Newcastle welcome a rejuvenated Wolves to St. James' Park looking to close the gap on their opponents in the Premier League table on Sunday.


Rafa Benitez's outfit picked up a point at Everton last time out, but have failed to win since their 2-1 victory at Burnley on matchday 13.

Meanwhile, Raul Jimenez and Diego Jota were on target as Wolves claimed a famous scalp over Chelsea on Wednesday - moving the Midlands' side up to 12th in the table after a six game winless run.


Ahead of a busy winter fixture list, both teams will see this clash as a must win if they're to enjoy comfortable campaigns.


Here's 90min's breakdown of this crucial fixture.


Where To Watch


When Is Kick Off?​​Sunday 9th December
​What Time Is Kick Off?​16:00 (BST)
​Where Is It Played?​St James Park
​TV Channel/Live Stream?​Sky Sports Main Event/Live Score
​Referee?​Mike Dean


Team News

 

​Newcastle are set to be without winger Kenedy for a second time in four days, with the Brazilian ​said to be touch and go following a knock in training. However, Benitez will be boosted by the return of Matt Ritchie after his one-game suspension picked up against West Ham last weekend.

Nuno Espirito Santo faces another selection dilemma with Ruben Neves returning from suspension. As alluded to, duo Jota and Jimenez impressed​ last time out and will be pushing for starts again.


On-loan ​Atletico Madrid left-back Jonny Castro is not expected to return until after the New Year and hasn't featured since 18 November.


Predicted Lineups


​NewcastleDubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Manquillo; Ritchie, Diame, Ki, Atsu; Perez, Rondon.​
Wolves​Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Vinagre; Gibbs-White, Jota, Jimenez.

Head to Head Record


In 84 meetings between the sides in all competitions, Wanderers boast a narrow win record of 39 to Newcastle's 32, while 23 have ended all square.

Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

Sunday's encounter is the first top flight fixture since Wolves' 2011-12 relegation campaign, which saw Matt Jarvis and Kevin Doyle on the scoreheet as they came behind to rescue a 2-2 draw on Tyneside.


Recent Form


After a disastrous start that saw Newcastle pick up just four points from their first nine league games, they've somewhat recovered with three wins from the last five - to the relief of the Magpies faithful.


Aside from their 3-0 home ​hammering inflicted by West Ham, Benitez's side have looked relatively solid in recent weeks as they look to return to winning ways. 

In contrast, ​Wolves' promising early season form gave way to a wretched run that saw five defeats in six - only to halt that run in sensational style in midweek. Their 2-1 comeback against the 2016-17 champions would have surprised even the most optimistic punters - whose top half ambitions remain possible.


Here's how each team has fared in their last five fixtures:



​NewcastleWolves
​Everton 1-1 Newcastle (05/12)​Wolves 2-1 Chelsea (05/12)
​Newcastle 0-3 West Ham (01/12)​Cardiff 2-1 Wolves (30/11)
​Burnley 1-2 Newcastle (26/11)​Wolves 0-2 Huddersfield (25/11)
​Newcastle 2-1 Bournemouth (10/11)​Arsenal 1-1 Wolves (11/11)
​Newcastle 1-0 Watford (03/11)​Wolves 2-3 Tottenham (03/11)

Prediction


With Newcastle facing lowly ​Huddersfield and ​Fulham in forthcoming weeks, a win against last the newly promoted Wanderers could make the winter break a bit more comfortable for the Toon Army. 

But Wolves have already picked up away victories at ​Crystal Palace and West Ham and will look to build on Wednesday's win.


Tipped to be a tight contest, a draw wouldn't be the end of the world for either side. 


Prediction: Newcastle 2-2 Wolves