Newcastle vs Arsenal – Preview


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It’s interesting reading some of the Arsenal web-sites today, where a lot of them are rather cautious about the game at Newcastle United tonight. At least three of the sites are saying this game will not be as easy as it looks.
That’s probably because Newcastle desperately need a result and while we have some good players they have never really all played well together, and maybe, just maybe, tonight is the time for them to come together.

On form there’s no question that Arsenal should get all 3 points.

Arsenal’s injury problems are similar to what they were at Aston Villa. But two players that played in that game are out. Hleb and Flamini will not play tonight, and while that may be good news for Newcastle fans, the players they will draft in will be nearly as good. So we’re not sure you gain too much with their stars out injured. Remember we were also well beaten 2-0 at the Emirates in late September by their second string, in the Carling Cup.

If Arsenal have a weakness it has to be with their goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, who has looked a little weak and unsteady on more than one occasion this season. We would also hope that Senderos gets a game, because we think Oba Martins’ speed could be a problem for him.

On the Newcastle side of things, it looks like Carr, Faye and Cacapa will not make the game. But we really hope that Steven Taylor can play and take his place at right back. Steven has been playing well recently and it will allow Beye, who has also been in good form recently, to take his place in central defense. We also hope Big Sam will pick a team where players play in their normal positions and again ask that Milner starts on the right wing and N’Zogbia on the left. That will allow young Enrique to take his place at left back. So we expect something like this team tonight:

Given
Taylor Beye Rozehnal Enrique
Milner Geremi Barton N’Zogbia
Viduka Martins
Subs: Harper, Edgar, Emre, Smith, Butt

It could be that Butt plays in place of Geremi, and we think as usual that Big Sam will find a place somewhere for Alan Smith, maybe even in defensive midfield. But we don’t want to see a team with too many central midfielders in the side and some of them playing on the wings. Sam has proved many times that just doesn’t work and we haven’t seen Milner and N’Zogbia out on the wings nearly enough this season. They will be a threat to any side.

There’s no doubt this could be a very difficult game for the Magpies. But after the debacles against Portsmouth and Liverpool at St. James’ Park, we expect a hugely improved performance tonight. We desperately need some kind of a result and while a win would be fantastic, we’d gladly settle for a draw. We can build on that by hammering Birmingham on Saturday. 😀

What do you think? Can we get a result tonight. Please let us know.

We also welcome Arsenal fans to our web-site.

Your comments and opinions are always welcome. Just keep the language fairly decent – thanks.



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25 comments so far

  • craig chisholm

    Dec 5, 2007 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #1

    we will loose if we continue to play players out of position and leave milner on the bench and zogs as left back. i am still not sure if sam knows who he wants in what position. i think the three concrete ones are martins, barton and given, other than that, take your pick man. if he goes with the right guys in the right places then we have to be good for at least a draw – again, its not going forward, its what goes on at the back which worries me most. VERDICT – heart for us but my head says we will loose again tonight.

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  • Mike

    Dec 5, 2007 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #2

    You say you want Big Sam to play players in their natural positions yet you put Taylor (a CH who has looked poor at right back) at RB and Beye (A right back) in the middle!? I think Sam will start with Butt in defensive midfield. I can’t see him playing Milner and Zog on the wings, as much as we’d all like to see it, as he’ll want to play Butt, Geremi and Smith (Smith possibly up front partnering Martins) . I think we’ll be playing Geremi on the right of midfield if not right back with Milner playing left wing in front of Zog.
    I get the impression we’re gonna be very defensive and our best chance will be if we fluke the first goal and hold on, we’re not coming back from a losing position.
    On the positive side they have got they’re most productive players this season out tonight so could be an interesting game to watch.
    Come on the Toon.

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  • indian toon

    Dec 5, 2007 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #3

    i have a feeling carr is goona start tonight. anyways 3-2 to the toon.

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  • ToonKing

    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #4

    Butt, Barton and Smithy will all be in the team tonight 100% . We need these guys to rough the Arse’s up. the girly Denilson and Diarra will be chewed up by Butt and Joey. After seeing that even Flamini is out i’m sure were gonna win this……………………..lol.

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  • michael

    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #5

    Honestly, Newcastle doesnt have a chance but maybe if Arsenal get confused in mildfield due to their injury problems and Newcastle use their intelligent plsyers like Martins, Viduka, Emre then they might have a chance. But if Arsenal click from the get-go and Newcastle thier usual self then prepare for a hamperring and Barton a red card.

