Newcastle vs Manchester City – Preview


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Tonight’s game at St. James’ Park has all the ingredients of a very good game, with Manchester City having been in great form this season under their new and former England manager, Sven Goran Eriksson.

And following Newcastle’s very good performance at Chelsea on Saturday, where everyone seems to agree we were worth at least a point, the fans are hoping for another good performance at home from their side tonight.

One thing that is in Newcastle’s favor is that Manchester City are not as good away from Eastlands as they are playing there. In their 11 home games this season, they are undefeated and have won 11 games, for a points total of 29 out of a possible 33. In their 9 away games they have just 7 points and have won only once.

New Newcastle captain Alan Smith is a doubt for the side tonight after suffering a concussion in the game at Chelsea on Saturday. The 27-year-old was in a clash of heads with team-mate Abdoulaye Faye and could be missing for tonight’s game. We think it sensible to leave Smith out of the squad for the game tonight, for his own good. He’ll be needed against Stoke City on Saturday.

But Faye looks likely to be fit after a scan revealed there was no break in his arm after leaving Stamford Bridge in a sling. He looked a powerful presence in a holding midfield position, and with Steven Taylor and Claudio Cacapa in central defense, that’s probably the strongest defensively we can be for tonight’s game.

Michael Owen continues his come-back and we wouldn’t be surprised if Sam gives Michael a start, in the hope he can put away those half chances we are creating but not scoring from.

Man City will be without their star young midfielder Michael Johnson (abdomen), and new signing Nery Castillo. The Mexican striker did not register in time to face Newcastle, which is good. 😀

We are hoping for a win tonight, but it depends which team turns up and how the defense plays. We’d like to see the following team go all out to capture 3 points and not only win, but give the Newcastle fans something good to talk about tomorrow.

Given (captain)
Beye Taylor Cacapa N’Zogbia
Milner Faye Emre Duff
Viduka Owen
Subs: Harper Rozehnal Geremi Enrique Martins

We’d give both Butt and Smith a rest for this game, although we cannot see Big Sam leaving Butt out of the squad altogether. We have to remember we have a difficult 3rd round FA Cup tie at Stoke City on Saturday, that we have to negotiate our way through, somehow. It will not be an easy game at all, and we will need some fresh players for Saturday.

We’d also like to see Enrique given some playing time tonight, because he needs it. He has always looked a decent player when Sam has played him, and he seems to be getting frustrated, at his lack of playing time. Give the boy a game Sam – at least the second half, if all is going well in the game.

We would expect 3 points from Newcastle tonight, but you never know with Newcastle United this season. As we’ve said before it depends which team turns up for the game tonight.

Will it be the team that Pompey took apart in a short 11 minutes, or the team that outplayed Arsenal at their own game. There’s a huge difference between those two Newcastle performances. But Sam’s challenge is to have the team turn up and give a top performance from now on, otherwise the Newcastle faithful will not be very happy come the end of the season.

Howay the Lads.

We warmly welcome Manchester City fans to our site today.

Comments and opinions are always very welcome.


47 comments so far

  • yh

    Jan 2, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #1

    Smith will clear a last minute medical and play with a big ass turban on his head (:
    SA just can’t do without him

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  • Neil A H

    Jan 2, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #2

    Elano my also not play today which will be good. I actually expect a win since City aren’t the same playing away. My team for tonight:

    Given
    Beye Taylor Cacapa Enrique
    Milner Faye Emre N’Zogbia
    Owen Viduka

    I agree about resting Butt and giving Enrique a game but it probably won’t happen. Maybe at Stoke City. You could put N’Zogbia at LB and Duff on the wing. Prediction 2-1 Newcastle.

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  • ToonKing

    Jan 2, 2008 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #3

    hey lads i just came home from a 4 day new year non stop drinking party, i’m wasted but can’t wait for the game. City are in a drop of form and its 90% that Elano ain’t playing so we got every chance to beat them.

    2-0 for the Toon, Howay and Happy New year.

