Newcastle welcome rock bottom Huddersfield Town to St James' Park on Saturday in a relegation six pointer as the Premier League returns.
With the visitors staring down the barrel of relegation, the pressure will be on the Magpies to establish some breathing space between themselves and the bottom three, as they currently sit 16th and just one point off the drop zone.
Check out 90min's preview of Saturday's game below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 23 February|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||15:00 (GMT)|
|Where Is it Played?||St James' Park|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BBC Final Score/BT Sport Score|
There is good news on the injury front for Rafa Benitez, as Ki Sung-yueng played 45 minutes of their friendly match against CSKA Moscow during a warm weather training camp last week.
Long term absentee Jonjo Shelvey is also edging ever closer to a return after he joined training sessions with the team in Spain, with the Englishman having enjoyed just 37 minutes of Premier League action since the turn of the year.
Meanwhile, the Toon Army will be eager to see £20m man Miguel Almiron in the starting XI, after the attacking midfielder made his debut as a substitute in their last game, a 1-1 draw at Wolves.
For Huddersfield, both Jonas Lössl and Chris Löwe are set to return to the fold having missed out on the trip to Arsenal a fortnight ago through illness. Jan Siewert will also be without Belgian winger Isaac Mbenza who will be sidelined until next month with a calf injury.
|Newcastle||Dubravka; Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune; Yedlin, Hayden, Longstaff, Ki, Ritchie; Almiron, Rondon.|
|Huddersfield||Lossl; Smith, Jorgensen, Schindler, Lowe; Bacuna, Hogg, Mooy, Puncheon; Kachunga, Diakhaby.|
Head to Head Record
The last time these two sides met, they were separated by a second half Salomon Rondon strike with the game finishing 1-0 to the Magpies. In fact, each of the last three meetings between the clubs have finished 1-0, with Newcastle winning two of those affairs.
The Terriers' last win at St James' Park came in 2016 as the sides battled in the Championship, with the game finishing 2-1 to the visitors.
Newcastle's recent form has dragged them into a relegation battle that seemed unlikely a few months ago. They have won just two of their last nine Premier League outings but the Magpies will be spirited by the fact that both those wins came at St James' Park and they will be hoping to count on home comforts once more this weekend with the visit of Huddersfield.
Meanwhile, the Terriers haven't won any of their last 13 Premier League ties, with their last win in the league coming way back in November. Saturday's tie is a must-win game for Siewert's men in their battle to avoid the drop.
Here's how the two sides have performed in their last five fixtures:
|Wolves 1-1 Newcastle (11/2)||Huddersfield 1-2 Arsenal (9/2)|
|Tottenham 1-0 Newcastle (2/2)||Chelsea 5-0 Huddersfield (2/2)|
|Newcastle 2-1 Man City (29/1)||Huddersfield 0-1 Everton (29/1)|
|Newcastle 0-2 Watford (26/1)||Huddersfield 0-3 Man City (20/1)|
|Newcastle 3-0 Cardiff (19/1)||Cardiff 0-0 Huddersfield (12/1)|
Despite their recent upturn in home form, only Southampton and Huddersfield have picked up fewer points on their own turf than the Magpies this term.
However, Benitez's men will be looking for their third straight league win at St. James' Park on Saturday against a struggling outfit who are all but condemned to Championship obscurity next year.
Though the pressure will be on the home side, expect them to cope with the high expectations of the crowd to come out on top in this one.