight ago at the King Power Stadium and had to be substituted while Gudmundsson has recovered from the calf problem that forced him to pull out of the Iceland squad during the international break.

Dyche said: "Steven came off at Leicester with a mild twist to his knee but he's made really good progress. We're expecting him to be fine."

Meanwhile, former Middlesbrough defender Gibson is making good progress after enduring a second hernia operation three weeks ago.

"Ben is over the worst of his hernia," added Dyche. "He's had a really good week's training. He's a super fit pro anyway and he's looked after himself for sure, so we're looking forward to having him back soon."

Tarkowski also had a second hernia operation recently, with the Clarets boss saying: "He's going nicely on the grass. He's not quite with us yet and Monday will probably come too early for him.

"Nick Pope is back on the grass with our goalkeeping coach, making good progress as well, so we're beginning to show strong signs of numbers coming back our way."

Burnley, 11/10 to be relegated this season, can be backed at 7/1 to beat Newcastle 1-0.

Lascelles: I’m over the moon

Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles says he is focused on helping Rafa Benitez's side climb the table after penning a new deal with the club.

The 24-year-old former Nottingham Forest defender's new contract will keep him at St James' Park until June 2024.

Lascelles, who has made 112 appearances for Newcastle, scoring eight goals, said: "I'm over the moon – it's great news to be tied down to Newcastle for a long time. It's pretty much all I ever wanted – playing in the Premier League in front of amazing fans.

"I think now as players, we just need to give the fans what they deserve. We need to put in the performances and make it even more special.

"Since I've been here, everything's been really positive and now I need to get my head down and get this team higher up the league."

Meanwhile, Benitez is pleased that Lascelles has pledged his long-term future to the club as he believes the fans like players who care about the team.

He thinks Lascelles has a great future in the game.

Newcastle, who drew 0-0 at Southampton on Saturday to move off the foot of the table, are 7/4 to be relegated this season, while they can be backed at 31/20 to beat Watford on Saturday.

Benitez's team are 2/1 to keep a clean sheet against the Hornets, while Lascelles is 14/1 to score at any time in the encounter.

Hughton allays Murray fears

Chris Hughton is relieved that veteran striker Glenn Murray escaped serious injury during Brighton's 1-0 victory at Newcastle United on Saturday.

However, Murray looks set to miss the Seagulls' next top-flight match against Wolves, which they are 19/10 to win, after he was involved in a clash of heads in the first half of the St James' Park encounter.

Murray was initially left unconscious after an accidental collision with Magpies defender Federico Fernandez and did not travel back to Brighton with the rest of the squad after the match.

Hughton said: "Glenn is from up here, so he was always planning on staying up. We'll do what's appropriate this week. There are certainly rules and regulations as regards anybody having concussion. We'll certainly abide by them.

"He's okay. He's been discharged from hospital. He is sore. He was (knocked) out. He's had everything he's needed to have, the correct scans, and everything is fine.

"It will just be a question now of recovery. He'll obviously be sore for a while."

There were fears that Murray had swallowed his tongue, with Hughton adding: "Yes, there was fear, only because of when you see players' reactions. From where we are we had no idea. We knew what had happened and there had been a collision but we had no other detail.

"When you see the players as stressed as they were it makes you more concerned."

The result leaves Newcastle at the foot of the table and Rafa Benitez's side can be backed at 7/4 to be relegated this term.

Premier League: Why These Managers Often Know Best!

The general media and majority of pundits in England (albeit some with an axe to grind) keep telling us there is a crisis at the biggest club in the land.

There isn’t, but the chances are there will be if Manchester United fail to beat winless Newcastle in the Premier League this weekend.

Talking Points

Newcastle United aim to make it in Premier League 2018 News

Rafa Benitez eyes Newcastle United’s first win this season

The truth of the matter is it’s very rare for United to go more than a few games without a win so it’s not uncommon for one media outlet or another to use the word ‘crisis’ or print a photo of the famous club crest with a split down the middle when it happens.

Indeed, I’ve lost count of the times it was done to United during a poor spell of any given campaign in which Sir Alex Ferguson would invariably guide them to yet another piece of silverware and laugh at the over-the-top reaction.

Despite clear strains between a few players and the current incumbent Jose Mourinho which will need to be addressed, United will hope this spell is all too similar.

Good results can change the mood inside a club very quickly. And despite the run of poor form, watch any United game closely and there still seems to be a desire and intensity to play for the manager.

For all his faults, Mourinho can rightly feel let down by some of his players so far. They owe him and themselves some improved showings, starting this weekend.

Now, let me tell you something that most Premier League 2018 news stories with their anti-Mourinho agenda have not told you so far.

Mourinho is one of the few members of staff at the club who has a proven track record of delivering excellence in his position.

He is one of few who seems to want to win so much that his mood and wellbeing depend on it.

Replacing a manager after a few bad results and internal squabbles is the last thing United need as they struggle to find consistent success after the Ferguson empire.

The club’s hierarchy is desperate for him to succeed and have, largely, backed him in the transfer market during his two-and-a-bit years at the club.

Not all the fans like what is deemed to be dysfunctional football at times, but the majority of supporters know there is no one better who is available.

Finally, Mourinho, deep down, knows that he polarises opinion quite like no other and, should he and United part company, he may struggle to get another big job after acrimonious spells at all his immediate previous employers.

As Mourinho’s old rival, Rafa Benitez, prepares to bring his Newcastle team to Old Trafford, there are striking parallels.

Here is another boss with a proven track record who is not just appreciated but also loved by the Geordie fans.

Results have also not gone their way with the Toon Army without a win, in the relegation zone, playing below par football and Benitez’s contract up next summer.

