USMNT star DeAndre Yedlin completes £5m move to Newcastle from Spurs

US International right-back DeAndre Yedlin has completed a move to English Championship side Newcastle United for a reported fee of £5 million after making just one senior appearance for Tottenham Hotspur.

Yedlin’s move to Newcastle should guarantee him first-team football as he has replaced Dutch full-back Daryl Janmaat, who joined Watford earlier today.

The 23-year-old moved to England from the Seattle Sounders in January 2015 but struggled to force his way into Mauricio Pochettino’s plans.

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A loan move to fellow Premier League side Sunderland last September saw Yedlin develop his talents under Sam Allardyce, but he was still behind Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier in the Spurs pecking order once returning to North London and so a move elsewhere makes sense.

Yedlin will have undoubtedly angered Sunderland fans with a move to fierce north-east rivals Newcastle but he is now looking to impress on a weekly basis under Rafa Benitez as the Magpies look for an immediate return to the top flight.

Yedlin made a total of 23 league appearances for Sunderland last season, and became an integral part of the team as they escaped relegation, starting all of the Black Cats’ final 13 matches.

He will now hope to build on those displays at the top end of the Championship with his new teammates, while regular playing time will also keep him at the forefront of Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT plans.

Is the move to Newcastle a good one for DeAndre Yedlin? Is he too good for the Championship?

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Steven Taylor nearing Portland Timbers switch following Newcastle exit

Portland Timbers look set to bolster their backline as English centre-back Steven Taylor is on the verge of completing a move to the reigning MLS Cup champions.

Taylor has been without a club since leaving Newcastle, the club he had spent his entire career at until they were relegated from the Premier League last term.

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The 30-year-old’s contract was not renewed on Tyneside and so the tough-tackling defender is now looking for a new club after 13 seasons and 268 appearances with the Magpies.

That new club looks set to be the Portland Timbers. A report on Saturday suggested that the move to Portland was done, with ESPN’s Taylor Twellman then backing up those claims by revealing Taylor was at Providence Park for Saturday’s game against LA Galaxy.

Taylor would bring an abundance of Premier League experience to a Portland defence that has looked lapse at times this season. Caleb Porter’s team have shipped 33 goals in 22 games so far this term – the joint-third worst record in MLS.

When you also factor in that Liam Ridgewell and Nat Borchers are both set to see their contracts expire at the end of the current season, the move to bring in Taylor makes sense for the Timbers.

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Portland’s decision to sell goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey to Norwegian side Rosenborg BK last week has freed up space on the team’s salary cap, while also opening up another international slot that Taylor could fill.

The Timbers travel to Sporting Kansas City next weekend, but it’s perhaps more realistic to expect to see Taylor make his debut against the same opponent when SKC travel to Portland on August 7 if he does indeed complete the switch to MLS.

Would Steven Taylor be a good signing for Portland Timbers? 

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur

Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Venue: St James’ Park – Sunday, May 15 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Newcastle 16/5 – Draw 11/4 – Tottenham 4/5

Match Preview

Newcastle United welcome Tottenham Hotspur to St James’ Park on the final day of the Premier League season, a campaign which could have offered more for both of these sides, who find themselves at either end of the table.

The home supporters will be bitterly disappointed to have been relegated in midweek but will need to be behind their side for the last time in the Premier League for at least a season. They come into this one off the back of their 0-0 draw with fellow relegated side Aston Villa.

Newcastle have nothing to play for here but pride. They need to go out with a strong performance and are capable of doing so, having not lost in their last five. Form has been good but it has come a little too late.

This could be Rafa Benitez’s last game in charge of the club. He has made a positive impact but couldn’t quite steer Newcastle to safety. If the club can tempt him into staying on as manager they stand a great chance of coming straight back up next season.

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Tottenham come into this one off the back of their 2-1 home loss to Southampton, a game they were winning, which ended an eight-game unbeaten run and followed the disappointment of officially missing out on the league title a week earlier at Chelsea.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side need to avoid defeat here to secure a second place finish ahead of rivals Arsenal. Although Spurs have missed out on the title, it has been a very impressive season and there is plenty to be excited about for the Lilywhites.

