Nottingham Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo insists his players will not hide as they face up to a tough winter.

Forest, already battling to avoid being sucked into a relegation battle, were plunged into further difficulties earlier this week as they were charged with breaches of the Premier League’s financial regulations.

Nuno was pleased with the spirit shown as Forest saw off a Blackpool fightback to edge into the FA Cup fourth round with a 3-2 win after extra time of a tricky replay at Bloomfield Road on Wednesday.

Forest had gone into the game against the League One side without a host of players due to Africa Cup of Nations call-ups – of which the club have six – and injuries.

“The boys were ready,” said Nuno. “We cannot hide ourselves. Everybody can see we are short of options, especially offensive options.

“We are very short, we have a lot of players out, but the group is showing that with the help of everybody we’ll manage this tough period.”

Forest, who had to fight back from 2-0 down at the City Ground to force the replay, this time looked in control as they opened up a two-goal lead with strikes from debutant Andrew Omobamidele and Danilo.

This time it was the Seasiders who responded with goals from Albie Morgan and substitute Kyle Joseph and they could have won it when Karamoko Dembele spurned a good chance in stoppage time.

Chris Wood eventually settled the tie in the second period of extra time and Forest will now travel to Bristol City in the next round.

Nuno’s immediate thoughts now turn to Saturday’s league trip to Brentford but he would relish a good cup run.

The Portuguese said: “Every game is important. Now we have to prepare for Brentford. It’s going to be a tough one, especially after the effort of the players here and the lack of numbers that offensively we have.

“But we’re going to face every game and the cup – I’m not the only one to say it’s very special. We have to go for it.”

Nuno confirmed that midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White missed the game at Blackpool with an abdominal issue which could sideline him for a fortnight.

“The first diagnosis that we have is a couple of weeks,” he said. “We miss him because he was in a very good moment for us.”

Hat-trick hero Chris Wood has warned Nottingham Forest their Boxing Day triumph at Newcastle will count for nothing unless they build upon it.

Forest dragged themselves into 16th place in the Premier League table with a superb 3-1 victory at St James’ Park, but they remain only two points clear of the relegation zone heading into Saturday’s mouth-watering home clash with Manchester United.

Wood’s treble capped an impressive display and handed new boss Nuno Espirito Santo a first win in his second game at the helm, but the 32-year-old New Zealand international knows it can only be considered a start.

 

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He told Forest TV: “It’s most definitely a step in the right direction. I would never say ‘turned a corner’ because it is only one game and we need to remember than one game doesn’t make four or five.

 

“We need to work ahead and it’s not going to guarantee that we’re going to play well in the next game. We have to make sure we play well in the next game. It’s only on us as players and staff – and the fans getting behind us, that really helps.

“But I’m sure it will be bouncing, the City Ground, come the 30th.”

Forest showed real character as well as flair and deadly finishing on Tyneside as they fought back from Alexander Isak’s 23rd-minute penalty to level when Wood tapped home from the impressive Anthony Elanga’s pinpoint cross.

The frontman, who left Newcastle for the City Ground during the summer, then produced two deft finishes to make the most of defence-splitting passes from first Elanga and then defender Murillo and wrap up the win.

He said: “Look, we know Newcastle are a a top, top side – I know it first had – and we knew coming here was going to be very tough. They’re a good side, good players.

“They weren’t in the Champions league for no reason and they’re not near the top of the league for no reason because they are a good side.

“We just had to keep working on what we could do. We took risks, we took chances – sometimes they paid off, and sometimes they didn’t and we got caught. But that’s the type of football we wanted to play, that’s what we were given the license to try to do, and thankfully it worked.”

Wood admitted his second Premier League hat-trick – his first came for Burnley in a 4-0 win at Wolves in April 2021 – prompted some mixed feelings, but was no less welcome as a result.

He said: “It is bittersweet, but it’s fantastic. I’m obviously over the moon with the performance of the lads and the goals and the three points, most importantly.

“It was an interesting place to come back to. I really enjoyed my time up here, I’ve got a lot of close friends up here and things like that. It’s bittersweet, but I’m definitely going to take it.”

