Gillingham vs Newcastle United: 5 key stats ahead of kick-off

Ahead of this Capital One Cup clash, Jack Beresford offers up some important stats featuring Gillingham goals, Sammy Ameobi and Danny Kedwell.

Newcastle may head to Gillingham as favourites for victory in the League Cup, but with England’s second cup competition throwing up plenty of surprises over the years, Toon fans should be wary of a potential upset here.

Fortunately we are on hand to dish up five of the most important stats to consider before the big one commences in Kent.

Newcastle had a great defensive record in the League Cup last term

The Gills may have the home support of the Priestfield Stadium behind them for this Capital One Cup clash, but Newcastle boast an impressive defensive record in this competition from last season.

A combination of goalkeepers Rob Elliott and Tim Krul kept Morecambe, Leeds United and Manchester City at bay for a total of 279 minutes before Alvaro Negredo put the Citizens on their way to a 2-0 win in extra time at St James’ Park. Gillingham could find it tough going here.

The goals have flown at the wrong end for Gillingham

With the likes of Emmanuel Riviere, Ayoze Perez and Siem de Jong so far drawing a blank for the Magpies in the Premier League, a trip to Kent could not be better timed, with the Gills proving porous at the back since the start of the current campaign.

All told Peter Taylor’s team have conceded a whopping 11 goals in five games, keeping just one clean sheet along the way. More concerning still is Gillingham’s most recent result in the league – a 4-1 defeat away to Barnsley. It may add up to happy hunting for the Toon.

It could be Sammy Ameobi’s time to shine

With Shola now departed to Turkey, Magpies fans everywhere will be hoping Sammy Ameobi can step up and finally deliver on some of the potential he has shown in previous appearances for Newcastle United.

This League Cup encounter could be a great place to start, with Ameobi previous shining in the Magpies' last two appearances in the second round of this competition, with goals against Morecambe in 2013 and Scunthorpe in 2011.

Toon fans: Beware of Danny Kedwell

Part of the team that helped AFC Wimbledon earn promotion to League Two, having scored the winner from the spot against Luton in the Conference play-off final, Kedwell has been a revelation since moving to his hometown club of Gillingham for just £60,000 in July 2011.

A tally of 39 goals in 101 league games for the Gills is impressive enough but it is his form so far this season that makes him a major threat against Newcastle, with the 31-year-old netting in four of his last five games for the club.

Gillingham are a bit like Newcastle under Keegan

Much to the annoyance of Gills boss Peter Taylor, the Kent club have been scoring and conceding goals for fun, though in several instances already this season, a lack of defensive stability has cost them dearly.

In the five games played so far this term, Gillingham have dropped four points from winning positions with the worst capitulation coming on the opening day against MK Dons, when the Gills let a 2-0 lead at Stadium mk slip, going on to lose 4-2 to the hosts, who racked up three goals in five second-half minutes.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch