Charlie Nicholas thinks Newcastle United’s attacking players are a ‘handful’, even though goals are so difficult to come by.
In 75 Premier League appearances between them this season, the trio of Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron and Joelinton have scored only five goals between them.
The view of Charlie Nicholas is: ‘Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin are the ones to look out for. They are talented players, but not the greatest in front of goal. Joelinton is anything but confident at the minute, but they are a handful.’
He predicts a 2-1 home win and Steve Bruce and his players to move to 38 points and relative safety.
However, the stats and form hardly back this view up.
In these last nine months, since mid-September, Sheffield United have played 24 Premier League matches and apart from losing to the top two – Liverpool and Man City, their only other defeat was when losing to NUFC in a smash and grab at Bramall Lane in December, when the Blades had 73% of possession.
As for goals, Newcastle have only one in their last seven and a half hours of Premier League football.
Indeed, a blow for the team on Friday when Steve Bruce revealed Newcastle’s top PL scorer of 2020 was ruled out through injury. Florian Lejuene scored those two late goals at Everton in January and apart from that, the only PL goals since we moved into 2020, have been ASM at Southampton, Hayden home to Chelsea and Almiron at Wolves.
Only Liverpool have lost (one) less away games than Sheffield United (two) so Charlie Nicholas predicting 2-1 to Newcastle would be a shock for a number of reasons.
Newcastle fans looking for a lift with this return to football, here’s hoping Sunday will provide it, with goals flowing as we watch on our TVs from home, instead of in the stands.
Charlie Nicholas talking to Sky Sports:
“Sheffield United should have got the three points [at Villa on Wednesday].
“Whatever happened with the technology, it was a shambles.
“Thank goodness it happened though, as it was the only talking point from the game.
“I went for Villa to win but I expected Sheffield United to graft, and they did just that. Oli McBurnie grafted and Billy Sharp worked his socks off, as did the whole of Chris Wilder’s side.
“Jack O’Connell was missing at the back and John Fleck was absent – you could tell that it was not quite the same.
“Steve Bruce will be trying to prove a point…
“And Newcastle will be sold, but whoever buys the club, Bruce needs a chance and he will be wanting to show that he can match it.
“Newcastle are sitting in 13th, and they should be all but over the line, but they can be awkward.
“Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin are the ones to look out for. They are talented players, but not the greatest in front of goal.
“Joelinton is anything but confident at the minute, but they are a handful.
“You break up Sheffield United by two or three players and suddenly the system gets disrupted. I will go for a Newcastle win here.
“Prediction is Newcastle United 2 Sheffield United 1.”