Birmingham vs Newcastle – Preview of Game


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Today is a big day for Newcastle United and Birmingham fans as the two team meet tonight at St. Andrews in what promises to be a real relegation battle between two teams facing the drop.

We are getting a little fed up of saying we haven’t won in the last 12 league games, but maybe we’ll get a chance to change that after the game. That’s not to say it’s now 13 games, but that we can register a win and break our duck this year.

We won 2-1 at St. James’ Park with a dramatic last minute winner form Habib Beye, and those were certainly much better times for the club and the fans. We were grumbling then about not being higher up the league. We’re worried now that we don’t fall even further down into the relegation mire, which we’re already in of course.

The weekend’s results for Newcastle were a little bit of a mixed bag, being good on Saturday with Sunderland, Reading and Derby all being beaten by just one goal. But yesterday saw both Fulham and Wigan win. Bolton were on the wrong end of the result with Wigan, so they are still 3 points behind us.

But it’s about time we didn’t have to rely on the results of other teams and we did something to help ourselves – like get a win.

The team selection is going to cause some heartburn again we think for the Newcastle faithful. This is the side we’d like to see put out tonight:

Harper
Beye Faye Taylor Enrique
Duff Geremi Barton N’Zogbia
Owen (c) Martins
Subs: Forster Smith Diatta Viduka Butt

We just think Oba Martins must start this game – that’s what we want to see, but we’re not sure that’s what Kevin will do. We still think he’ll keep faith with Alan Smith. 🙁

If that happens we’ll want Smith to get a couple of goals, and then we’ll acknowledge (quickly) that Kevin knew what he was doing all along with Alan. Certainly his fighting qualities are needed tonight.

Here’s the team we think Keegan will pick.

Harper
Beye Faye Taylor Enrique
Duff Butt Barton N’Zogbia
Owen (c) Smith
Subs: Forster Geremi Diatta Viduka Martins

We have to be honest about this game and we do not have a good feeling about the result. We’ve seen teams over the weekend show great fight and spirit. That’s something that’s been missing from our repertoire. Birmingham may have the best spirit of any team fighting for safety in the Premier League, and Manager Alex McLeish is well known for getting the best out of his squad.

He’s starting to do that, and just remember how he had Scotland playing out of their skins against Italy, while he was Scotland’s manager.

Our big concern tonight is that our lot will be outfought by Birmingham. We desperately want the team to win and want to be positive, but we also have to be honest, and say what we think. 🙁

We hope the players will prove us wrong and show the fight that is required. We really need to see another Blackburn (0-1) or Arsenal (1-1) type performance – but with a win this time.

The club desperately needs a win, but we’ll even be happy even with a draw, and then we can slaughter Fulham on Saturday. 😀

A defeat isn’t even worth thinking about.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.



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58 comments so far

  • Hammy

    Mar 17, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #1

    If that is the team it’s disappointing to have your better players twiddling their thumbs on the bench while Kev and Terry sit scratching their heads.
    I’d love to see Smith dropped just to prove that Ashley isn’t sh@gging him on the side……
    Roll on tonight……

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  • Jimmie

    Mar 17, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #2

    Belive this will be the team for tonight:

    Harper

    Beye – Taylor – Faye – Enrique

    Smith – Barton – Butt – Duff

    Martins – Owen (c)

    0
  • John

    Mar 17, 2008 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #3

    jemmie i hope your wrong , but i think your probably right…Back to the sam days. Playiong smith Right wing , of even free role..

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  • HeronMag

    Mar 17, 2008 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #4

    I am very, very worried about this one.

    It’s time for Joey Barton to start showing what we paid £5m for his services.

    As for Alan Smith, he needs to bag a hat trick.

    Come on KK, we need to see Martins start!

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  • geordie in taipei

    Mar 17, 2008 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #5

    Well milners out so he’s gotta play Geremi on the right wing really. He will hopefull play duff on the left and Zogsin the middle with Barton…..i actually think we might do alright tonight….win or draw ..im not usually too optimistic…it maybe that ive just been drinking free guiness at a st.patricks dat party in Taipei..being neither chinese or irish that has filled me with hope…..but i reckon it may be ok tonight.

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  • toonhitman

    Mar 17, 2008 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #6

    if thats the team god help us, this really worries me has keegan lost the plot

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  • Leo

    Mar 17, 2008 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #7

    jimmie i believe that probably will be the team… which worrys me a bit but hey lets just wait and see

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  • toonhitman

    Mar 17, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #8

    if keegan plays smith does this prove keegan has lost it what do you think

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  • Rich

    Mar 17, 2008 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #9

    I think the team tonight will be

    Harper

    Beye Taylor Faye N Zogbia

    Barton Smith Butt Duff

    Owen Viduka

    Subs: Forster, Geremi, Martins, Cacapa,Enrique

    I prey im wrong but i think this will be it!!

