After two years out of the game, ‘Big Sam’ is back. Tasked with keeping Leeds in the division, Sam Allardyce will be looking to use some of his survival expertise to save his new employers from the drop.
His start to life at Leeds, however, did not go to plan, with his first game against title-chasing Manchester City ending in defeat at the Etihad on Saturday afternoon. Next up? Newcastle United.
Allardyce of course knows Newcastle very well having previously managed the Magpies back in 2007. It what was a rather turbulent period for the club as Allardyce failed to really make a mark on Tyneside – only lasting eight months at the club before being replaced by Kevin Keegan in the early months of 2008.
Since leaving Newcastle, ‘Big Sam’ has gone on to manage sides such as West Ham United, Everton and bitter rivals Sunderland – getting the better of the Magpies on numerous occasions.
Whether it be a 3-0 win in the Tyne-Wear derby or a scrappy 1-0 win while at Everton, ‘Big Sam’ has become an unlikely bogeyman for the Magpies – racking up an impressive 13 wins in 25 games against Newcastle (52%-win rate).
Eddie Howe’s men will be looking to change that however, when they visit Elland Road on Saturday and Howe’s previous meetings with Allardyce suggest they could do exactly that. That is because in his five meetings with the ex-Sunderland boss, Howe has only lost one game – winning two and drawing the other two.
Howe’s record against ‘Big Sam’ alongside the fact that Allardyce has not yet had the pleasure of facing such a talented Newcastle team in a very long time, may suggest that his good run against Magpies may soon be coming to an end.
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