Premier League Logo
Talking Tactics

Record-chasing Pope ready to stand up to Man City

Adrian Clarke 19 Aug 2022
Nick Pope, Talking Tactics, NEW

Adrian Clarke says Newcastle No 1 is aiming to maintain top form when champions visit on Sunday

Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points and players who can be decisive in Matchweek 3.

Nick Pope (NEW)

Pope is hoping to rewrite the history books with a valuable clean sheet against champions Manchester City this Sunday.

TV Info

No Newcastle United goalkeeper has ever kept a shutout in their first three matches for the club.

Indeed, the last time Newcastle began a top-flight campaign with a trio of successive clean sheets was back in 1902/03.

Pope's opposite number at St James' Park, Ederson, is the only other Premier League 'keeper yet to concede a goal this season.

Defying the numbers

Newcastle's No 1 was rarely troubled during his 2-0 home debut win against Nottingham Forest, but last time out, his heroic individual display helped Eddie Howe's side earn a goalless draw at Brighton & Hove Albion.

Newcastle were second best all afternoon, facing a total of 13 shots, six of which were regarded as 11.5 per cent opportunities or above on Opta’s Expected Goals metric.

The 30-year-old former Burnley player was in inspired form, making five superb reflex saves.

Four of those stops were from close-range efforts.

Expected goals prevented 2022/23
Player Total
Lukasz Fabianski 1.8
Dean Henderson 1.2
Nick Pope 1.1
Robert Sanchez 0.9

After two sound performances, he has statistically prevented 1.1 goals for Newcastle.

Facing a Man City team who have scored six goals already, Pope will almost certainly be kept busy again this weekend.

Home goals conceded since 19 Dec 2021
Newcastle Total
Matches 11
Clean sheets 5
Conceded once 6
Conceded twice 0

The champions comfortably beat Newcastle 4-0 on their last visit to St James' Park on 19 December, but since then, the Magpies have been defensively robust at home.

In the 11 matches played there since, they have conceded only six goals during a run that has included five clean sheets.

They have also not let in two or more home goals in that period.

Pope's quest for a third straight clean sheet will not be easy, but his arrival and recent form suggests Pep Guardiola's side may have to work harder for their goals this time around.

Also in this series

See: Chelsea's pressing style can pin Leeds back
See: Ten Hag rethink can put Liverpool on back foot

Latest News

More News: Latest News

Latest Videos

More Videos: Latest Videos