Premier League

Newcastle United-Wolverhampton Preview

Steve Bruce believes speculation over a possible takeover of Newcastle United is "boring", despite fueling the fire somewhat with a suggestion other Premier League clubs lobbied against it.

It was alleged in a tribunal this week that the league had been "improperly influenced" by "major clubs", after a failed, contentious bid for Newcastle made by a Saudi Arabian-led consortium.

Newcastle, still without a win in the league this season, sit 17th heading into Saturday's clash with Wolves.

Though Bruce stated he is bored of the talk, he also said he would not have been surprised if other teams urged the league to prevent the takeover.

"You wouldn't want another big player on the patch would you? So it wouldn't surprise me, no," Bruce said, via BBC Sport. "It seems a bit complicated for me. I'm going to be brutally honest and say I've not got a clue.

"If (the takeover) benefits the club, then great. I only want what's best for the club. If that means a takeover then great. It's been hanging around, it's not an excuse, but it's difficult at times, of course, because it's reported on, and it's become boring, if you like. How many stories are there about the takeover? I just try and switch off."

Wolves claimed their second win of the season last time out, with Raul Jimenez getting his first goal of the campaign to see off Southampton.

"It's important for us, it's important for him to get confidence, but we knew sooner or later he was going to score, because he worked after the injury, every single day, doing his best to help the team," said Joao Moutinho of Jimenez returning to form.

"Sometimes you don't score, but the work you do is amazing. Nobody talks about that, but for me what I see is very important."

Wolves – Raul Jimenez

Jimenez's goal was his first in the Premier League in almost a year. His last goal at Molineux in the competition came against Newcastle, back in October 2020.

Newcastle United – Allan Saint-Maximin

Saint-Maximin has either scored (two) or assisted (three) five of Newcastle's seven Premier League goals so far this season (71 per cent), registering a goal involvement in each of his last four appearances in the competition.

Newcastle midfielder Joe Willock scored in each of his last seven Premier League appearances in 2020-21, playing 389 minutes in these games and averaging a goal every 56 minutes. So far this season he has played 431 minutes across five games, but has yet to find the net for the Magpies this term.

After winning five of their last eight league games in the 2020-21 campaign, Newcastle are without a win in their six games so far this season (D3 L3).

Wolves are yet to score a goal in the first half of a game in the Premier League this season. Indeed, over their last 25 Premier League matches, Wolves have scored in the first half on just four occasions.

Both teams have scored in all 12 Premier League meetings between Wolves and Newcastle, making it the most played fixture in the competition not to see a clean sheet. Eight of those 12 matches have finished 1-1, including each of the last five in a row.

Wolves are the only side without a home goal in the Premier League so far this season. Only four teams have ever failed to score in any of their first four home games in a top-flight campaign – West Bromwich Albion in 1921-22, Everton in 1998-99 and both Crystal Palace and Huddersfield in 2018-19.

Updated October 1, 2021

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