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Newcastle’s Siem De Jong has gruesome scare in training, could have lost eyesight

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Newcastle manager Steve McClaren has described a scary moment in training where doctors say Siem De Jong could have lost eyesight in one eye.

“It was just in training and he accidentally got poked in the eye,” McClaren said. “I wasn’t here, he went down screaming. So they said ‘Let us have a look at your eye’ and there was blood pouring from it. He wears contact lenses, and one of the contacts had come out and gone in his eye.”

De Jong has suffered through numerous injuries in the last two years, but nothing that threatened the quality of his future life like this.

“There was a massive danger [he would be blinded], a big danger,” McClaren said. “He was rushed to hospital. It was the biggest black eye ever and headaches and everything.”

The 26-year-old made 16 appearances in Premier League play this year, but has only been in the starting lineup three times. McClaren says De Jong will need a bit to recover.

“I’ve seen him this morning and it looks a lot better. Fortunately the doctor says probably a week or two to settle down. So he’s very lucky.”

Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa: Villans still winless since opening day

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With more than five months of the 2015-16 Premier League season still to play, Aston Villa are in big, big trouble. Their total of six points won (from 16 games) heading into Saturday’s relegation six-pointer with Newcastle United meant they began the day a whopping 10 points from safety.

On the other hand, only Newcastle’s recent form (two straight wins in the league) made Steve McClaren‘s side, perennial strugglers themselves, anything more than token favorites. In the end, Saturday’s proceedings at St. James’ Park ended in a 1-1 draw.

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Relegation-threatened clubs typically face such a fate because they put forth poor footballing sides week in and week out. Along with failing to produce results, they also pretty typically fail to entertain their own supporters. On paper, Newcastle versus Villa should have been a double dose of terrible. In reality, it was two desperate sides fighting and scrapping for their PL lives, which is throughly entertaining.

After an opening half-hour that saw just two shots in total, the game sprang to life. Newcastle opened the scoring on 38 minutes (below video), when captain Fabricio Coloccini shanked home a right-footed shot to complete a clever set-piece routine. Siem De Jong whipped in the corner kick to the far post, where the Argentine defender was waiting. His effort on goal was scuffed and deflected into the back of the net by Brad Guzan.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

The two sides headed to the halftime break with the score 1-0 in favor of the home side, but Villa very nearly equalized barely 30 seconds into the second half, whe Jordan Veretout unleashed a left-footed screamer from outside the penalty area. The ball swerved through traffic, nearly wrong-footing Rob Elliott, but the deputy ‘keeper made the diving save at the last moment.

Newcastle’s best chance to double their lead came and went in the 57th minute. De Jong was left shaking his head, wondering how he’d managed to miss a header from three yards out with no one marking him or defending the back post. The shocking miss of the weekend.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

The inevitable equalizer from Villa came four minutes later (above video). Jordan Ayew created a yard of space wide left in the Newcastle penalty area, put the ball onto his powerful right foot and rifled the ball past Elliott and just inside the far post, signaling the first sign of life in Remi Garde’s (and Tim Sherwood‘s) side in many months.

With a handful of late chances failed to be taken by either side, a point apiece is just about is just about right, but will please one side, Newcastle, much more than the other, Villa, given the current league table.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

With the result, Newcastle remain in 17th on 17 points, while Villa stay bottom, five points off Sunderland in 19th and 10 points off Newcastle one place outside the relegation zone. Villa are winless since the opening day of the season and have won just four points from their last 16 league games.

Newcastle spends again, splashing $18 million on Marseille midfielder Thauvin

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Newcastle United got its man.

Florian Thauvin has long been a target for Northeast England club, and Wednesday found him a member of it.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

It’s five-year deal for Thauvin, and the move reportedly cost the club $18 million and the services of last summer’s French flop, Remy Cabella, who wasn’t given much of a chance to shine under Alan Pardew and John Carver.

Now Thauvin, 22, brings his creative, attacking midfield flair into the unit to the tune of 13 Ligue 1 goals during two seasons at Marseille. And it brings notoriously-stingy Newcastle up to $75 million in net spending this summer, the highest in the Premier League.

From NUFC.co.uk:

“I am delighted to be a Newcastle United player,” said Thauvin.

“I have come from France to a really big club and am very happy to be here. It is a big honour to know that Newcastle have been after me for such a long time and that they wanted me that much. They have put their trust in me and I am looking forward to playing for the team.”

Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren added: “Florian is a player the Club have been watching for a long time and I am delighted that we have been able to sign him.

“He is a perfect signing for this Club – someone who is young, with great potential and is one of the best young players in Europe. He is an exciting, creative talent who can score goals and make assists, and we believe he will have a very bright future at Newcastle.”

This could be a key move for Newcastle, which has a healthy dose of creative wingers and mids in Siem de Jong, Ayoze Perez, Sissoko and Giorginio Wijnaldum underneath Papiss Cisse and Aleksandar Mitrovic. Newcastle also bought Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba from Anderlecht this summer.

There’s been a heavy French and Dutch accent to Newcastle’s recent signings under Graham Carr, and Thauvin slides into a unit with Wijnaldum, Vurnon Anita, Tim Krul, Massadio Haidara and Moussa Sissoko (amongst others).

Cabella’s move is a loan with “an obligation to buy at the end of the season subject to certain criteria being met”.

Premier League Preview: Newcastle United vs. West Ham United

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  • Newcastle have taken 1 point from a possible 30
  • West Ham have won once in their last seven
  • Newcastle has won once in nine home games under Carver

Newcastle United are on the brink of the abyss. After an incredible slide down the standings since Alan Pardew left as manager in January the Magpies have been on an awful run and have lost nine of their last 10 and have a solitary point from the last 30 available.

