Brentford's record on Tyneside since gaining promotion from the Championship does make for grim reading, however. In their previous four visits they have only managed to pick up a single point in the eventful 3:3 draw back in November 2021.
Brentford will be without former magpie Ivan Toney as he serves out his eight months ban for admitting 232 breaches of the Football Association's betting rules.
Brentford will also be without Joshua DaSilva and await news on the availability of defender Ben Mee who is given only a 50/50 chance of being fit.
In the absence of Ivan Toney Brentford have relied on the pace and strength of Bryan Mbeumo as their main threat to the opposition and he proved his value to the team, scoring a late equaliser in their 2:2 draw with Bournemouth last time out. That was Mbeumo’s fourth league goal of the season.
The Cameroon international was also on target for his country as the Indomitable Lions secured their place in the 2023 African Cup of Nations in a 3:0 win against Burundi on Tuesday evening.
Eddie Howe meanwhile will be looking to his squad to restart their season after three successive defeats.
Long term injury absentees Joe Willock and Emil Krafth continue to be unavailable, but it is not so much the treatment table that Howe will be looking at but more the form stats as he contemplates changes to his line-up, having witnessed a very poor performance from his stuttering stars in their last outing away to Brighton.. Sven Botman however is reportedly available for selection and would be expected ted to slot straight back in.
Sandro Tonali reportedly picked up a knock whilst on international duty and an assessment on his fitness is awaited.
Bruno Guimarães started both of Brazil’s World Cup qualifying games against Bolivia and Peru while Joelinton came on to replace him on each occasion.
Miguel Almiron meanwhile featured in both games for Paraguay without any ill effects reported. Initial concerns that he had suffered a hamstring injury were dismissed as simply being cramp.
Kieran Trippier turned out at left back for England at Hampden Park where Callum Wilson got a late run out having been an unused substitute against Ukraine.
It was a mixed international week for Alexander Isak, Martin Dubravka and Fabien Schar who all encountered a win and defeat for their respective countries.
The referee this weekend is Craig Pawson, assisted by Lee Betts and Marc Perry. fourth official is Tony Harrington and the poor soul in the VAR hotseat is John Brooks.
Brooks will be ably (or otherwise) supported on VAR by an assistant, James Mainwaring; no relation as far as we are aware to Capt. Mainwaring of Dad’s Army fame!
Harrington’s last outing saw him involved in major controversy when in his capacity as Assistant VAR he failed to intervene in the decision to allow Nathan Ake’s effort to stand despite Ake’s teammate Manuel Akanji not only standing in an offside position but also in the opinion of many, infringing on the sightlines of Fulham keeper Bernd Leno.
The game is live on Sky Sports