Tottenham need to go out with a win here and look forward to next season. They have a lot to look forward to and can mount another challenge for the title next campaign if they play with the same intensity from start to finish.

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Newcastle actually beat Spurs at White Hart Lane in the reverse fixture, coming from behind to win 2-1 thanks to a 90th minute Ayoze Perez goal. However, Spurs have only lost one of their last five trips to Newcastle and will be confident of sealing at least a point.

Team News

Newcastle’s injury woes have overshadowed a gruelling campaign. Tim Krul, Massadio Haidara, Curtis Good, Rob Elliot and Fabricio Coloccini all remain injured as Rafa Benitez prepares to name the club’s final Premier League lineup for at least a season.

Tottenham have just one injury concern as Nabil Bentaleb remains out. Both Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli are suspended and won’t feature. Ryan Mason is expected to partner Eric Dier in midfield again, while Heung Min-Son will hope to keep his place ahead of Nacer Chadli in behind Harry Kane.

Key Points

Newcastle’s last five: W/D/D/W/D

Tottenham’s last five: W/W/D/D/L

Key Stat: Tottenham are unbeaten in 16 of their last 17 away matches in the Premier League.

Key Player: Harry Kane – The Englishman has had a great season and will be battling with fellow countryman Jamie Vardy, as well as Sergio Aguero on the final day for the golden boot. Kane has 25 goals for the season and is ahead of Vardy by one.

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Score Prediction

Newcastle 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur – Spurs to sign off with a win and give Newcastle United fans an all too familiar feeling with another loss this season. Both have endured contrasting seasons and the gulf in class is likely to be apparent here.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs. Manchester City 

Venue: St James’ Park – Tuesday, April 19 – 19:45 BST (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: Newcastle 9/2 – Draw 3/1 – Man City 3/5

Match Preview

Newcastle host Manchester City in an enormous Premier League clash between two sides at either end of the table on Tuesday night.

The Magpies sit 19th coming into the game but gave their survival hopes a huge boost on Saturday as they beat Swansea 3-0 at home. They now sit three points behind Norwich and have to try and take at least a point from this game in hand.

The worry for Newcastle fans will be that City are the one team they wouldn’t want to face, even if they are at home. The Toon Army have a horrendous record against City and have now lost 12 consecutive Premier League games against them.

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A 13th-straight loss here would do little to help the Magpies climb out of the bottom three but Rafa Benitez will hope he can inspire his players to pick up what would be a magical win in front of the home crowd on Tuesday.

City travel to St James’ Park in great shape. They are in the semifinals of the Champions League and come into this game off the back of a 3-0 win at Chelsea – their third-straight league vicory.

Manuel Pellegrini only has a few games left in charge of the club but will be looking for his 100th win as City boss in all competitions here.

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City are still battling to cement a place in the top four. They sit third heading into the game, four points ahead of Manchester United in fifth and know three points here would give their chances another major boost.

The reverse fixture saw Newcastle destroyed 6-1 at the Etihad, with Sergio Aguero netting five goals. City haven’t lost to Newcastle in 18 consecutive top flight games and haven’t lost at St James’ Park in 11 years.

Team News

Newcastle still have a huge injury list to deal with as they fight for survival. Nine players are sidelined as Tim Krul, Ivan Toney, Massadio Haidara, Curtis Good, Rob Elliot, Kevin Mbabu, Fabricio Coloccini, Daryl Janmaat, Steven Taylor all remain injured.

Samir Nasri will miss out here for Manchester City after picking up a knock against Chelsea. David Silva is close to returning and might be fit enough to start here, while Raheem Sterling, Vincent Kompany and Gael Clichy are also close to returning.

Key Points

Newcastle’s last five: L/D/L/L/W

Manchester City’s last five: D/L/W/W/W

Key Stat: Newcastle are winless against Manchester City in 18 consecutive Premier League games, losing the last 12 in a row.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The City star netted a hat-trick in the weekend win over Chelsea and destroyed Newcastle in the reverse fixture by scoring five in the 6-1 win. Aguero now has ten goals in eight league appearances against the Magpies. If he’s in the mood, Newcastle stand little chance.