Eddie Howe has warned his Newcastle players that no-one is guaranteed a place in his team as he attempts to turn around an alarming slump in form.

Boxing Day’s humbling 3-1 home defeat by Nottingham Forest was the Magpies’ sixth in seven games in all competitions, a run during which their first Champions League adventure in two decades has drawn to a close and hopes of a second successive Carabao Cup final appearance have gone up in smoke.

Head coach Howe hopes to have more of his injured troops back to assist those who have been wearied by a schedule which brought 10 games in 30 days during December and he will have no qualms about shaking things up, with the January transfer window also just days away.

He said: “I’ll be prepared to make any change that I think can benefit either the performance or the result and of course players are accountable for what they deliver.

“No amount of credit in the bank is big enough, you have to earn everything you get from the game. I’m a firm believer in that, so players know they have to perform and we have to change our short-term form for sure.”

Tuesday’s defeat, which ended a run of seven consecutive Premier League wins at St James’ Park, was all the more painful in that it arrived three days after a 1-0 reverse at Luton and courtesy of a rare hat-trick from former Newcastle striker Chris Wood.

More worryingly, it further damaged the prospects of repeating last season’s top-four Premier League finish and the rewards it would bring, and with fixtures against high-flying Liverpool, Manchester City and Aston Villa to come either side of an FA Cup trip to Sunderland, alarm bells are ringing in some quarters.

Howe, who has presided over a remarkable rise on Tyneside since taking up the reins in November 2021, remains calm and retains the support of the club’s Saudi-backed hierarchy, and his response will be to attempt to address his team’s ongoing issues on the training pitch, something for which he has had precious little time in recent weeks.

He said: “The difficulty for the players that have played the majority of the minutes in recent weeks has been they just haven’t been on the grass.

“They have been in between games, of course, resting and then building up for another game three days later, and possibly we’ve suffered from not having that training ground time.

“That’s the schedule, we knew that that was going to be the case, but I just think that our inability to rotate the team has maybe caught up with us in that respect.”

 

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A maiden victory for new Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo extended his record against Newcastle from his days at Wolves and Tottenham to eight games without defeat.

He said: “I didn’t realise that. But more than my individual situation, today was a huge, huge, huge moment for us because I’ve just been told at St James’ Park for the last two seasons who were the teams that achieved good results here, and there are not too many so Forest did very well.”

Chris Wood retuned to haunt Newcastle with a stunning hat-trick as Nottingham Forest handed new boss Nuno Espirito Santo the first Premier League victory of his reign.

Wood, who joined Forest from the Magpies in January, produced two fine second-half finishes to secure a 3-1 comeback success at St James’ Park.

Newcastle went ahead through Alexander Isak’s 23rd-minute penalty but slipped to a sixth defeat in seven games in all competitions after Wood tapped home Anthony Elanga’s cross just before the break and went on to complete his treble in style.

Forest remain two points above the relegation zone after 18th-placed Luton pulled off a 3-2 success at bottom club Sheffield United thanks to two late own goals.

Blades pair Jack Robinson and Anis Ben Slimane each turned the ball into their own goal during the final 14 minutes of a chaotic clash at Bramall Lane.

Chris Wilder’s hosts had looked set for a vital three points after second-half strikes from Oli McBurnie and Anel Ahmedhodzic overturned Alfie Doughty’s 17th-minute opener.

In-form Bournemouth continued their remarkable resurgence by moving into the top half of the table thanks to a thumping 3-0 victory over Fulham.

Justin Kluivert put the Cherries ahead just before half-time at Vitality Stadium before Dominic Solanke’s eighth goal in seven games – a penalty after Joao Palhinha brought down Antoine Semenyo – doubled the lead.

Substitute Luis Sinisterra sealed an emphatic success late on as Andoni Iraola’s hosts made it 19 points from the last 21 available.

Chris Wood climbed off the bench to score an 89th-minute winner as Nottingham Forest got their Premier League season up and running with a 2-1 victory over Sheffield United.