[ RELATED: Hull vs. Man United preview ]

On Sunday they host West Ham (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on USA and online via Live Extra), a side coached by one of their former managers Sam Allardyce. For “Big Sam”, this may well be his final match in charge of the Hammers as his contract runs out at the end of the season. After getting a rough deal up at Newcastle, Allardyce would be quite happy to send them down.

[ Championship Sunday: 10 matches, 10 channels–find yours here ]

As long as Hull City lose to Manchester United on Sunday then Newcastle will be safe, but if Hull win then a Newcastle draw may not be enough as they currently sit two-points above the Tigers as they do battle to stay out of the final relegation place. Tension will be in the air at St James’ Park on Sunday and if the Magpies go down, expect it to be replaced with venomous chants against the despised owner Mike Ashley.

In team news Newcastle will welcome back defender Mike Williamson from suspension, while Siem de Jong could return but Papiss Cisse is not fit enough to make the bench. West Ham will be without James Collins but James Tomkins returns to the squad, as does captain and former Newcastle skipper Kevin Nolan.

What they’re saying

John Carver on the finale: “There are no second chances now. This is the last game, it’s the cup final we’ve been talking about. We all know what we have to do and we all take responsibility. It’s not about me taking the blame or [owner] Mike [Ashley] and [managing director] Lee [Charnley], we all take responsibility.”

Sam Allardyce on his future: “One way or another, my future will be sorted out on Monday. We’ll all know more then. I’m not personally having a meeting but my agent will be available to speak to the owners.”

Prediction

Newcastle need a win big time but Big Sam would love to play the role of spoiler on Sunday to send his old club down. The Magpies will be short on confidence and if news filters through of an early goal for Hull against Manchester United then the nerves will be jangling at St James’ Park. West Ham don’t have much to play for but I think they will sneak a draw and make things very uncomfortable for Newcastle. 2-2.

Premier League roundup: Tense Saturday, as relegation battle intensifies

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It was a busy, busy Saturday in the Premier League as eight games took place and plenty of drama ensued.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays

Wins for Leicester City (four on the spin) and Hull City in and around the relegation zone were massive, while Manchester City won a stunner against Aston Villa to cement their top four hopes and Southampton played out an entertaining draw with Tottenham.

[ RELATED: Standings | videos | schedule ]

Just in case you missed anything, below are recaps, videos, analysis, reaction and more from all eight matches.

Southampton 2-2 Tottenham HotspurRECAP

A breahtaking game at St Mary’s as sixth-placed Spurs grabbed a point against seventh-placed Saints. Graziano Pelle twice gave Saints the lead but Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli equalizer to grab a point for Mauricio Pochettino on his return to Southampton.

Manchester City 3-2 Aston VillaRECAP

City survived a second half scare to cement their top four hopes. A horrendous blunder from Brad Guzan made it 1-0 as Sergio Aguero punished the USMNT man, then Aleksandar Kolarov made it 2-0 with a free kick in the second half. That sparked Villa into life as Tom Cleverely and Carlos Sanchez scored to make it 2-2 with five minutes left. But there was one more twist in the tale as Fernandinho scored in the 89th minute to make it 3-2. Huge win for the Citizens, while Villa are still struggling and just two points above the drop zone.

Newcastle United 2-3 Swansea CityRECAP

Seven defeats on the spin now for Newcastle. It started so well as Ayoze Perez gave them the lead but three goals from Oliveira, Sigurdsson and Cork gave Swansea a commanding lead. A late goal from Siem de Jong made it 3-2, but Newcastle is now just five points above the drop zone.

Stoke City 1-1 SunderlandRECAP

Sunderland went ahead through Connor Wickham but another beauty from Charlie Adam leveled things up in the first half and that was how things finished. Despite grabbing a point on the road, Sunderland dropped into the bottom three with four games to go. Panic stations for Dick Advocaat’s men.

Burnley 0-1 Leicester CityRECAP

This was a huge game in the relegation scrap and a minute of madness decided this one. Burnley missed a penalty kick as Matt Taylor hit the post and moments later Leicester went up the other end as Jamie Vardy was credited with the game-winning goal. Four wins on the spin for the Foxes now, as they climb out of the relegation zone on 31 points. Burnley is now bottom on 26 points and are five points from safety with four games to save themselves.

West Bromwich Albion 0-0 LiverpoolRECAP

Jordon Ibe hit the bar and Jordan Henderson came close for Liverpool but they couldn’t break down a stubborn West Brom outfit. The Baggies had good chances themselves as Callum McManaman went close late on and James Morrison had a header cleared off the line. Liverpool’s top four hopes are all but over.

QPR 0-0 West Ham UnitedRECAP

Charlie Austin, QPR’s leading scorer, had a penalty kick saved by Adrian in the first half. West Ham’s goalkeeper denied Matt Phillips late on and was fouled by Steven Caulker as Richard Dunne headed home a disallowed goal in the second half. The Hammers went close through Aaron Cresswell’s free kick which was tipped over superbly by Robert Green. QPR had the better chances but are four points from safety.

Crystal Palace 0-2 Hull CityRECAP

An end-to-end game in south London went Hull’s way as Dame N’Doye scored twice in the second half to give the Tigers their first win in seven matches. Steve Bruce looked like a relieved man afterwards as Hull now have breathing space but are still just one point clear of the bottom three.