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  • Jimmie

    Mar 17, 2008 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #10

    I think it important to say that it is the team I BELIVE Keegan will field, not the team I would pick… Smith nor Butt would not make it in my eleven..

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  • toonhitman

    Mar 17, 2008 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #11

    im debating wether to give setanta sports £10 to watch the match then again i might just spend it on some cans and listern to it on the radio

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  • HeronMag

    Mar 17, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #12
  • ToonKing

    Mar 17, 2008 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #13

    dunno what to think about today, i really hope KK fields a different team. We MUST get the draw at least.
    My only wish is that we don’t see Smith on the Right wing. Other then that i really have no other desire.

    Let’s hope for a win, we need it like air. 6 hours to go.

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  • Davies

    Mar 17, 2008 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #14

    If Obafemi Martins starts up front I’ll eat my head. Let’s be honest, Smith is going to feature somewhere in the team. If he’s up front, I may have to have a brief cry before the match starts.

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  • Toonlad

    Mar 17, 2008 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #15

    I hope when I tune in at 5am Tuesday morning over here, (and maybe have to listen to a commentary in Mandarin or else some obscure dialect eg Sunderland or other foreigners) it will be worth it, because all I will see in front of me is a scoreline that begins to suggest Brum are going home with their tails between their legs. Being eleven blokes, I suppose they should be going home with their tails in that position, regardless.

    Give me some points lads and I will gladly rejoice in the loss of sleep! Give me a starting side without the likes of you know who…(the Blond Bombshell and his mate Hairy Butt) and it will be a time of great celebration. Praise de Lord!!

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  • THELONGSHANKS

    Mar 17, 2008 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #16

    HARPER

    beye,taylor,faye,enrique

    geremi,barton,zogbia,duff

    owen,martins

    This is a great team and if we played this until the end of the season we will be safe.Fat chance cuz smith and butt are definate starters.

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  • steve

    Mar 17, 2008 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #17

    Anything other than a win probably means relegation for us, a defeat will be catastrophic and leave us with a huge mountain to climb with players confidence at a really low ebb for the Fulham game who will come to St James full of themselves after defeating Everton.

    We can do it but it probably means KK has to drop Smith at the very least

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  • ELFER

    Mar 17, 2008 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #18

    disagree and this will be the team KK picks:

    Harper
    Beye Faye Taylor Enrique
    Duff Butt Barton SMITH
    Owen (c) MARTINS
    Subs: Forster Geremi Diatta Viduka N’ZOGBIA

    0
  • Jimmie

    Mar 17, 2008 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #19

    Duff on the right and Smith on the left?? hey wake up , Sam is long gone… = )

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  • ObaFan2

    Mar 17, 2008 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #20

    Never been this nervous for a long time before a game.

    If Oba plays then I’m not that bothered if Smith plays behind the front 2………. I’d prefer he was dropped tbh.

    Another player I have doubts about is Taylor but again hope he plays well especially with Faye next to him helping him out.

    Time to stand up and be counted, every outfield player has to prove their worth and show their fight for their club.

    If Enrique is again picked on as a weak link then Zog or Duff should drop back and help whenever neccesary.

    Come on the TOON.

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  • AlexW

    Mar 17, 2008 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #21

    harper

    beye faye diatta enrique
    duff barton geremi n’zogbia
    owen/martins smith/viduka

    thats our best team i would imagine

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  • Hilly

    Mar 17, 2008 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #22

    I think Joey Barton’s form could well make or break this game for us. He hasn’t looked very good as of late and the service into our forwards has suffered because of it. Our width is decent right now. If Barton can provide us with the link through the middle, I think we have a very good chance of winning tonight. Provided Owen can put something on goal…

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  • James

    Mar 17, 2008 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #23

    It boils down to this :

    If he picks Butt and Smith yet again (like we all fear he will), then we will lose

    If he shows some balls and decides to start the game with 11 men by dropping Butt and Smith, then we will win

    Upto you KK.

