Howe looking for immediate impact
Eddie Howe takes his place in the St James' Park hotseat for the first time with Newcastle five points from safety and above bottom club Norwich only on goal difference.
With Norwich having moved level with Newcastle on five points after an away win against Brentford before the international break, the Magpies are the only team in the top four divisions of English football yet to register a victory this season.
An early win would be a big boost for Howe, whose task over the next six weeks is to keep an escape route in sight until the transfer window opens in January.
Newcastle are still in the top three in the relegation market but are odds-against at 2.26/5 with a Saudi spending spree on the horizon.
Howe's first selection is hard to predict, although a 4-2-3-1 formation seems likely in order to accommodate Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron and Ryan Fraser (if fit after pulling out of the Scotland squad with a calf injury).
Wilson and Fraser played under Howe at Bournemouth along with Matt Ritchie, who is also set to be in the starting XI.
Bees stung by injuries
Brentford needed the break more than most, having suffered a fourth Premier League defeat in a row with their surprise 2-1 loss at home to Norwich two weeks ago.
Before that the Bees had lost 3-1 away to Burnley - one of the other teams in the relegation zone - and they need to rediscover the early momentum and optimism.
Thomas Frank's side are 14th on 12 points, just four points above the drop zone, and are 7.06/1 for relegation.
It is probably no coincidence that Brentford's results have dipped as their injury list has grown. Two of the key absentees are first-choice goalkeeper David Raya and centre-back Kristoffer Ajer.
There was more disruption at the back when Mathias Jorgensen had to be substituted after just 12 minutes of the Norwich match. Charlie Goode, who came on for Jorgensen, is set to have his first Premier League start here.
Mathias Jensen has Covid-19, with Saman Ghoddos likely to deputise in central midfield.
Newcastle have lost three of their five home games, but two of those defeats were against top-three sides Chelsea and West Ham and the other was against ninth-placed Tottenham.
Their two home points came against Southampton (13th) and Leeds (15th), which on form should make them competitive in this match, even without any new manager bounce for Howe.
Even so, you have to go back to January 2020 and a 1-0 victory over Chelsea to find the last time the St James' Park faithful saw their team win at home in front of a crowd.
It is a positive that Newcastle have scored in every home game this season but the most urgent task for Howe is to plug the holes in defence.
The Magpies have not kept a clean sheet all season and have conceded at least two goals in seven of their 11 matches.
Since the start of last season, Newcastle have won just seven out of 42 (17%) when conceding, which indicates how important a first clean sheet might be.
On the flipside is Brentford's low conversion rate from chances created, having scored nil or one in seven of their 11 games.
That limited their win rate in the early weeks of the season when they were playing well and left them vulnerable to the dip in form they have had in the past month.
Like Newcastle they have a poor win record when conceding (W1 D2 L4), including losses to bottom-three sides Burnley (3-1 away) and Norwich (2-1 home) in their last two matches.
Those vulnerabilities on both sides make this a tricky match to weigh up, which is reflected in the home side being only narrow favourites at 2.727/4.
The draw has to be factored in and, with that in mind, the pick is Brentford Draw No Bet 2.0421/20.
Before the defeat at Burnley on their last trip, Brentford were unbeaten in their first four away games, including wins at current top-eight sides Wolves (2-0) and West Ham (2-1).
If they show that sort of form again, the Bees should be hard to beat at least.
Newcastle rank high for over 2.5 goals (55%), mainly as a result of their defensive shortcomings.
They have conceded two or more goals in seven of their 11 games (a league high alongside Norwich) and six of those seven have had over 2.5 goals.
When they have limited their opponents to a single goal, it has been unders every time (all 1-1).
Three clean sheets for Brentford in their first five matches helped to keep the goals low (those first five all had under 2.5) but they have not had a shutout since and five of their last six games have had over 2.5 goals.
Over 2.5 goals is available at 2.021/1.
Both teams to score is worth considering at 1.784/5. That has happened in nine of Newcastle's 11 games and in five of Brentford's last six.
In the 15 games involving these sides where both teams have scored, five have ended 1-1 (four for Newcastle and one for Brentford). A 1-1 here is available at 7.413/2.
This will be Eddie Howe's first game in charge of Newcastle. Only one of the last eight managers to take charge of the Magpies have won their first Premier League game at the helm (D3 L4 - incl. caretakers), with Alan Pardew beating Liverpool 3-1 in December 2010. Newcastle are 2.727/4 for the win.