Newcastle United are on a decent run of form, having taken 7 points from our last 3 games. In the game at Craven Cottage last Saturday, it was our first away win since the first game of the season, when we beat Bolton 3-1. Last Saturday’s game was also painful to watch, whoever you are – in fact it was very painful.
But during the last week we noticed that a win is a win, and we felt pretty good all week with the 3 points.
Today, Newcastle United have a wonderful chance to make it 3 wins in a row. That’s because we are at home to the very worst team in the Premiership – Derby County – who also happen to be bottom of the league and 7 points adrift of the second bottom team Wigan. It just so happens we play Wigan in our next game, on Boxing Day. Derby have just 6 points, and half that number came from their win against Newcastle United at Pride Park, earlier in the season 1-0. That was one of the worst performances of the season for Newcastle, unfortunately.
That in fact is the third good reason why we should go all out today, not just for a win, but for a good win, and send the Newcastle fans home for Christmas in the holiday mood and ecstatic. That’s the very least the fans deserve, after the wonderful way in which they have supported the team this season.
It will not be easy, we know that, but please enough is enough – Derby County are not Arsenal or Manchester United. Apologies to all Derby County fans reading this. This is honestly not meant to be a personal attack, but we are just making a point why our team must win today.
We’re sure the Newcastle fans will be very patient this afternoon, but the players and Sam must deliver the goods. And if they can do that, then at least for the next 3 days everything in the Newcastle United garden will be rosy, in fact very rosy indeed. We may even be able to write some stupid stories about finishing in the top four in May.
As far as team selection goes, we have a good chance to put our most attacking team out today. Why is that? Simply because Derby are the worst side in the league, have already leaked 39 goals in their 17 games, and have only scored 6 times all season. Hey, we may be able to get a clean sheet too.
If we cannot attack Derby County tomorrow from the very first whistle, then we’ll not attack any team this season. We should go after Derby’s weakness, and that’s their defense. This is the Magpies side we’d like to see take on Derby County today:
Beye Cacapa Taylor Enrique
Milner Butt Barton N’Zogbia
Subs: Harper Rozehnal Geremi Viduka Emre
But we know Sam will not pick that team, although he should if he wants to go into the holiday program with a good win. The team we expect the big man to put out today is:
Beye Cacapa Taylor N’Zogbia
Geremi Butt Barton Milner
Subs: Harper Rozehnal Enrique Viduka Emre
As far as Derby County are concerned new manager Paul Jewell told the official Derby County site yesterday:
â€œ What we need is to start showing more belief in the final third.”
“It’s easy for me to tell the players not to play with any fear because they are human beings – but that’s where they need to get their heads right.â€
Paul Jewell has several injury concerns. Andy Griffin (our former right-back) and Stephen Pearson are doubtful, while Rob Earnshaw and Dave Jones have also picked up injuries. It looks like Matt Oakley will also undergo a late fitness test.
The likely Derby County team for today is:
Bywater, Mears, Moore, Leacock, Davis, McEveley, Oakley, Barnes, Teale, Howard, Miller
We actually got the result right last week. Our 1-0 win prediction finally came off against Fulham. As most of you know that was only because we spent a couple of long nights going through the form, and then running lots of computer programs on the game. Or was that the one we picked out of the hat just before we wrote the preview?
Well, never mind, today is a lot easier for us – we expect Newcastle to win easily 3-0.
Comments very welcome.
We also want to welcome all Derby County fans to our site today.