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 2, 2008 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #4

    Milner is crap get him out the team, Zog and Duff can both play on the right but duff is better there.

    Given
    Beye Capaca Taylor Enrique
    Duff Faye Emre N’Zogbia
    Viduka Martins

    I hate owen + we shouldnt risk him as martins is off and if owen gets injured we are buggered.

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  • Penalty-Spot

    Jan 2, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #5

    I think this is a much harder fixture than commonly perceived. With the ups and downs of recent performances it’s hard to know if the boys will come out fighting or not.

    We have to or we’ll lose. I’m sorry folks 1-1 tonight.

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  • ObaFan2

    Jan 2, 2008 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #6

    Tom and Neil, your teams look good but I cannot see BSA playing them, they are too attacking !!!!
    I’d guess he’ll put a more defensive mf out again 🙁 , no Enrique which will put Zog back at lb and maybe a 433 again 🙁 or 451 ? or anything but a 442 !
    I also agree about dropping Milner for a game as his crossing is so so bad atm.
    One thing to hope for is a good entertaining game. Come on the TOON.

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  • Obafan

    Jan 2, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #7

    Tom_Toon : I completely agree; leave Milner out of the team, cause he ain’t that good. I’d also prefer Duff to be on the right and Zog on the left. This would be my team:

    Given
    Beye (C) – Cacapa – Faye – Taylor
    Duff – Butt – Emre – Zog
    Martins – Viduka

    SUBS: Harper – Rozehnal – Owen – Milner – Enrique

    I don’t understand some of you who put Owen in their team and MArtins on the bench. Wat has Owen done to proove that he deserves to play???

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  • Whumpie

    Jan 2, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #8

    I think Milner could do with a rest, but we are a bit short of good RW cover so a bit stuffed there.

    Also, I’d really like to see Enrique at LB, with Zog possibly interchangeable for the Emre slot. So, with subs, I’d like to see at least half the game as above, then this:

    Given (captain)
    Beye Taylor Cacapa Enrique
    Milner Faye N’Zobia Duff
    Viduka Owen
    Subs: Harper Rozehnal Geremi Emre Martins

    However, with BSA, we’ll probably get this:

    Given
    Milner Smith (with turban, Capt) Beye Faye Geremi Taylor Cacapa N’Zogbia Duff (all in one huge line along the back, then a hyyaaaawwge gap, then..)
    Owen (2 inches from their goal line)

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  • ObaFan2

    Jan 2, 2008 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #9

    I noticed last game that Duff played/drifted into the middle alot, maybe him more central and Zog wider.

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  • Howie

    Jan 2, 2008 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #10

    its gonna be
    given
    beye-cacapa-taylor-zogbia
    milner-butt-faye-duff
    viduka-owen.
    i think it has 1-1 draw written all over it but lets hope we bag all 3 points ahead of big cup game

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  • Nancys knickers

    Jan 2, 2008 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #11

    Might fancy your chances tonight but only because city looked knackered second half against liverpool ,if not they will beat you on the break ,newcastle aint good enough for more than 1 goal your defence is crap hope Taylor plays Petrov will skin him alive 3-1 again and without Elano

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  • James

    Jan 2, 2008 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #12

    Sam should pick but never will :

    given
    beye-capaca-taylor-faye
    milner emre nzogbia duff
    viduka owen

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  • Leo

    Jan 2, 2008 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #13

    he aint going to play 442 unfortunatly

    he will put out the team sheets at the stadium people will look and say- great a good team and they will play 442. then all of a sudden the team just doesnt and we get angry and boo the team the team duely give an early goal away and the booing gets louder.

    i so hope this doesnt happen again. i dont think i will pick a team sheet up this game

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  • Drago

    Jan 2, 2008 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #14

    yeah good luck with faye at LB 😀

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  • Leo

    Jan 2, 2008 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #15

    any news abot ben tozer and baheng?

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 2, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #16

    who cares, ive started the cider already cos knowing sam we’ll play for a draw and get absolutely battered.

