17 July 2019
Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers go head-to-head at St. James Park for the Premier League Asia Trophy semi-final clash.
It will be Newcastle’s opening summer friendly following an underwhelming 2018-19 Premier League campaign that saw them finish 13th in the English top tier with a record of 12 wins, nine draws, and 17 defeats. With the managerial spot left vacant after Rafa Benitez’s departure, the Magpies will hope to build on a strong end of last season (W3, D1, L1). Two of those Newcastle’s wins have seen them beat their rivals to nil while two saw them score two or more goals too. Moreover, they have hit a free-scoring form lately, having found the net in their previous five games, while netting 2+ match goals three times across those clashes. Still, Newcastle’s defensive frailties can worry their fans, as the Magpies kept a blank sheet just twice in their last ten outings, allowing over 1.5 goals per match five times along the way.
Meanwhile, Wolverhampton’s impressive PL campaign after achieving promotion will see them feature the Europa League qualifications. Before a 2-0 loss to Liverpool on the final matchday of last season, Wolves have put together four straight games without a loss (W3, D1), with two of those triumphs being settled by a narrow one-goal margin. Also, three of those matches have featured under 2.5 goals with two of them seeing both teams score. Just like Newcastle, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men had troubles preventing their rivals from scoring lately, as they’ve kept a clean slate on just two occasions over their previous ten outings.
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