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Score Prediction

Newcastle 1-3 Manchester City – This is an enormous game for Newcastle as they look to make the most of their game in hand over Norwich. However, City will arrive in high spirits and will likely prove too strong for the hosts yet again. The Magpies should find the net, and depending on how early they do so, might stand a chance, but City are a lot stronger and should seal three points here.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle vs Sunderland

Competition: Premier League – Newcastle vs. Sunderland 

Venue: St James’ Park – Sunday, March 20 – 13:30 GMT (09:30 ET)

Match Odds: Newcastle 11/10 – Draw 23/10 – Sunderland 5/2

Match Preview

Newcastle host Sunderland in what is set to be one of the most important Tyne-Wear derbies in the Premier League era. Both sides are fighting relegation and this is as big a six-pointer as you could see.

Newcastle started life under new manager Rafa Benitez with a 1-0 loss to Leicester last Monday, but there were positives from their performance and the Spaniard will hope his side can now build on that display with a crucial win over their local rivals.

A win against any side would be huge for Newcastle – who sit 19th in the table – but a win against fellow relegation strugglers and fierce rivals means this is undoubtedly the biggest game of the Magpies season.

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They have lost their last six meeting with the Black Cats and must try and get the crowd behind them early. The Magpies have only lost one of their last four at home in the league and that’s a positive heading into this game.

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce will face up against Rafa Benitez once again but with an enormous amount at stake, all attentions will be on what takes place on the field, rather than in the dugouts.

The Black Cats have been in relatively good form of late and enter the weekend outside the bottom three. They have only lost one of their last five and will be desperate to avoid defeat at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon.

One major problem for Sunderland is their defence. They haven’t kept a clean sheet in 15 consecutive league outings and that will be a concern for Allardyce and his team.

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The reverse fixture ended 3-0 to Sunderland back in October in what was Allardyce’s first home game. But now Benitez will be hoping his first home game will reap similar rewards.

This is sure to be a fiery clash between two sides fighting for their lives. You don’t want to miss this.

Team News

Rafa Benitez might name an unchanged team to the side that lost at Leicester on Monday. The new manager has 12 injury concerns heading into his first home game, with Chancel Mbemba the only player on the injury list in contention to recover. He will face a late fitness test but Paul Dummett, Cheick Tiote, Fabricio Coloccini, Sylvain Marveaux, Curtis Good, Kevin Mbabu, Papiss Cisse, Massadio Haidara, Gabriel Obertan, Ivan Toney and Tim Krul are all still sidelined.

Sunderland have much less to worry about on the injury front, with Duncan Watmore the only player certain to miss the game. Emmanuel Eboue is unlikely to feature as he continues to build up fitness, while Wahbi Khazri, Jermain Defoe, Jeremain Lens and Lee Cattermole are also doubts but should recover in time to play.

Key Points

Newcastle’s last five: W/L/L/L/L

Sunderland’s last five: D/W/L/D/D

Key Stat: Sunderland have won each of the last six Tyne-Wear derbies in the Premier League – the best ever winning streak in this derby by either club.

Key Player: Jermain Defoe – The Sunderland striker has netted seven goals in his last eight league games away from home and will be tasked with firing the Black Cats to victory at St James’ Park on Sunday. He proved to be dangerous against Newcastle last season and will be out to hurt them once again here.

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Score Prediction

Newcastle 2-1 Sunderland – This is a colossal game for both sides, but you’d have to say Newcastle need the win more for two reasons: They are playing at home, and are 19th in the table, a point behind Sunderland who sit in 17th. A draw will likely keep Sunderland outside the bottom three, depending on the Norwich result, and they will set up to avoid defeat. But Newcastle looked much better against Leicester and need to show the fight and desire that Benitez will demand if they are to win this game and subsequently stay up. Narrow home win.

Five key facts following Newcastle’s appointment of Rafa Benitez

Newcastle made a key managerial change on Friday, with Steve McClaren’s sacking paving the way for Rafa Benitez to be appointed within just a matter of hours.

The Spanish boss will return to the Premier League for what will be his third job in the top flight, following previous spells with Liverpool and Chelsea, but faces what is set to be the biggest challenge of his career at St James’s Park.