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  • Edd Case

    Jan 2, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #17

    Jesus Christ, (might aswell ask him) we all know that Sam will never play a 442, despite almost every Toon fan in the known universe wanting this to happen.

    Sam will find a formation (of sorts) which will no doubt be set out to ‘contain’ Man City…
    It just staggers me, it really does – ‘containing’…

    We should be going all out for a well-earned win, utilising a 442 formation.
    I’d got with any of the teams already picked, but I can bet my mortgage that you’ll all be wrong and Sam will once again puzzle the Toon Army.

    Is he doing this deliberately?

    Well, Sam is an ex-Mackem.

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  • Graeme

    Jan 2, 2008 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #18

    This game is emminently winnable, if the team is set out to do so. Enrique, as a LB should start at LB (novel, I know!!) Zog should be in midfield – he is afterall a mid-fielder.

    With at least 2 in the team who can cross the ball, it means the short arses have to have someone who can head it down to them, which probably means Viduka in the CF position and hopefully Martins playing off him for the first hour, then being subbed by Owen.

    If I was BSA I would be earning over £2 million for that piece of master tactics – it really isnt rocket science, is it!!!!!! Toon to win it 2-1.

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  • scott 9

    Jan 2, 2008 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #19

    i think sam should play this
    given
    beye taylor cacapa enrique
    duff emre faye zog
    viduka owen if fit
    o and i agree drago faye at left back is madness and such a waste

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  • iain

    Jan 2, 2008 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #20

    seem sams been repaying sven for his support the other day in the guardian. there may have been up 99% sarcasm in that previous seNtence.

    http://football.guardian.co.uk/News_Story/0,,2234087,00.html

    why cant fat sam keep his big gob shut ???

    no wonder we hate him hes like freddy shepard but a manager.

    whos he think he is to have a pop at citys playing style.

    BIG SAM YOUR A BIG FAT GOBSHITE.

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  • Cockney Magpie

    Jan 2, 2008 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #21

    If the man wants to keep his job this is the team he has to play….

    ————————–Given—————————

    Beye——–Taylor————Faye———Enrique

    Duff———Butt(c)————–Emre——–N’Zogbia

    ————–Viduka———Martins——————

    And if Martins is still missin loads of chances in the first half bring him off for Owen at half time but if he at long last finds his scoring boots then leave him be.

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  • Ruud boy

    Jan 2, 2008 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #22

    Given (c)
    Beye – Rozehnal – Taylor – Enrique
    Faye
    Milner Emre Zog
    Martins – Viduka

    SUBS: Harper – Cacapa – Duff – Smith – Owen

    With the pace of the Man City forwards I reckon that Cacapa cannot be a starter.
    Beye and Enrique can push up aswell.
    Owen will come on around at 60 mins and score.
    2-1 newcastle

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  • Whumpie

    Jan 2, 2008 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #23

    A few have commented that Duff can play RW, in which case I’m with Cockney Magpie on this one. Must be a southerner thing. But instead we’ll get more ‘containment’ tactics, alas.

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  • Ashton

    Jan 2, 2008 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #24

    We will win this game

    2 – 1 for the toon !!

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  • James

    Jan 2, 2008 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #25

    I put Faye as left back because I don’t see Enrique playing for us for quite a while. Sam doesn’t like his fitness or attitude. Mainly because he wants to play in his position as left back, but Sam wants him to play in goal or up front.

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  • Bosck

    Jan 2, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #26

    I’d personally go for:

    _____________Given______________

    Beye____Cacapa______Taylor___Enrique

    _____________Faye_______________

    Milner________N’Zogbia__________Duff

    _______Viduka________Martins______

    Bench:
    Harper, Rozenhal, Butt, Emre, Owen (on after 60 mins)

    Sam will probably play Zogs at LB tho so Emre in for Enrique if thats the case.