Forest looked like being held by the Blades after Taiwo Awoniyi’s third-minute opener was cancelled out by Gus Hamer’s delightful strike shortly after half-time.

But after Steve Cooper’s men had laboured in the second half, Wood, whose loan move from Newcastle was made permanent in the summer, came up with the goods near the end when he headed home.

It ensured Forest won their first points of the season after defeat at Arsenal last week while the Blades have lost their opening two games on their return to the top flight after two seasons away.

The Blades may feel hard done by as, after overcoming a chastening first 30 minutes, they competed well and had chances to have gone in front when the score was 1-1.

The City Ground was vital in earning Forest most of the points that led them to safety last season and their home form is going to be important again considering their first four away games are against the Gunners, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Manchester City.

And they made a flying start by taking the lead inside the opening three minutes.

Brennan Johnson teed up Serge Aurier on the right and the defender sent in a perfect cross for Awoniyi to power home a header from six yards.

Forest were completely dominant and looked a constant threat in the opening half-hour.

Awoniyi almost had another but Anel Ahmedhodzic intercepted at the far post, with the pace and power of the Nigeria striker causing the visiting defence problems.

He thought he should have had a penalty when he burst through and went down after tangling with Ahmedhodzic, but referee Peter Bankes waved away protests.

The Blades began to enjoy some encouraging moments towards the end of the first half as Vinicius Souza’s curling effort from 20 yards was saved by Matt Turner while other promising opportunities were ended by a poor last ball.

They started the second half on the front foot and were level in the 48th minute as debutant Hamer introduced himself in style following his arrival last week.

Forest could not clear a corner properly and it fell to the former Coventry man 20 yards out and he sent a delicious curling effort into the top corner to send the visiting fans wild.

The Blades were rampant and almost took the lead when Souza hit a first-time effort just wide.

Forest had to weather the storm but they still carried a threat on the break, with the pace of Awoniyi causing problems.

He looked to have regained the lead in the 55th minute when he raced clear and dinked home, but the flag went up as he was well offside.

That did at least turn the tide and it was the hosts that were looking more dangerous.

But some schoolboy defending from Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna, who collided with each other, handed the Blades a great chance to go in front. Benie Traore raced through but Turner got down brilliantly to keep out a low effort.

Forest got their reward late on when Wood, who had come on for Awoniyi, headed home another pinpoint Aurier cross from the right.

Manchester City missed the chance to return to the Premier League summit as Chris Wood's late goal secured a 1-1 draw for Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola's men had been usurped after Arsenal's last-gasp win over Aston Villa earlier in the day, but they looked set to reclaim top spot thanks to Bernardo Silva's sumptuous first-half strike.

City wasted a host of glorious opportunities to extend their lead in the second half, with Erling Haaland guilty of one particularly glaring miss, and they were duly punished late on.

Substitute Wood popped up at the back post to score his first goal for the club to punish City's profligacy and hand Arsenal the advantage in the title race.

Newcastle United striker Chris Wood has joined Nottingham Forest on an initial loan deal, which is set to become permanent at the end of the season.

Wood only signed for Newcastle in January 2022, leaving then-relegation rivals Burnley in a £25million move.

Although Burnley were subsequently relegated, Newcastle stayed up comfortably under Eddie Howe and a year later are well in contention for Champions League qualification.

But having started 15 of his 17 Premier League appearances for the Magpies last term, Wood's 18 outings in this campaign have included only four starts and account for a meagre 437 minutes.

Wood found himself behind the fit-again Callum Wilson and club-record signing Alexander Isak in the pecking order, with the New Zealand international having scored just four times across 35 appearances.

He will instead spend at least the rest of the season at Forest, who have recruited Wood following news of an injury to Taiwo Awoniyi as they bid to secure their Premier League status for next season.

The agreement contains "a conditional obligation to become a permanent deal", Forest confirmed, with reports suggesting the achievable criteria of those conditions will lead to a £15m move.

Wood was no longer a starter at St James' Park, but only Jacob Murphy (36) had made more Premier League appearances for Newcastle since his arrival from Burnley, and Howe wants a replacement for the 31-year-old forward.

