The nice change tomorrow from our encounter with Arsenal is the game at Manchester City is televised live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1 in the UK and is live on Setanta Sports over here in the US.
Its going to be a tough game and Newcastle will need to be at their best to get anything out of this game. But we think that with a strong defensive performance and a decent all round display a draw is the most likely result and one point would be good.
But what our fans would really like to see is a win to help us all recover from the defeat at Arsenal. That will only happen if we are ruthless in front of goal. Even though Arsenal attacked in waves against Newcastle on Tuesday we could still have been 2-0 up if we had taken the chances that were presented to us. We all know goals change games – and it would certainly have done that on Tuesday night against the Arsenal youngsters.
But we didn’t and duly suffered at the hands of Arsene Wenger’s fabulous youngsters. That’s not a disgrace at all as witnessed last year when the same youngsters took Liverpool apart at Liverpool and were leading 5-1 after 60 minutes before settling for a 6-3 win. So the one thing we should understand is that even though they were Wenger’s second string they are an excellent side and would have beaten most Premiership side on Tuesday night and probably by a bigger score than 2-0. That’s not trying to sugar-coat things but it’s giving some credit to our boys who played with great heart and spirit, but just didn’t get any lucky breaks on the night
Some of Manchester’s players are not available tomorrow including Dan Sturridge (leg), Valeri Bojinov (knee). Darius Vassell (knee), Rolando Bianchi (groin) and Andreas Isaksson (ankle) will also be missing on Saturday.
As we know, City are a vastly improved side this season and their defense has usually been solid, although last week it looked decidedly weak against a poor Fulham side. That’s probably Newcastle’s best chance for success tomorrow – that City give us some breaks – and we take them this time. That coupled with another really solid defensive performance is our key to victory.
The Manchester City danger man this season has undoubtedly been new Â£4.7 signing Martin Petrov. The Bulgarian international winger had long been thought to move to Tottenham before Eriksson swooped for the 28-year-old from Atletico Madrid, once he took over in the summer. Petrov’s got a terrific left foot, lots of skills and has an eye for goal having scored 2 goals last week against Fulham. He is quickly realizing his game is very well suited to the Premiership. He is also a danger from free-kicks so we assume Sam has our guys ready for that. Habib Beye will have his work cut out for him tomorrow and we look to Habib to contain the Bulgarian.
Tuesday saw City advance past Norwich in the Carling Cup with the only goal of the game from Samaras in the dying seconds. Eriksson was singing the praises on Sky Sports yesterday of young Samaras and the Greek may even get a start for City tomorrow. Just 21,000 fans turned out for the Carling Cup and it will be interesting to see what the attendance is tomorrow for our visit.
Newcastle will be able to field a strong team tomorrow despite our long injury list – this is what we think the team will be:
Beye Taylor Rozehnal Enrique
Milner Butt Geremi N’Zogbia
Subs: Given, Edgar, Faye, Smith, Emre
We expect at some point in the game to see Emre, so it will be interesting to see how he performs for Big Sam – he looked decent on Tuesday night in the second half and may be able to add some creativity to our central midfield. We really hope we play 4-4-2.
Is it just us but every time we play 4-3-3 like we did in the first half to Arsenal we seem to concede central midfield. We’ve never seen that formation work for us this season even though we know Big Sam thinks it has advantages on both defense and attack.
A victory would be great but we think a low scoring draw is the most likely result – but it should be a very well matched game. Both sides have made vast improvements from last season and we think both are headed for more success in the next season or two. You can comment on our Newcastle United Forum and comments here are always very welcome.
Come on the lads!