Peep! Craig Pawson signals the end of a fairly uneventful first half and the teams traipse off. Brentford started in the ascendency but Newcastle have gradually grown into a game of very few chances. It’s all square at St James’ Park and here’s hoping for a more entertaining second half.
45+5 min: Bryan Mbeumo heads harmlessly over the bar from a Brentford corner.
45+2 min: Kieran Trippier has his foot trod on by Christian Noorgard but doesn’t get a free-kick. Brentfortd launch a quick counter-attack and get Yoane Wissa in behind the Newcastle backline, only for Schar and Sven Botman to scramble, regroup and clear the ball between them.
45+1 min: We’ll have a minimum of five minutes of added time, most of it for the spells Fabian Schar and Rico Henry spent getting treatment for injuries.
45 min: Since Rico Henry’s departure, his replacement Mads Roerslev has taken up position on the right flank, with Aaron Hickey moving across to the left.
43 min: Christian Noorgard is booked for a foul on Harvey Barnes and Newcastle have a free-kick in the inside left channel. Kieran Trippier sends the ball into the mixer but it’s headed back towards him by Mee. Newcastle’s right-back blasts his follow-up high over the bar.
41 min: The stretcher-bearers arrive to carry Henry off the pitch but he is already on his feet and hobbling to the touchline. He’s replaced by Mads Roerslev and hopefully his injury isn’t too bad.
39 min: Kieran Trippier quickly kicks the ball out of play as Rico Henry goes down with what looks like quite a serious knee injury. The duo were tussling for the ball near the corner flag deep in the Newcastle half and Henry’s knee seemed to twist and go out from under him.
38 min: Kieran Trippier sends a cross into the penalty area that’s a might too high for Callum Wilson, who gets his head to it anyway but can’t steer it goalwards. In a better position behind him, Harvey Barnes tells Wilson he should have left it for him. Wilson replies by saying he didn’t hear any call from his teammate.
35 min: There’s a brief pause in play as Schar receives treatment for a bloodied nose.
33 min: Yoane Wissa gets booked for catching Fabian Schar with a flailing arm as the two players jumped to contest a high ball. It’s seems harsh, as there was no intention whatsoever on his part to foul Schar; he was just using his arms to help him gain elevation.
31 min: Elliot Anderson curls a low cross into the Brentford penalty area but it manages to evade both Callum Wilson and Antony Gordon. It seems Newcastle have finally woken up.
29 min: Kieran Trippier’s inswinger is noddded down by Fabian Schar and bounces kindly for Bruno Guimaraes at the far post. He’s uinable to get much power on his stooping header and Mark Flekken saves smartly with his outstretched right leg.
27 min: Fabian Schar shoots from distance and his his effort takes a deflection off a Brentford player. It’s a corner for Newcastle, their first of the game.
26 min: Yet to register a shot on or off target, Newcastle are struggling to get through Brentford’s compact defence. They’re passing the ball around on the edge of the final third but can’t unpick the lock.
24 min: Nothing comes of the corner although it was notable that Brentford stationed men at the back post in great numbers before it was taken.
23 min: So close for Brentford! Matthias Jensen curls a cross towards the far post towards Yoane Wissa, who looks to have the simplest of tasks but somehow fails to make any contact with the ball, which goes out for a corner. Jensen’s delivery must have taken a deflection.
22 min: Free-kick for Newcastle, wide on the left. Kieran Trippier whips the ball towards the near post, where Janelt clears.
20 min: Newcastle win a throw-in deep in Brentford territory but nothing much comes of it. Dan Burn slings the ball into the penalty area and the visitors clear their lines.
19 min: Bryan Mbeumo runs on to a pass from Jensen to the goalline and tries to send in a cross with his right foot. He shanks the ball into the stand behind the goal, eliciting sarcastic applause from an uncharacteristically quiet Newcastle crowd as he does so.
17 min: Harvey Barnes and Dan Burn link up well together before playing Elliot Anderson in down the left side of the Brentford penalty area. His low cross is blocked by Pinnock at the near post.
16 min: Ben Mee is almost deceived by the high bounce of a long ball deep into the Brentford half but manages to avert the danger under serious pressure from Anthony Gordon.
13 min: Anthony Gordon cuts in from the left and tries to pick out Callum Wilson. His pass is wayward and goes straight to the feet of Ben Mee.
11 min: Pinnock lays the ball off to Noorgard on the edge of the Newcastle penalty area but his shot is blocked. There’s not a great deal in it but Brentford have had the better start at St James’ Park. They look threatening while Newcastle don’t.
10 min: Nathan Collins plays a weighted pass through to Bryan Mbeumo down the inside right channel but his pull-back fails to find a teammate.
8 min: Jensen picks out Bryan Mbeumo with a free-kick lofted towards the Newcastle penalty area. With his back to goal, the Brentford striker tries to chest the ball down but Dan Burn intervenes before he can get it on the deck.