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  • Callum

    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #6

    I cant see anything other then an Arsenal win im afraid, Not because we’re playing poorly at the moment just because Arsenal are playing superb 🙁

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  • wsq

    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #7

    break their legs! howay the lads!

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  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #8

    1-0 win for us, adebayor to miss a sitter.

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  • Andreas

    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #9

    Will be (I think) a ultra-defensive formation which with no doubt will include Smith, Butt and Geremi.

    It will be a very boring game to watch with 90% defending and 10% for our strikers (or possibly striker) trying to get hold of missiles flying from around our penalty area and up to Arsenals.

    With a great deal of luck, and some rough play, we might just be able to get a result but it will not be pretty in any case.

    I do hope I’m totally wrong and that SA send out a team attacking and taking the game to Arse and that we’ll come out with splendid 3-2 victory.

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  • Eve

    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #10

    LOL, who wants to bet that after a certain “episode” that maybe Given wont be playing tonight. (even though apparently Harper was involved aswell, but I always got the feeling that Sam doesn’t like Given, even though he’s the better keeper) I’ll kick Sam’s ass if he’s not playing but still. I wouldn’t be supprised.

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  • ctpa

    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #11

    Arsenal and its supporters will approach any opponent with cautious optimism. We will anticipate a ‘committed’ display from Newcastle. Because even a blind squirrel might find an acorn. The Denilson-Diarra pairing would be a repeat of the Carling Cup CM. That says a lot about the quality of our depth.

    To: wsq and ToonKing, you boys need to get out more and get your heads out of Neil Warnock’s ass. This edition of Arsenal will not be taking any s**t from that reprobate Joey Barton and ‘hardman ‘ Nicky Butt. Just ask our last 14 victims.

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  • Leo

    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #12

    taylor has probly played more at right back than he has at center back, and i think he played better at right back. also beye in the middle is good because he is fast and we need that against arsenal, i think ed has got the defence spot on. my team would be as follows…

    Given

    Taylor Beye Rozehnal Enrique

    Milner Barton Emre Nzogbia

    Smith Martins

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  • aaron d

    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #13

    thats the lineup i’d go for Leo.

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  • Pete

    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #14

    Who’s the ref ?

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  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #15

    play edgar! 🙁

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  • Johann

    Dec 5, 2007 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #16

    yepp I feel Edgar is a must in the central defense to add some bite.

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  • Southside Jordy

    Dec 5, 2007 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #17

    Why play Taylor and Beye in the wrong poition’s ????????? Has the world gone mad or is it just me!!!!!!!!

    We need to kick lumps out of them to win…..there just big girl’s!!!

    2-1 Newcastle

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  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 5, 2007 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #18

    where can i watch the game on the net?

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  • david bulman

    Dec 5, 2007 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #19

    im a big newcastle fan and cant understand why the likes of toonking thinks smith butt and geremi in midfield will work,geremi too slow,smith offers nothing,only diving into every tackle and getting booked,hes a striker not a midfielder.agree that taylor in middle and beye at right back AS thats their proper POSITIONS.barton and butt in centre and milner and nzogbia on the wings with martins and viduka\or smith upfront.enrique deserves to play at left back as he has looked good but when toon get a bad result sam seems to blame him and drop him and play nzogbia at left back,which is wrong as well.

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  • Craig Allen

    Dec 5, 2007 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #20

    Ed – I see you have Milner and Zog on either flank – as much as I’d love to see that, I suspect Sam will play Emre / Barton or Geremi out wide, Zog at LB and Milner on the left wing.

    Just saw Mike’s comment – agree.

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  • Toon Chicken

    Dec 5, 2007 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #21

    I just hope if Given starts in goal he stays there. He seems to be going on all kinds of kamikaze missions upfield these days, and it’s only gonna be a matter of time b4 one of them ends in embarrassment.

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  • nightfall

    Dec 5, 2007 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #22

    given
    geremi beye rozehnal enrique
    milner butt barton n’zogbia
    martins smith

    subs: harper, taylor, emre, viduka, edgar

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  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 5, 2007 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #24

    cheers

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  • ctpa

    Dec 5, 2007 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #25

    Nice draw Newcastle.

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