Ahead of the transfer on Friday, Howe said: "Hopefully, we're planning to replace him.

"Certainly, from my side, there was no thought of letting a player go and not replacing [them]. I think that would leave us dangerously short of players."

Howe acknowledged the club were now in a "difficult situation" in the transfer market but recognised Wood's departure represented "a very good deal financially".

Memphis Depay has been linked with a move away from Barcelona, having had a frustrating 2022-23 season.

The Dutchman has only made a handful of appearances for the Blaugrana, following an off-season of busy transfer activity at Camp Nou.

Depay had been linked with several clubs, including Premier League outfits Manchester United, Arsenal, Newcastle United and Tottenham.

TOP STORY – MEMPHIS TO EXIT BARCELONA FOR ATLETICO

Depay will leave Barcelona to join Atletico Madrid with an agreement reached on a fee of approximately €3-4million, reports Fabrizio Romano.

The Dutch forward is set to travel to Madrid to complete the formalities and medicals soon.

According to Romano, the 28-year-old will sign a two-and-a-half-year deal with Atleti.

 

ROUND-UP

– Fabrizio Romano claims Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer will undergo medical tests with Bayern Munich on Thursday, before signing his contract with the Bavarians with the deal done between the clubs.

– Sky Sport Italia claims Roma are willing to sell Nicolo Zaniolo in January at the right price, approximately €40m, as the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham United  and Borussia Dortmund circle.

Real Madrid are interested in Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho but the Red Devils have made an improved contract offer for the Argentinian, reports The Independent.

– Arsenal are happy to wait until the end of the season to pursue West Ham's Declan Rice, after missing out on Mykhaylo Mudryk, claims The Sun.

Tottenham have made a first bid for Sporting right-back Pedro Porro, which included a player plus guaranteed money, but the Portuguese club have turned this down, according to Fabrizio Romano. Sporting want €45m (£39m) with talks ongoing.

Chris Wood is on the cusp of joining Nottingham Forest on loan from Newcastle United, reports The Athletic. The deal would include an option to make the move permanent.

– West Ham tabled an offer for Aston Villa forward Danny Ings, reports The Telegraph.

Shay Given sees no reason why high-flying Newcastle United cannot dream of Premier League glory following their victory over Leicester City.

The Magpies climbed to second in the table – four points behind leaders Arsenal – after a commanding 3-0 win at the King Power Stadium thanks to goals from Chris Wood, Miguel Almiron and Joelinton.

Newcastle have now recorded six successive Premier League victories for the first time since doing so on the way to a fifth-placed finish under Alan Pardew 10 years ago.

With one game remaining in 2022, Newcastle have won 21 matches this calendar year, their most since 23 wins in 1995. They finished second in 1995-96.

Former goalkeeper Given, who racked up 462 appearances at St James' Park between 1997 and 2009, believes his former club can genuinely challenge for a first top-flight title since 1927, highlighting opponents Leicester's fairytale success in 2016 as an example.

The 46-year-old told Amazon Prime Video: "Can Newcastle compete to win the league? Leicester did it a few years back, why can't Newcastle dream of it? Why not?"

Eddie Howe became the third English manager to win more than 20 Premier League matches in a single year after Kevin Keegan (24 in 1994, 23 in 1995) and Roy Evans (22 in 1996).

But the Magpies coach is eager to keep his players focused on the short term.

"Internally, it's [about keeping] expectations in check, not putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves," he said. "Let's just go into the next game and try to win it, try to execute our game plan as well as we have in previous games.

"Everyone else no doubt will talk and build things up. We can't control it. Let people do it, as long as we're internally focused on what we have to do to perform well.

Wood, who opened the scoring from the penalty spot, concurred: "It's way too early to even think about that, but [the fans] can go on and dream.

"They're enjoying it, and we just want to put on a show for them and show what we can do. It's a great start." 

Joelinton, who sealed the points, added to BBC Sport: "We have to go game by game, and let's see what we can achieve at the end of the season."

Jude Bellingham is expected to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of this season, with numerous clubs lining up to sign him.

