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Eddie Howe is under no illusions as to the size of the challenge facing him at Newcastle United, as the Magpies prepare for a bottom-of-the-table clash with Norwich City.
Howe took over at Newcastle in the wake of Steve Bruce's dismissal following the Saudi-backed takeover of the club. He drew his first game, but lost 2-0 to Arsenal last time out.
Newcastle host Norwich on Tuesday, with the Canaries a place and three points above them. It will be the first time Howe has been on the touchline in a home game, after he missed the Brentford match due to contracting COVID-19.
"We're certainly going to have to start winning soon," he said. "There's a huge challenge ahead."Of the possibility of signing reinforcements in January, Howe said: "It's very difficult to make any promises.
"You have to attract players, they have to want to come and they have to improve the squad. January's an incredibly difficult window to recruit in, especially when your league position's difficult.
"I know the owners will support the team, and me, in trying to achieve what we need but it would be foolish to make rash promises. My priority is getting the best out of the players we have in the building now."
Norwich also have a new boss, with Dean Smith two games into his tenure. He followed up a win over Southampton with a draw against Wolves at the weekend.
"Myself and [assistant head coach] Craig Shakespeare have been very impressed with the balance to the squad and the quality as well," said Smith.
"It gives us that renewed belief that we can keep the club in the Premier League."
Newcastle United - Callum Wilson
If Newcastle are to claw their way out of trouble, they will need Callum Wilson to hit form, and for that to happen he needs to be provided with the chances to shoot. Against Arsenal, he failed to have a single attempt.
Norwich City - Tim Krul
Tim Krul spent 11 years at Newcastle in total before leaving the club in 2017. He will be eager to show his best against his former club on Tuesday.
- Norwich picked up their first Premier League away win in almost two years at Brentford last time out. The Canaries last won back-to-back away games in the competition in January 2012, beating both QPR and West Bromwich Albion 2-1.
- In each of the last three league campaigns in which Newcastle and Norwich have met, there has been a hat-trick scored - Georginio Wijnaldum and Dwight Gayle for Newcastle (2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively), and Teemu Pukki for Norwich in 2019-20.
- Smith is unbeaten in all five of his Premier League games against Newcastle (W3 D2), already beating them 2-0 with Aston Villa this season. However, Smith has lost both of his previous Premier League games against Howe.
- Norwich have won two of their last three Premier League games against Newcastle (D1), as many as they had in their previous 10 against the Magpies in the competition (W2 D3 L5).
- Newcastle have lost six of their last eight midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) Premier League games (W1 D1), including each of their last three played on a Tuesday.
Updated November 29, 2021