Newcastle are 19th in the Premier League with ten games to go and are embroiled in a relegation dogfight – something Benitez has not been involved with in his managerial career as of yet.

Benitez is someone who clearly loves a fact, so here are five of them:

1. No bottom three Premier League club has ever stayed up when sacking a manager after March 3.

Benitez will have to do something no Premier League manager has ever done by keeping the Magpies in the top flight over the next ten games. There have been 11 previous managers appointed to clubs in the bottom three after March 3, but none of those have been able to avoid relegation.

2. Rafa Benitez has the seventh-highest win percentage of all Premier League managers to have overseen 50 or more games.

Benitez appears to be a huge managerial capture for Newcastle and that is proven by his all-time Premier League win percentage of 56%. That figure is the seventh-highest of all top flight managers to have been in charge of at least 50 matches. If he can keep that win record intact, Newcastle will win be on track to win five of their last ten games and would surely be safe.

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3. Benitez’s teams have averaged 1.57 goals-per-game over the course of his managerial career.

One of Newcastle’s major problems this season has been the inability to score goals as they have only averaged one goal-per-game in the Premier League – only Aston Villa have a worse record. Benitez tends to see his side score closer to two goals per match than one, and will hope to instantly increase the Magpies’ goal output.

4. Teams managed by Benitez concede less than a goal per game, on average.

As well as addressing Newcastle’s offensive issues, Benitez will need to shore up a defence that has conceded 53 goals in 28 league games this term – an average of 1.89 per game. The Spanish manager is renowned for making his teams tough to beat and that is proven by the fact that his sides concede an average of 0.91 goals-per-game.

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5. Rafa Benitez has not lost his first league game in charge in any of his last six jobs.

Benitez has a very tricky first game in charge to prepare for as Newcastle travel to Leicester on Monday night. The Foxes are top of the league and are on course for a historic title win. However, Magpies fans should take confidence into that trip based on Benitez’s record with his last six clubs. The Spaniard has not lost his first league game in charge since 2000 and has only conceded one goal in his last six opening matches as a manager. Three of his last four jobs have seen his opening league game end 0-0 – a result Newcastle fans would probably accept ahead of Monday’s trip.

Will Rafa Benitez keep Newcastle in the Premier League? 

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Leicester vs Newcastle

Competition: Premier League – Leicester City vs. Newcastle United

Venue: King Power Stadium – Monday, March 14 – 20:00 GMT (15:00 ET)

Match Odds: Leicester 4/7 – Draw 3/1 – Newcastle 19/4

Match Preview

Leicester face Newcastle in a crucial Premier League fixture for both clubs on Monday night, with plenty of focus sure to be on new Magpies manager Rafa Benitez.

Benitez, who was sacked by Real Madrid in January after just seven months in charge, replaced Steve McClaren on Friday and will now be tasked with trying to keep Newcastle in the Premier League.

He faces a stiff first game in charge though, with a trip to Premier League leaders Leicester probably the most difficult fixture he could have been handed.

The Foxes are five points clear at the top of the table heading into the weekend and have not lost in ten games at the King Power Stadium.

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A resilient 1-0 win at Watford last time out saw Leicester reinstalled as title favourites and they are now just nine games away from landing a historic and remarkable title win.

Newcastle are enduring a completely different campaign. They sit second from bottom and are in real danger of being relegated.

However, the Magpies have a game in hand over the clubs around them and are only a point from safety heading into the weekend. They will hope the appointment of Benitez can inspire things to improve on the field.

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The 3-1 loss at home to Bournemouth last weekend saw them lose their third league game on the bounce. The Magpies have not lost four in a row all season.

Leicester won the reverse fixture 3-0 at St James’s Park and will be looking for a fourth consecutive victory against Newcastle in all competitions on Monday night.

Team News

Leicester’s only current injury concern is Matthew James and so Claudio Ranieri will be able to pick his strongest possible lineup for the visit of Newcastle on Monday night.

All eyes will be on Rafa Benitez’s first team selection as Newcastle boss on Monday evening but the Spanish manager could be without as many as 12 first team players. Andros Townsend and Cheick Tiote are both doubts, while Tim Krul, Ivan Toney, Gabriel Obertan, Massadio Haidara, Pappis Cisse, Kevin Mbabu, Curtis Good, Sylvain Marveaux, Chancel Mbemba and Fabricio Coloccini remain out.

