Today’s game marks the first official game under new interim manager Joe Kinnear, and most Newcastle fans are hoping for something out of the match, and a win if at all possible.
The good news is that Everton have lost all three league games at home this season, and played in the UEFA cup last Thursday evening, so with any luck they will be out of form, and tired too. 😀
If that happens then we may have a chance of a win, but really it will depend more on how Newcastle play than what Everton do. We’ve been promised by captain Michael Owen and manager Joe Kinnear that the Newcastle players will be full of fight. We expect every single player to put in an honest and good shift tomorrow afternoon.
That is something that has been missing for a while now, and if we can do that, and Everton are not at their best, we may well surprise a lot of people. Certainly it seems like Joe and the coaching staff have done lots of good work with the players this week, especially on the defense, and also on getting the lads to talk to each other and help each other on the field more.
Joe Enrique and Danny Guthrie are both back, and we expect both to start. But Habib Beye unfortunately is still struggling with his Achilles injury, but should be ready for our next game two weeks tomorrow, at home to Manchester City – another 3 points hopefully.
We expect Joe to announce the following team:
Geremi, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique
Damien Duff. Nicky Butt. Danny Guthrie. Charles N’Zogbia
Michael Owen (c), Xisco
Subs: Steve Harper, Shola Ameobi, David Edgar, Sebastien Bassong, Claudio Coloccini, Ryan Donaldson, Nile Ranger
Right back is a problem spot without Beye, but we expect Joe to go for experience with Geremi, since he played there quite a few times for Chelsea, after all. We expect Danny Guthrie to come in as a straight swap for Claudio Cacapa, who looked a little pedestrian in the middle of the field last week.
Danny Guthrie should be a good addition to the team, and we may be able to get a hold of central midfield tomorrow, something we failed miserably to do in the first half last week against Blackburn.
The defense also needs to be a lot better than we’ve been for the last few games, and we’ll be looking for sound games again from Nicky Butt, Michael Owen and Damien Duff. We certainly cannot make any more stupid mistakes on defense, like last week, when both Blackburn goals were preventable.
One of the few bright spots last week was the wing play of Duff, who looked great again on the right, and young Charles N’Zogbia is also starting to show up well, now he is back in his best position on the left wing.
Fight, determination, character and passion is what we look for tomorrow from the players, and if we don’t get that, it will be hard to win the game.
But we feel quite positive about tomorrow’s game, given the good week Joe has had to inspire the lads and get their heads back on football. We expect a good performance and we’ll be disappointed if we don’t get one.
Howay The Lads!