It’s all change for the Newcastle side against Barnsley tonight as full debuts are given to Cacapa and Enrique in this second round Carling Cup tie. Nobby Solano also comes in for his first start at right back in place of the injured Stephen Carr. This is a good chance for Nobby to show Big Sam what he can do at right-back having played a number of outstanding games in that position last season.
Emre also has his first start of the along with Michael Owen and Shola Ameobi up front. David Edgar and Paul Huntington are among the subs which also include Nicky Butt, Oba Martins and Steve Harper.
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Nobby Solano, Jose Enrique, Steven Taylor, Cacapa, Charles N’Zogbia, Geremi, Alan Smith, Emre, Michael Owen, Shola Ameobi
Subs: Steve Harper, Oba Martins, Nicky Butt, David Edgar, Paul Huntington
Barnsley: Heinz Muller, Lewin Nyatanga, Robert Kozluk, Sam Togwell, Miguel Mostto, Grant McCann, Rohan Ricketts, Dennis Souza, Martin Devaney, Dwayne Mattis, Dominik Werling
Subs: Nick Colgan, Robert Atkinson, Kim Christensen, Michael Coulson, Jacob Butterfield
Referre: G Salisbury
Mike Ashley is again at the game wearing his number 17 Smith shirt – which he also wore last Sunday. It’s good to see the owner in attendance again.
5min – Geremi takes a corner and it looks certain that Michael Owen will score as the ball gets through to him six yards from goal, but Michael seems surprised and the ball just hits him and is cleared. It was a half chance for Owen.
10min – Barnsley attack down the right and they win a corner as his cross deflects off the side of Enrique. The corner is headed clear by Taylor.
16min – Geremi finds N’Zogbia and the Frenchman puts Owen clear with a good through ball, and Owen is onto the ball but lacks the pace to get clear and shoots too early. The shot is gathered by keeper Muller at the second attempt.
Owen usually would have taken the ball closer to the goal but seemed a little short of pace on this occasion.
21min – N’Zogbia runs hard at the Barnsley defense and shoots but the shot is blocked for a corner. From the Geremi corner the ball gets to Solano and Nobby shoots from 22 yards but the shot is deflected just wide for a corner.
Newcastle are playing 4-4-2 and although N’Zogbia is wide out left Smith is not hugging the touchline and is drifting inside too much. The best player on the field after 30 minutes was Claudio Cacapa who was reading the game brilliantly and looked very competent with lots of class. We think Cacapa will need to start in central defense from now on so maybe Sam will switch Taylor to right back on Saturday.
24min – Devaney is booked for a stupid foul on Emre. Geremi sends in the free kick and it needs just the slightest of touches to open the scoring but keeper Muller gets the ball eight yards from goal.
36min – N’Zogbia is busy as usual and in most Newcastle moves and he finds Ameobi at the far post with a nice chip from the left-wing.
The game is very low tempo which of course suits Barnsley. Newcastle haven’t created any real chances and they seem to be playing too narrow and Smith will need to hug the touchline more in the second half. After one minute of added time the whistle blows for half time.
In the second half Newcastle will need to up the tempo to get the result they need. Barnsley have looked quite comfortable in the first half. The last thing we need is extra time or penalties to win this tie.