Newcastle’s next game is at Derby County on Monday evening with a 8pm KO. With yesterday’s results in and only two games remaining to be played for this round of league games it looks like a win at Derby County will take Newcastle into the top 4 in the league.
If Manchester City beat Aston Villa today then Newcastle will be 4th with a win otherwise we’ll be in 3rd place. That will be one of the highest positions we’ve been since Sir Bobby Robson was managing the club.
Newcastle will not have Emre available, since he was injured playing for Turkey on Wednesday evening but everyone else seems available except our long term injured players Duff, Barton, Carr, Ramage and Babayaro.
Enrique and Viduka have niggling hamstring injuries and Sam may elect not to risk them. On checking the PhysioRoom.Com injuries list for Newcastle it looks like Viduka is out till 20th September, so we’ll assume Sam will not risk him on Monday.
Certainly Allardyce has selection problems simply because of the strength of the squad and we think he will play the following team in a 4-4-2 formation.
Beye Rozhenal Cacapa N’Zogbia
Smith Geremi Butt Milner
Subs: Given, Owen, Taylor, Faye, Enrique
The referee is Peter Walton.
The TV coverage for the game worldwide you can get from www.nufc.com and it looks like it will be beamed live on Setanta Sports in both England and the USA 😀
With the acquisition of Faye and Beye recently, Sam is going to have to leave some really good defenders on the bench or completely out of the match squad for some games, once all players return from injury. We think Sam will still prefer Harper over Given and will start Habib Beye at right back for his debut. We think Abdoulaye Faye, acquired from Bolton, will be on the bench.
We also believe Sam will tend towards safety and start Michael Owen on the bench. That depends on what Michael has looked like in training but we do have 3 tough games coming up the following week – West Ham H Sat 22nd Sep, Arsenal A LGCP Tue 25th Sep and Manchester City A Sat 29th Sep – so Sam may elect to rest Michael.
We don’t think Steven Taylor will make the starting eleven and will be on the subs bench since he can play anywhere along the back four. Sometime in the future we’d like to see Enrique at left back so we can have Charles N’Zogbia and James Milner as the two wingers to the exclusion of Alan Smith.
This is a big opportunity for Newcastle to go high in the league which will give the whole squad a confidence lift for the next 3 games. Newly promoted Derby County have taken only a single point from their first 5 league games and are stuck at the bottom of the league. These are games we just have to take 3 points from – with no excuses.
If we can do this on Monday evening Newcastle will be nicely placed in the league (top 4) for the upcoming tough games. So that’s a big opportunity for the team at this early stage in the season.
What do you think? What should our team be? Should we expect a win?
You can join the discussion of the game on our Newcastle United Forum and also leave comments here.