However, in contrast to Mourinho, he has not been backed by club owner Mike Ashley who is a regular target of fans’ ire, even if he has pledged this week to spend in the January transfer market.

Some have even said they would happily let Benitez walk away if it meant Ashley was forced out of the club.

Whether his transfer pledge can encourage the visitors to a famous result this weekend is unclear, but one thing for sure. There’s a clear, considerate warning for both sides: be careful what you wish for!


Last season saw United turn on the style at Old Trafford.

After going behind to a Dwight Gayle goal in November, they ran out 4-1 winners, courtesy of goals from Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.

It was a very different scenario in the rematch at St James Park in February when a Matt Ritchie goal gave the Toon a memorable win which sparked their confidence to launch a successful survival bid and an eventual 10th-place finish.

Betting Tip

Manchester United vs Newcastle United Over 2.75 Goals @ 2.21
October 7, 00:30 (GMT+8)

Newcastle’s last league victory came on May 14, the final day of last season, so it’s understandable why few us fans will tip them to cause a shock.

Even accounting for their poor form, the Premier League 2018 betting odds point to a home victory with 1X2 on United offering odds of @ 1.47, the draw @ 4.10 and Newcastle @ 6.80.

Likewise, Asian Handicap betting will give you odds on United -1.50 @ 2.49 and Newcastle + 1.00 @ 2.14.

A repeat of last season’s 4-1 scoreline will pay out @ 24.00.

?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.




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Rondon’s injury concerns Rafa

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez is unsure whether Salomon Rondon will be fit enough to play against Leicester City this weekend.

The Venezuela international striker had to be substituted at half-time on Saturday in the goalless draw at Crystal Palace with a quad injury.

Joselu came on to replace Rondon, who has failed to score in the Premier League for the Magpies since joining on a season-long loan deal from West Brom last month.

The 29-year-old will be assessed to determine the severity of his injury, with Benitez admitting: "Yes, he was feeling a little bit tight.

"No [it was not a precaution], he was not feeling well. You could see that he was uncomfortable in the first half.

"It's too early [to say if he'll be ready for Leicester]. He said that he was fine. He was feeling it [his quad] a little bit when he was shooting."

Newcastle have failed to win any of their six Premier League matches so far this season and are 10/3 to be relegated and 29/20 to beat the Foxes on Saturday.

Benitez remains upbeat though, adding: "We did what we have to do in terms of effort. We have to improve on the ball. You saw against Palace, with just two or three passes we could be there, but we didn't do it so many times. We were missing this final pass."

Key duo back for Newcastle

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez is relieved that Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie are available for Saturday's home match against Arsenal.

They key duo had missed the last two matches with thigh and knee problems respectively but are in contention to feature against the Gunners, 9/4 to finish in the top four this season.

"These kinds of weeks are very difficult, because we have players coming back (from international duty) so you have to check everyone and how they feel," said Benitez.

"We have Shelvey and Ritchie training, so no big issue – everyone was training. We have to decide now who can play and who cannot. But both Ritchie and Shelvey are in the squad."

The Magpies beat Arsenal 2-1 at St James' Park in April and are 14/1 to repeat that scoreline on Saturday and record a first Premier League victory of the campaign.

Benitez added: "Every game is different. We will try to set up a team that can win, with the tactics and everything we can do.

"We will decide before the game – we have been talking, we have been working on that, but we will try to do something that will be enough to win the game."

Gunners stay would suit Monreal

Spain international Nacho Monreal, who is in the last 12 months of his current Arsenal deal, is keen to sign a new contract with the club.

The 32-year-old, who moved to the Gunners from Malaga in January 2013, has featured in more than 150 Premier League matches for the club, finding the net on seven occasions.

Monreal, who scored for Unai Emery's team in last month's 3-1 victory against West Ham United, has revealed that new deal talks have started.

Barcelona are reportedly interested in signing Monreal on a free transfer, but the former Osasuna star said: "At the moment we are talking with the club.

"I've always said I am really happy, I feel very happy playing for Arsenal. I came [almost] six years ago. I have a good relationship with them.

"We are in contact in any moment so don't worry about that. I am happy here. That is the most important thing.

"My idea is to play in football until my body says 'Nacho, so sorry but that's the end. But I think it is far [away]. I hope so."

Arsenal lost their first two Premier League matches of the campaign but followed up their victory against the Hammers by winning 3-2 at Cardiff City last time out.

Emery's side are 9/4 to clinch a top-four spot this term and 17/20 to beat Newcastle United on Saturday with Monreal 5/1 to score at any time in the encounter.

Karanka keen to build on shock win

Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka hopes his side can replicate the form they showed in Wednesday's victory against Newcastle in the Championship.

Goals from Daryl Murphy, Matty Cash and Gil Dias helped Forest record a fine 3-1 win against Rafa Benitez's side in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

Forest spent heavily in the summer on new players but they have made a modest start to the Championship season, winning one and drawing four of their first five matches.

They can be backed at 9/2 to be promoted this season and at 7/2 to beat Brentford this weekend.

Former Middlesbrough manager Karanka said: "The team deserved a good performance. It has been clear that when we play our football, we are a very good team.

"I didn't say anything because I didn't like the excuses, but I could feel what was happening in the games in the league were normal. We showed against Newcastle that without the pressure of the league we are a very good team and now we have to learn to be ourselves and take that pressure off."

Meanwhile, Newcastle have only taken one point from their first three Premier League matches of the season and are now out of the Carabao Cup.

Benitez is not too disheartened though, saying: "I don't agree that Forest were the better team and I'm not concerned by how we played. I'm really pleased with the players that were on the pitch because they were trying their best."