The England international, who has impressed during the World Cup, is contracted with Dortmund until 2025.

It has been speculated that Bellingham will cost English clubs more than £100million to fund the deal.

TOP STORY – CITY TO USE GREALISH IN DEAL FOR BELLINGHAM

Manchester City will dangle Jack Grealish to Borussia Dortmund as part of a deal to land Bellingham, claims Football Insider.

Grealish, who City signed for £100m from Aston Villa 18 months ago, has not fully convinced since his switch to the English champions.

According to the report, City are intensifying their interest in Bellingham and are willing to use Grealish.

Le10Sport have also reported French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in 19-year-old Bellingham.

 

ROUND-UP

Liverpool are plotting a surprise move for Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic, reports Calciomercato. The Serbian striker has scored six Serie A goals this term.

– Mundo Deportivo reports Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Meunier is willing to listen to offers from Milan, Juventus, Manchester United and two other Premier League clubs if Barcelona do not bid for him.

– Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix is open to a Premier League switch amid interest from Chelsea, claims GiveMeSport transfer expert Dean Jones.

– Calciomercato reports that Arsenal are interested in a January move for Real Madrid's Marco Asensio.

Leeds United are interested in a January move for Newcastle forward Chris Wood, claims Football Insider. Wood left Leeds for Burnley in 2017.

It made sense for Newcastle United to first focus on their defence as they approached the transfer market armed with the millions of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

The Magpies had shipped 80 Premier League goals in 2021 – a competition record for a calendar year – and entered the new year in the relegation zone.

Three defenders arrived in Newcastle's first transfer window under new ownership, with loan star Matt Targett signing again at the end of the season on a permanent deal.

Goalkeeper Nick Pope followed as Eddie Howe prepared for his first full season in charge, and so too did highly rated centre-back Sven Botman.

Over the past two windows, in Pope, Kieran Trippier, Botman, Dan Burn and Targett, the Magpies have signed an entire new back five – and it has paid off.

Entering the weekend, only Liverpool (15) and Manchester City (17) have conceded fewer goals than Newcastle (23) in 2022 among ever-present Premier League sides.

Howe's men ended last season a commendable 11th and are in the top six after three weeks of the new campaign, with their form since January tied for fourth.

However, the three teams to have earned more points in 2022 have scored considerably more goals than Newcastle (30) – Liverpool (48), City (57) and Tottenham (54).

Speaking in April of the key to Newcastle improving further in 2022-23, Howe said: "Ultimately, we need to score more goals – that's very clear.

"From open play, set plays – whatever it is – we need more goals, and we'd love someone to be right at the top of the goalscoring charts. If you do, it gives you a much better chance of being successful consistently."

Since those comments, Callum Wilson – out from the end of 2021 – has returned and netted four goals in six matches, one every 112 minutes on average.

But Wilson's latest strike against City on Sunday was followed by yet another injury, hampering his chances of being Howe's man at the top of the scoring charts.

When Wilson was injured heading into the January window, Newcastle responded by signing Chris Wood from Burnley for £25million. This time, they have moved for Alexander Isak, a £59m (€70m) record buy from Real Sociedad.

The Magpies were already in the market for a forward, but Howe himself acknowledged on Friday they would not have struck quite such an ambitious deal if not for Wilson's setback.

Through combinations of form and fitness, neither Wilson (eight), Wood (five) nor Isak (six) reached double-figures in the league last season, yet they have each netted at least 30 since the start of the 2019-20 season – Isak's first at La Real.

In Wilson (30), Wood (31) and Isak (33), Newcastle have three of the 69 forwards – as classified by Opta – to reach that mark in Europe's top five leagues over that period.

Barcelona (Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Memphis Depay), Inter (Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko), Paris Saint-Germain (Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Neymar), RB Leipzig (Andre Silva, Timo Werner, Christopher Nkunku) and Tottenham (Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Richarlison) are the only other clubs to presently own three of these players.

For the first time in a long time, Newcastle have real depth in attack.

Crucially, with Wilson and Wood both 30, 22-year-old Isak can grow with this side, too; just three of those other 68 forwards are still 22 or younger (Erling Haaland, Dusan Vlahovic, Jonathan David).