    But if you continue to show faith in Butt and Smith we will be relegated – FACT

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  • Betting on the Toon

    Mar 17, 2008 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #24

    Surely Martins has to start tonight? He was very good when he came on last week and deserves to be given a chance alongside Owen. Tonight is one of those games when the senior players (Barton, Owen and Duff in particular) need to stand up and be counted and it will all be about character. A defeat and it will be a real struggle to survive. The season hangs on this result – a win and that can be built on but lose and the confidence could take another irepareable knock.

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  • ObaFan2

    Mar 17, 2008 at 3:12 PM

    Comment #25

    Imho Butt has a footballing brain, he can see the pass or interception but he cannot complete most of the time.

    Smith however is like a headless chicken, running around aimlessly and getting yellow cards and for some reason he has forgotten where the oppositions net is.

    Our midfield has been terrible for most of the season, unable to help cover the back four and unable to supply the front two (in general,some exceptions but not many).

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  • ObaFan2

    Mar 17, 2008 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #26

    Oba is the only player who can make something from nothing.

    He has to play.

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  • James

    Mar 17, 2008 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #27

    ObaFan – what use is being able to see a pass but not being able to complete it? Butt is the biggest liability in the whole team.

    —Against Man Utd he gave the ball away 59 times.

    –Against Blackburn he gave the ball away 37 times

    –Againt Liverpool he gave the ball away 24 times.

    –Against Arsenal he gave the ball away 33 times

    This puts enormous pressure on the team that we can do without.

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  • daiv

    Mar 17, 2008 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #28

    Butt, Barton and Smith = defeat. Simple as that. If KK picks the side you predict Ed, he is a moron and we will lose. Move on to Fulham. We have to win that game. We can beat Brum but not with the team predicted

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  • daiv

    Mar 17, 2008 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #29

    Spot on James.

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  • Leo

    Mar 17, 2008 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #30

    how did you get that info james? please tell me you didnt sit and count them? i tried once at a home game and got sick to death. he is a liability…

    anyone know of a good place to get my car serviced in the north east? just benfield want 350quid for a major service and am not stumping that much out…

    who do they think i am… newcastle

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  • Howie

    Mar 17, 2008 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #31

    if martins,nzogbia dont play in favour of butt/smith i expect a 2-0 defeat. if they play we might be able to get a 1-1. if someone offered me a draw right now i would take it immediately.

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  • toonhitman

    Mar 17, 2008 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #32

    come on the toon must win this game the neet ,no excuses

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  • James

    Mar 17, 2008 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #33

    Leo – I counted. My mate I would put bets on to guess the number because it is always so high. Sad but true. If Butt always plays and screws up the team I may as well try to make money out of it.

    Does anyone know if he has actually been dropped this season? I know Smith never has, though not sure about Butt. As far as I know the only games they have missed are the ones they have been constantly suspended for.

    Another good game we played was guess the minute that Smith gets a yellow card. Always a sure fire bet

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  • simen

    Mar 17, 2008 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #34

    I’m really looking forward to tonight, but with mixed emotions I’m afraid :S

    Must say I agree with Ed about his team:

    Harper

    Beye Taylor Faye Enrique

    Duff Geremi Barton N’Zogbia

    Owen Martins

    I actually think Geremi has been awful this season, but he has probably gained some confidence in Africa, i hope!

    A win today would be absolute fantastic! Come on lads! 😀

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  • Mighty Mouse

    Mar 17, 2008 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #35

    Harper
    Beye, Diatta, Cacapa, Enrique
    Faye
    Geremi, Barton, Zog
    Oba, Viduka

    0
  • Mighty Mouse

    Mar 17, 2008 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #36

    no room for sentiment 🙂

    and I’m assuming Diatta and Cacapa can reform their partnership from Lyon a few years ago

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  • simen

    Mar 17, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #37

    Saw the video HeronMag. If Martins plays like he did last year, hes magnificent!:) I remember him last year, when he had up to three, four players around him and still got away! Sometimes i couldn’t believe my own eyes;)

    When Roeder backed him he played extremely well, but i think his confidence has dropped an awful lot since last year, and the Inter days. Hope he can get it back with a brace today!

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  • ObaFan2

    Mar 17, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #38

    Where did I say I wanted Butt in the team?

    Selective reading fgs

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  • faustino

    Mar 17, 2008 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #39

    Butt won’t play and Smith will imo.

    Smith and Owen to score in a 2-1 victory.

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  • Leo

    Mar 17, 2008 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #40

    has anyone noticed how when west ham announced their new technical director the press are like, west ham have been scouring the world for someone to take the job and they will work well together to find good transfers etc…

    but when we announced wise vetre and jiminez it was all, they are going to destabalise keegan etc… bloomin arses

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