We all know tonight is a big game for the team, where we have to try to get only our second win of the season.
The good news is that for the first time in a long time, manager Kinnear will have some selection posers that he will be looking at.
Joey Barton and Jonas Gutierrez, having held back as subs for the Sunderland game will now in all likelihood make the starting line-up and they could prove a huge difference for us tonight.
Seb Bassong had probably his one bad game for us on Saturday, but on the positive side it will be a good learning experience for the 22 year-old French youngster, who shows much promise. We expect Seb to keep his place and be that more solid tonight, but Joe may prefer to give Spaniard Joe Enrique a chance at left back.
Nicky Butt is out with his knee injury and while he didn’t have a good game on Saturday we have to remember his knee was very dodgy and it’s good that he’s being rested so that it can heal probably. We also expect Geremi to be dropped for Gutierrez after having a poor hgame on Saturday.
We expect the great Shay Given to be given (excuse the pun) the honor of leading out the lads tonight in what we expect to be the following team line-up:
Beye Coloccini Taylor Bassong
Gutierrez Barton Guthrie Duff
Subs: Harper Cacapa Edgar Enrique Xisco N’Zogbia Geremi
That’s quite a strong bench and we also hope Uruguayan Ignacio Gonzalez is almost recovered from his Achilles injury.
One key in tonight’s game is we have to defend solidly, and we’ve been doing a better job of that, but the first Sunderrland goal on Saturday was very sloppy from Newcastle’s point of view.
It’s encouraging that Coloccini is stepping up yto the plate, some sublime performances in the past few games – and we need more of that tonight from the Argentine. This lad can be great for Newcastle in seasons to come.
While Beye didn’t fare too well on Saturday, it will take one or two games for Habib to get back to his best, after being out most of the season.
The other key for us tonight is to be able to score goals, and we expect Shola could be in amongst the goals again tonight, but we also look to Oba Martins to be dangerous tonight. The only think with Oba is he sometime tries too hard, and we’re glad that Joe has had a private one on one with the Nigerian hit-man, and told him to be more selfish when he has a chance.
The result tonight is completely within out hands, and we all know it’s an important game for the team.
But with any luck we should be able to get the 3 points and we’ll celebrtate that – big time.
We had some very bad news last Friday morning, when one of our friends here in Raleigh, surprisingly passed away. The funeral is this afternoon at 2:00 pm local time and that’s 8:00 pm Newcastle time, just after the kick off tonight.
My wife and I will be attending the funeral, so there will be no team article put out just before the game. I will put a discussion article out before we leave, so that readers, who want to comment on the game as it progresses, can still do that.
I should be back before the end of the game – which is being televised live over here . Many thanks.