Key Points

Leicester’s last five: W/W/L/W/L

Newcastle’s last five: L/W/L/L/L

Key Stat: Monday blues – Newcastle have lost each of their last eight Premier League games played on a Monday night, failing to score in any of their last five Monday fixtures. All eight have been played away from home.

Key Player: Riyad Mahrez – The Algerian playmaker has been a revelation for the Foxes this year. He netted the winner in Leicester’s 1-0 win at Watford and has now been involved in 26 Premier League goals. He is the only top flight player in double figures for both goals (15) and assists (11) this term.

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Score Prediction

Leicester 2-2 Newcastle – Leicester haven’t looked as dangerous in recent weeks and had to settle for a 2-2 draw with West Brom in their most recent home game. Newcastle’s managerial change should see the players improve and Rafa Benitez will be desperate to avoid defeat in his first outing as manager. A close-fought battle looks likely, though there could be some goals in this.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Newcastle

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Newcastle

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, February 13 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Chelsea 4/9 – Draw 7/2 – Newcastle 6/1

Match Preview

Chelsea welcome Newcastle to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening in a battle between two sides still looking to climb the Premier League table after disappointing seasons.

The Blues have not lost a game since Guus Hiddink returned to the dugout in December, but they are still not winning enough and sit in 13th place as a result.

They did well to battle back to earn a 1-1 draw at home to United last weekend but that result means Chelsea have drawn their last four league games, without keeping a clean sheet in any of those matches.

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They’ve only won one of their last five coming into this one, but will be expected to seal three points against Newcastle side battling relegation.

The Magpies sealed a vital win against West Brom last weekend but they are still embroiled in a relegation battle and are just one point above the drop zone heading into the weekend.

Inconsistency remains a huge problem for Steve McClaren’s side as they have only recorded back-to-back league wins once this season.

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Newcastle have a huge injury list to worry about at a pivotal stage of the season but new signings such as Jonjo Shelvey, Andros Townsend and Seydou Doumbia will hope to help the team avoid the dreaded drop to the Championship.

The reverse fixture ended 2-2 at St James’ Park, with two late Chelsea goals earning them a point after Ayoze Perez and Georgino Wijnaldum had given the Magpies the lead.

Team News

Chelsea have been dealt a huge blow as Kurt Zouma will be out for around six months with a knee injury suffered in the 1-1 draw with United last Sunday. He joins Falcao and Loic Remy in the treatment room, while Alexandre Pato isn’t deemed fit enough to play yet.

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren has an astonishingly long list of unavailable players for this one, with no fewer than 15 players either injured on suspended. Daryl Janmaat, Jack Colback, Paul Dummett and Siem De Jong are all doubts, while Jamaal Lascelles is still suspended. Tim Krul, Ivan Toney, Gabriel Obertan, Massadio Haidara, Pappiss Cisse, Vurnon Anita, Kevin Mbabu, Chancel Mbemba, Curtis Good and Sylvain Marveaux are all definitely out with injuries.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: D/D/W/D/D

Newcastle’s last five: D/W/L/L/W

Key Stat: Newcastle have not scored a goal at Stamford Bridge since May 2012 and have lost on each of their last three visits to Chelsea.

Key Player: Aleksandar Mitrovic – The Newcastle striker fired his side to victory against West Brom last week and will hope to benefit from Kurt Zouma’s absence in the Blues’ defence.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle – Newcastle have a huge list of unavailable players and that will likely cost them dearly here as Chelsea should be able to take advantage by recording just a second win in six league games. Games between these two tend to be close and so this is likely to be decided by the odd goal.

PODCAST: LA Galaxy’s dealings and Shelvey’s move to Newcastle discussed

In the first MLSGB Podcast of 2016, Zack Walford talks to Jamie Ives and Louis East about LA Galaxy’s offseason transfer business so far, and what to expect in the coming weeks.

The team also discuss Jonjo Shelvey’s move to Newcastle and roundup the midweek Premier League fixtures.

Be sure to comment below with your thoughts or get in touch on Twitter: @MLSGB_