This young age might excuse a poor 2021-22 campaign, in which Isak underperformed his expected goals tally of 11.2 and saw his shot conversion rate slump to 8.2 per cent, netting every 359 minutes.

Newcastle are backing the forward to return to his levels of 2019-20 (nine goals, 7.5 xG, 20.5 per cent shot conversion, 166 mins per goal) and 2020-21 (17 goals, 16.8 xG, 21.0 shot conversion, 139 mins per goal).

And despite the size of the fee involved in this transfer, Isak might actually find himself under less pressure on Tyneside, where Wilson will remain the main man when fit.

The England forward is expected back in a fortnight, and Howe has already spoken of using the two as a pair; in Newcastle's 4-3-3 formation, Isak – who ranked eighth among LaLiga strikers for carries (212), seventh for carry distance (2,683 metres) and joint-sixth for carries with a shot (22) – could be utilised out wide.

For now at least, Isak is not the headline act, feeling the weight of Newcastle's season on his shoulders – in complete contrast to the situation Joelinton, the club's previous record signing, found when arriving in 2019 as a struggling side's sole centre-forward.

This time, Newcastle have bought from a position of strength, and Isak's career on Tyneside should be all the better for it.

Thanks to the FA Cup semi-finals, matchday 33 in the Premier League is a bit more spread out, with just six games taking place at the weekend.

A further six games are scheduled for midweek, so there is a chance to get some of those pulling double duty in your fantasy team.

Whether your interests lie in the title race, the top-four scuffle or the relegation battle, there promises to be entertainment for everyone.

Therefore, it is time for Stats Perform to give you some suggested picks for your team using stats from the wonderful people at Opta.

HUGO LLORIS (Tottenham v Brighton and Hove Albion)

As odd as it sounds after a 4-0 win, had it not been for Lloris' heroics between the sticks last time out, Spurs could very well have lost against Aston Villa.

The Spurs captain made seven saves in the first half at Villa Park to keep Steven Gerrard's team out, with the visitors scoring four from their five on target in an afternoon of ruthless efficiency that had Antonio Conte smiling.

Only Alisson and Ederson (both 17) have kept more clean sheets in the Premier League this season than Lloris (12), while the Frenchman last recorded more shutouts in a single campaign in 2017-18 (15).

JOAO CANCELO (Manchester City v Brighton and Hove Albion)

This feels like we're picking on Brighton, but the fixture computer has not been kind to them, pitting them against two of the league's most in-form teams this week.

Only Gabriel Jesus (seven) has more assists for City in the Premier League this season than Joao Cancelo (six), as many as in his previous three league seasons combined.

As well as that, Cancelo is part of a staunch City defence that has conceded the fewest goals in the league this season (20), and against a Brighton side that has scored fewer goals (28) than all except Burnley (25) and Norwich (20), will be confident of a clean sheet on Wednesday.

JAMES MADDISON (Newcastle United v Leicester City, Everton v Leicester City)

Maddison is somewhat of an enigmatic player and, not that long ago, was struggling to start in Brendan Rodgers' strongest line-up.

However, he has already equalled his goal involvements tally for the entirety of last season in the Premier League (13), with the former Norwich man only bettering that in 2018-19 (14).

Indeed, he has either scored or assisted in each of his last three league appearances (one goal, two assists), last doing so in four such games in January 2021 (three goals, one assist).

CHRIS WOOD (Newcastle United v Leicester City, Newcastle United v Crystal Palace)

It has hardly been an electric start for life on Tyneside for Wood since his January move, though goals drying up for his former club and relegation rivals Burnley has been a positive added factor for the Magpies.

The New Zealander scored a crucial penalty in the 1-0 win against Wolves last time out, though, and he is looking to bag in consecutive league games for the first time since May 2021 (run of three).

Also, only against West Ham (seven) and Wolves (six) does Wood have more Premier League goals than he has previously managed against Leicester (four).

Chris Wood has signed for Newcastle United in a reported £25million move from fellow relegation candidates Burnley.

