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Wolverhampton-Newcastle United Preview
Wolverhampton are playing some of their best overall football following a relatively slow start to the Premier League campaign.
Wolves look to extend their unbeaten run over all competitions to eight games when they visit St James' Park to face Newcastle United on Sunday.
Juggling their Europa League presence with the Premier League, Wolves (2-5-2) were 0-4-2 in the top-flight before finally beating Watford on Sept. 28. A stunning 2-0 victory at Manchester City followed and Wolves earned another point with last weekend's 1-1 draw versus Southampton.
Add in a League Cup victory and Europa wins at Besiktas and SK Slovan Bratislava, and Wolverhampton are 4-3-0 since Sept. 22.
"I'm happy," coach Nuno Espirito Santo, whose club entered this weekend's matchday 13th in the Premier League table, told Wolverhampton's official website. "For me, it's not important (about) the results, what's important is how we are embracing the challenge since the beginning, and I'm happy. I'm happy because all the players, all the staff, all the club is putting everything in ourselves to make a successful situation for us. It's tough, a challenge but only (one that) can make us grow."
Nuno hopes his side's growth continues Sunday against Newcastle, where Wolves won 2-1 last season thanks to a Diogo Jota goal and Matt Doherty's winner in the 94th minute. Jota and Doherty have combined for three goals over all competitions this season for Wolverhampton.
Newcastle (2-2-5) entered this weekend at the top of the relegation zone in the Premier League, but are 1-2-0 at home since losing to Arsenal there in the season opener. They delivered a shock 1-0 triumph over Manchester United in their most recent match at St James Park on Oct. 6.
Unfortunately for the Magpies, they've managed only Matthew Longstaff's goal from that match over their last four Premier League contests. Newcastle fell 1-0 at Chelsea last weekend.
Despite Newcastle's lack of offense lately, and all season (five league goals) for that matter, manager Steve Bruce is confident his side can put forth a solid showing on Sunday.
"We're at home against a very decent Wolves side, but we're capable," Bruce told Newcastle's official website. "We know that, and we'll have to play at our best to win, but we're quietly confident we can do it."
Newcastle will be minus key contributors Fabian Schar and Andy Carroll, after both were knicked against Chelsea. In better team news, first-choice keeper Martin Dubravka signed a six-year deal to stay with the club.
Wolverhampton's Raul Jimenez has a team-leading six goals over all competitions, and one in each of the last two matches.
Updated October 25, 2019