Premier League football returns this weekend as Norwich City travel to St. James’ Park to take on Newcastle United (Saturday 3pm KO).
Our match preview breaks down United’s season so far, provides an overview of the fixture’s officials, and contains important information for fans travelling to the ground or following from afar.
Despite being positioned 14th in the league table, Steve Bruce’s side are currently just four points off Manchester United in fifth. They’re level on points with Burnley, Everton, Crystal Palace and Arsenal.
It’s far to say the campaign got off to a challenging start, with results in the first nine matches leaving them in the relegation zone in the second half of October.
Since then, however, barring a spell of three consecutive defeats to Manchester United, Everton, and Leicester City, the form has vastly improved, with the Magpies picking up six wins and four draws from Matchweeks 10-24.
Fascinatingly, that’s been in no small part due to the goalscoring contributions of defenders such as Jamal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez, DeAndre Yedlin, Jetro Willems, Fabian Schar and, most recently, Florian Lejeune. The forwards, meanwhile, have scored just four goals between them.
Three signings have been made in January, with Valentino Lazaro, Nabil Bentaleb and Danny Rose (still to be confirmed by the club) all coming in on loan.
Last time Newcastle and Norwich met; it was City who came away with a 3-1 win at Carrow Road thanks to a terrific Teemu Pukki hat-trick!
Martin Atkinson has been appointed to referee this fixture. This season, he’s overseen 23 games across the Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield, handing out 67 yellow cards and three reds.
His last Norwich game was our 4-2 win at Preston North End in the FA Cup third round, in which Atkinson dished out three yellow cards for Alex Neil’s side.
This weekend, his assistants will be Constantine Hatzidakis and Eddie Smart, with Darren England the fourth official. Peter Bankes and Scott Ledger will be overseeing VAR.
Info for supporters
Newcastle’s Visitor Guide contains information on getting to St. James’ Park (by train, bus, coach and taxi), facilities around the stadium, what you can and can’t take in with you and more. To view it, click HERE.
Turnstiles will open at 1.30pm, 90 minutes ahead of kick-off and all bags will be searched.
How to follow
Canaries TV subscribers can listen to live BBC Radio Norfolk commentary from Chris Goreham by purchasing a match/monthly/yearly pass. For more info, click HERE.
We will be running regular updates on our Twitter account, including reaction after the final whistle.