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  • Howie

    Jan 2, 2008 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #27

    all i ask from everyone is if we do win even if its a boring 1-0 please be happy and no negative comments tonight if we win

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  • totsy

    Jan 2, 2008 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #28

    does anyone kow if there is any news regarding newcastle on the transfer front…..

    cant seem to find anything myself!!

    heres my team for tonight anywayz…

    —–MARTINS—–VIDUKA—–

    DUFF—–EMRE—–FAYE—-N’ ZOGBIA

    ENRIQUE—TAYLOR–CACAPA–BEYE.

    ——-GIVEN———

    i would substitute martins for owen if he doesnt deliver ….

    ive also dropped milner because he is utter rubbish when it come to crossing the ball…

    if he was fit i would swap faye for smith and put faye in CB in the place of cacapa who makes too many mistakes for my liking…

    erique desprately needs a chance or he may want to leave…from what ive seen he seems very talented .

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  • James

    Jan 2, 2008 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #29

    I watch a lot of Spanish football and Enrique is very talented. Madrid and Barca both wanted him but he came to us because he wanted to play in the Premiership. I honestly couldn’t believe it when we signed him. A major coup.

    However Sam is clearly not happy with his fitness levels otherwise he’d be playing him every week.

    But in terms of talent this lad could play for any top Euro team and not look out of place.

    But forget the team selections for tonight because he will be on the bench as normal.

    So let’s play another defender there (even if it means they are out of position) and unleash nzogbia.

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  • Hammy

    Jan 2, 2008 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #30

    Howie….as if that is ever going to happen

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  • Hammy

    Jan 2, 2008 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #31

    Yeah can’t understand why Enrique isn’t getting a game……Big Sam is going to struggle to recruit new talent when they see that regardless of how well they play they will either be out of position or on arse warming duty…

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  • Hammy

    Jan 2, 2008 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #32

    Is the game on the box? just I’m on child minding duty and the kids start screaming if I turn cbeebies over…….they don’t seem to mind me being on the computer though.

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  • true

    Jan 2, 2008 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #33

    Carrol has been recalled cos he cant get a game, so i expect him to start tonight, hey don’t laugh BAS is just the man capable of doing it!

    nervy 2-1 win for the lads

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  • LeazesEndLoyal

    Jan 2, 2008 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #34

    Given
    Beye Cacapa Faye Taylor Zoggy
    Geremi Butt Emre Duff
    Viduka/Martins/Owen

    That’s what Sam’ll play, containment

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  • James

    Jan 2, 2008 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #35

    You see this is the main problem with Sam. At this stage of the season there should be no debate as to who the first 11 is. Every fan should know. A good team picks itself every week.

    To go into each game still not knowing who will play is the main problem. How do you expect consistency Sam when the team itself is never consistent!

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  • Cockney Magpie

    Jan 2, 2008 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #36

    any of the lads on Xbox Live on ere? if so add me DanKellyNUFC

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  • Steeley

    Jan 2, 2008 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #37

    Can I just ask if anyone knows what has happened to our “already in the bag” signings Baheng and the Tozer??

    Surely if they were done and dusted then there would have been some official confirmation as soon as the window opened??

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  • Hammy

    Jan 2, 2008 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #38

    I see Boateng is after a move…..can’t see who’d be after a defensive midfielder though….

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  • Hadrian

    Jan 2, 2008 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #39

    well , after i cashed my last bet (i backed chelsea) i was overcome with guilt .
    i backed them out of spite , and its the first time ive bet against newcastle , even when ive known we would get beat .
    so today im back to normall service and have my tenna on the toon .
    looks for a comfortable win tonight , id like a 2-0 please.

    ill add you cockney mag . my gamertag is vetoo , if i can wrsetle the xbox of my kid .

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  • Hadrian

    Jan 2, 2008 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #40

    P.S
    sam and his wingers on oppsite side’s , im assuming he does tis so we get inswinging crosses into the box aimed at the far post sohis % game can come into play and we can nick sneaky goals like milners .
    anyone else come up with a better reason why he plays his wingers on there weaker side ?

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