With Callum Wilson expected to miss around eight weeks due to a calf tear sustained in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United in December, Newcastle have moved to bring in a Premier League-proven goalscorer as they aim to bolster their chances of survival.

Newcastle and Burnley both sit in the bottom three on 11 points apiece – two from safety.

Wood, who joined the Clarets from Leeds United in 2017, has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at Newcastle, having travelled to the north-east on Tuesday for a medical. 

The 30-year-old has become the Magpies' second first-team signing under Eddie Howe – and the club's new Saudi Arabia-backed ownership – after England full-back Kieran Trippier, who joined for a reported £12m last week.

Trippier made his debut in the shock 1-0 FA Cup third-round defeat at home to Cambridge United on Saturday.

With three league goals to his name this season, Wood is Burnley's second-highest scorer after Maxwel Cornet, who was signed from Lyon in August.

Wood has scored at least 10 league goals in each of the four previous seasons, with his tally of 14 in 2019-20 a personal best in the competition. However, he has not found the net since November 20.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for me and I'm delighted to be a Newcastle United player," Wood told his new club's official website.

"I have played at St. James' Park a few times and it's an amazing place, so to have the chance to represent this club with those incredible supporters behind me and my team-mates is very special.

"The club and manager have been first class during this process, and I really can't wait to get onto the pitch and repay the faith they have in me, especially with a vital part of the season ahead of us."

In total, the New Zealand international played 144 Premier League matches for Burnley, helping the Clarets to 44 wins, with Sean Dyche's team suffering 63 defeats and drawing 37 times.

With Wood in the team, Burnley scored 149 times, compared to netting just 21 times across 23 fixtures in which the striker did not feature.

Burnley's win percentage without Wood in their side dropped to 26.1 per cent from 30.6 per cent with him playing, while their average goals for per game dropped by just 0.1, from one to 0.9.

His 49 strikes came from an expected goals (xG) value of 49.5, suggesting Wood's finishing was on par with the quality of chances created for him by his team-mates.

Newcastle boss Howe said: "Chris is an important signing for us at a crucial time and I'm very pleased we have been able to move quickly and bring him here.

"He is a very dangerous attacking threat, has a physicality and character that I really like, and he has vast experience in the Premier League. He will be a great fit for us."

Erling Haaland is the hottest property in football right now.

It is expected that Haaland will leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of this season although that is not confirmed.

The 21-year-old Norwegian forward is being chased by several big clubs.

TOP STORY – HAALAND SET TO DECIDE ON CLUB FUTURE

AS claims that Haaland is set to make a definitive call on his future as several top clubs circle for his signature.

Borussia Dortmund are set to meet with Haaland's representatives next week to discuss his plans according to Marca.

Haaland is being pursued by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.

ROUND-UP

- Roma head coach Jose Mourinho has reached out to Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele about a potential switch to Italy, claims Telefoot. Mourinho worked with Ndombele during his time at Spurs.

- Football Insider reports PSG midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has no interest in a move to cashed-up Newcastle United having been linked with his former club.

- The Telegraph reports that Burnley's New Zealand international forward Chris Wood will undergo a medical with Newcastle on Wednesday ahead of a move to the Magpies.

- Tottenham have contacted Jesse Lingard's representatives to discuss a free agency move in the off-season from Manchester United, claims Football London.

- Sevilla's interest in signing Manchester United's Anthony Martial is fading given the Red Devils' demands for the French forward, reports Marca.

- The Mail claims that Marcus Rashford and Manchester United are set to open talks before the end of the season on a new contract.

Patrick Bamford scored a late equaliser to salvage a point for Leeds United against his former club Burnley on Sunday, having gone through a proper tussle at Turf Moor.

Burnley – accused of "wrestling" last week by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp – were full-blooded once again as they fell just short of securing a first Premier League win of the season.

"It's always tough coming here because, you don’t want to be disrespectful, but you know what you're going to get when you play against Burnley and they do make it difficult," Bamford, who had an ongoing skirmish with centre-back James Tarkowski, told Sky Sports.

