Newcastle United’s Premier League schedule does not get any easier for Dan Burn.
Following a spirited 1-0 loss to tittle-chasing Liverpool at St James’s Park last Saturday, the Magpies will face league leaders Manchester City today.
The visit to the Etihad Stadium comes following City’s heartbreaking Champions League semi-final loss to Real Madrid on Wednesday night. Pep Guardiola’s team lead on aggregate by two goals heading into stoppage time, only for the recently crowned La Liga champions to turn the tie on its head late on.
Man City’s only shot for silverware this season is the Premier League crown, while the Champions League trophy remains elusive.
With four games remaining, they are a point ahead of Liverpool, while Newcastle are in 10th place, nine points off the European places and 11 points ahead of the relegation zone.
Following his £13 million move from Brighton and Hove Albion in January, Burn has played a significant role in United’s Premier League survival this season.
In a team that has won 10 of their previous 15 games, the defender has been nearly ever-present. In 2022, only Manchester City and Liverpool have accumulated more points than Newcastle.
And playing them both at the same time will serve to emphasize the key differences between the two teams.
“The difference with City is that they can demoralise you by keeping the ball constantly and you could probably not touch it for 90 minutes,” Burn said.
“You still think you might have a chance against Liverpool but the speed at which they counter is probably the big difference between the teams.”
Newcastle made tremendous progress in the second half of the 2021-22 season under Eddie Howe, and the team now hopes to move even further up the league next season, closing the gap on title contenders like City and Liverpool.
“That’s the plan [to close the gap],” Burn admitted. “It just depends how quickly we can do that.
“Obviously Liverpool and City have been building for a number of years to get to that level and it’s where we want to be so hopefully we can keep moving in the right direction and try and get in and around them.”