6 min: Henry gets on the ball and plays it inside to Vitaly Janelt, just inside the Brentford half. It’s moved along to Noorgard and then Ethhan Pinnock as Brentford patiently try to find a way across the halfway line.
5 min: Anthony Gordon has lined up on the right of Newcastle’s front three this evening, and he’ll do well to get the better of the extremely quick Rico Henry when it comes to chasing balls down the wing.
3 min: Brentford wing-back Aaron Hickey takes the first shot in anger, blasting the ball into the chest of Nick Pope from a tightish angle after being played in on goal by Mathias Jensen.
2 min: Callum Wilson is outmuscled as he tries to collect a pass from Kieran Trippier and Christian Noorgard heads the ball back in the direction of his own goal. It’s cleared upfield and Newcastle take possession again.
1 min: Following a perfectly observed silence for the victims of this weeks tragedies in Libya and Morocco, Newcastle get the ball rolling. They play in their usual home kit, while Brentford are in light blue shirts, navy shorts and light blue socks.
Not long now: Led by match referee Craig Pawson, the teams march out on to the pitch at a packed St James’ Park ahead of kick-off. Kick-off is just a couple of minutes away.
Joelinton: Eddie Howe tells Sky Sports that his midfielder aggravated a knee problem during Brazil’s second game of the interational break and says he’ll be out for “a couple of weeks”.
Eddie Howe: “I’m immune to it, so I’m not hearing it,” said Newcastle’s manager when asked about the criticism of his side’s dismal performance against Brighton prior to the international break. “I’m only feeling my emotions to be honest – and my emotions are such that when we don’t win, I’m not great to be around. That is my drive.
“I don’t need anyone else to tell me anything, really, about the team. My drive is so high. My standards are so high that I expect to win every game and I want to win every game. If we don’t, I’m disappointed in myself, so I don’t need anyone else to tell me anything.”
Thomas Frank: Ivan Toney is currently serving an eight-month ban for a breach of betting regulations but will be allowed to return to training with Brentford on Monday as he enters the second half of his suspension. Thomas Frank addressed his return in his pre-match press conference.
“He’s very happy to be allowed back into football — to be around team-mates that he loves,” said the Brentford manager. “No doubt it will give us a lift. He hasn’t trained or played a team session, so we of course need to adapt him a bit.
“We have made a plan for him for the next 16 weeks and that will change once we get closer to when he can play in the team. We will try to work on his strength and other development areas. He’s training hard.
“It’s longer than a six-week pre-season, so there is time. He knows that we want the best for him, and that we are there for him. I’m massively proud of Ivan. The resilience he’s shown throughout his life, he should be an example for a lot of footballers.”
Those teams: Eddie Howe makes five changes to the team that lost at Brighton before the international break. Sandro Tonali is only fit enough for the bench, while Joelinton misses out altogether and is presumably injured.
Matt Targeet, Alexander Isak and Miguel Almiron also drop to the bench, while Sven Botman, Elliott Anderson, Harvey Barnes, Sean Longstaff and Callum Wilson all come into the squad.
Thomas Frank has made jusat one change to the side that drew with Bournemouth last time out. Kevin Schade drops to the bench, while Nathan Collins comes into defence in a state of affairs that suggest the Bees will line up with five at the back.
Newcastle: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Anderson, Barnes, Wilson, Gordon.
Subs: Dubravka, Lascelles, Tonali, Targett, Isak, Hall, Livramento, Murphy, Almiron.
Brentford: Flekken, Hickey, Pinnock, Mee, Collins, Henry, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Mbeumo, Wissa.
Subs: Maupay, Schade, Jorgensen, Ghoddos, Onyeka, Strakosha, Lewis-Potter, Roerslev, Yarmolyuk.
Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)
Spare a thought for Joe Willock, who misses out for Newcastle after suffering an achilles injury while on the verge of returning from a hamstring injury that caused him to miss pre-season and Newcastle’s opening four games. He could be out for another six weeks. Sandro Tonali, Sven Botman and new signing Elliott Anderson are all major doubts and were due to undergo late fitness tests.
Josh Dasilva and Shandon Baptiste remain sidelined for Brentford with thigh and shoulder injuries, resepctively but Mikkel Damsgaard is expected to return to Thomas Frank’s squad after recovering a muscle strain. Back at Brentford after his underwhelming season at Everton, Neal Maupay is likely to start on the bench.
Going into this game on the back of three consecutive defeats, Newcastle could really do with a confidence-boosting win ahead of their first Champions League group game in 20 years next Tuesday in Milan.
Reverses at the hands of Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton have left Newcastle languishing in 14th place at this early stage in the season but they will hope to get back to winning ways against a Brentford side who, for all their qualities, have a poor recent record against today’s opponents.
The Bees have taken just one point from their past four meetings with Newcastle and were battered 5-1 at St James’ Park last season. Unbeaten so far this season, Brentford have drawn three of their four games so far but with Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa both firing, have not found goals particularly difficult to come by in the absence of their suspended striker Ivan Toney. Kick-off at St James’ Park is at 5.30pm but stay tuned for team news and build-up.