"I was a little bit annoyed at [James] Tarkowski because it was just that tussle on the floor when he tried to do some weird jiu-jitsu thing on me. I don't know what he's doing!"

A Premier League landmark was also reached at Turf Moor, while Arsenal might just have a different kind of fight on their hands after suffering a third successive defeat.

Here are some of the more curious Opta facts from the latest round of games.


Turf Moor tussle sees Premier League milestone

The new initiative for referees to be somewhat more lenient seems to be paying dividends, although Wolves fans will argue otherwise after their late defeat to Manchester United.

Before what unfolded at Molineux, however, Leeds were also on the receiving end of some rather tough treatment at Turf Moor, with the game seeing seven bookings.

There was a Premier League landmark set in the Lancashire sunshine too, as Chris Wood opened the scoring.

Eric Cantona (100), Alan Shearer (4,000), Dennis Bergkamp (7,000) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (25,000) are some of the names to have previously hit the milestone goals in the competition's history, and now New Zealand forward Wood has cemented his name into the record books.

It was not exactly one to remember, Wood just managing to get a toe onto Matthew Lowton's low shot, with the ball rolling off Illan Meslier's shins and trickling over the line for the competition's 30,000th goal. 

Strangely enough, it was just a third assist for Lowton in his last 84 Premier League matches, but all three have set up goals for Wood, who scored for the first time against former club Leeds for Burnley.

Yet Burnley could not hold on, with the Clarets now on a 12-game winless run at Turf Moor in the league, their longest such streak.

Mikel's misery compounded as Arsenal's lack of fight is shown up once more

It has been a humbling start to the season for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, who is sure to be under plenty of pressure heading into a fixture with Norwich City – one of the other two teams without a point so far – after the international break.

Arsenal ended the weekend at the bottom of the top-flight table having played at least three league matches for the first time since October 25 in 1974, having suffered a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the champions – Manchester City's third successive 5-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium.

The Gunners are only the second team in Premier League history to lose their first three matches in a season and have a goal difference of -9, after Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2003-04, who went on to finish bottom of the table, while Tottenham's win on Sunday means Spurs top the table and Arsenal sit bottom for the first time in top-flight history.

Arsenal's cause was hardly helped by Granit Xhaka's sending off in the first half on Saturday – the 10th time the Gunners have had a player dismissed in the league under Arteta. In fact, since the Spaniard took over in December 2019, that is four more than any other club.

Xhaka has picked up two of those dismissals, with David Luiz leading the way on three. In those fixtures where they have had a player sent off, Arsenal have failed to win a single one, collecting just five points in total and losing the last three league matches in which they were reduced to 10 men.

Meanwhile, Gabriel Jesus has not lost any of the 43 Premier League games he has scored in, a record bettered only by James Milner (54) and Darius Vassell (46).

A long shot for Son as Lage matches De Boer

Son Heung-min's free-kick handed Spurs a 1-0 win over Watford. It did not look intentional, but the South Korean forward's delivery nevertheless curled into the far corner.

Three of Son's last four goals for Tottenham in all competitions have come from outside the box, as many as his previous 43 for the club, while Sunday's effort was his first Spurs goal from a direct free-kick.

Sunday's headline fixture saw Manchester United – buoyed by the impending return of Cristiano Ronaldo – defeat Wolves thanks to Mason Greenwood's late winner.

Referee Mike Dean chose not to award what looked to be a clear foul from Paul Pogba in the build-up, as Greenwood became only the second teenager in Premier League history to score in each of his side's first three games of a season, after Robbie Fowler for Liverpool in 1994-95.

It was a tight game, with Wolves creating plenty without converting the chances, and new boss Bruno Lage is the first manager to lose his first three Premier League games without his side scoring a goal since Crystal Palace's Frank de Boer in August 2017.

Known for his creativity and goalscoring, United playmaker Bruno Fernandes often cut a frustrated figure, and he was booked for dissent. He has now been cautioned for questioning the referee in each of his last two games – in fact, the Portugal midfielder is responsible for a third of the six yellow cards handed out for dissent so far this season.

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