Newcastle vs Aston Villa – Match Preview

Joe Kinnear will have Nicky Butt back in contention tonight, after he missed Tuesday’s 2-1 win over West Brom because of an ankle injury.

And captain Michael Owen (groin) will also comes into contention, but we think Kinnear will start both of them on the bench tonight, after Guthrie and Barton did so well in midfield last Monday. If Joe does decide to start Butt, we think it will be at the expense of Danny Guthrie.

It turns out that 22 year-old Spanish striker Xisco is sidelined with a groin injury and will play no part in tonight’s game.

We also think Seb Bassong will regain the starting left back berth over Jose Enrique, because Kinnear will need his best defensive back four tonight, and by his own admission he feels Bassong is the stronger player defensively.

So we think this is the side Joe will start tonight:

Beye Coloccini Taylor Bassong
Jonas Gutierrez Guthrie Barton Duff
Ameobi Martins
Subs: Harper Cacapa Enrique Butt Geremi Owen N’Zogbia

That’s a strong bench, and the strongest we’ve had all season, so Joe can change the game if he needs to by bringing in some top players if required.

The keys to winning this game are fairly simple

  • The defense must have one of their best games of the season, with no mistakes and no sloppy goals. We just can’t afford that against a good attacking side like Villa.
    We look to Coloccini to step up and have another great game when it matters, as he has done so often for us this season.
  • We must win control of central midfield, and if Joey Barton and Danny Guthrie cannot do that in the first half, look for a quick introduction of Nicky Butt.
  • Martins, Ameobi, Duff and Jonas must look for goals and look to attack Villa, and we would hope that both Shola and Oba are in top form tonight, and can take even half chances, if they get a sniff.
    We also look for Shola to rough up the Villa defense, as he’s done so well in his recent imitations of Emile Heskey.  😀

For Aston Villa, former Newcastle favorite James Milner has won a starting place in recent weeks and looks set to start on his first return to his former Tyneside club.

The last thing we want to see is for James to have a stormer tonight, but we wouldn’t put it past him, and he should never have been allowed to leave the club in the first place. We’re still annoyed about that.

Aston Villa are a good side, and as expected Martin O’Neil has done a terrific job since he took over a short two years ago, but we need the win tonight, and we have a good chance – if only we can get a little luck.

Howay The Lads!!

51 comments so far

  • Ausgeordie

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #1


  • Ausgeordie

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #2

    Shola should get 45 mins max and then bring on Owen and if gets injured chuck on Ranger for the rest of the game.

  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #3

    I’d like to see Owen, martins and Ameobi playing .. fingers crossed for the win .. we’ve a good team, who all should be match fit ..
    Mon the Toon…

  • Sav

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #4

    A big cheer for Milner tonight would send a message to Ashley and Wise where the fans stand.


    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #5

    I reckon we should throw on Ranger n leave Owen on the bench till he is fully fit…..
    Hope we give 100% tonight and teave Butt out.
    He will maybe pull his groin on warm up tonight and be out 6 weeks :-)))))))))))))))))))))))))))

  • Singa_toon

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #6

    I have said it now and i will say it again if all club managers persist on playing nicky butt week in week out newcastle will be run over by the opposition teams. He single handedly has costed newcastle a few games. The most obvious coming against sunderland, which is a bitter pill to swallow. He is slow, unable to chase back to help the defense,,,, our defense is good on paper it is our midfield which doesnt allow our defense any reprieve. OUT WITH NICKY BUTT….

  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #7

    Agreed about butt .. maybe go with Barton as he’ll create more and get at Villa more .. although Barton wasn’t protecting the back four as well as Butt..

  • 4rm the pearl of Africa

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #8

    Singa_Toon,right on,Butt has been poor so far.His passing has always been poor but his tackling is so late and in dangerous positions these days.His positioning has deserted him,spending 75percent of games in the opposition half which exposes our back four. A spell on the bench is what i recommend,allowing the dynamic and mobile Barton/Guthrie pairing to flourish.Maybe throwing in Geremi when we need to close shop as part of a 3 man Mid.

  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #9

    Player for Player we are a better team than Villa .. we should beat them IF kinnear gets his tactics right .. this is my main worry ..
    no silly substitutions now Joe and go for the win..

  • Tom_Toon

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #10


    Subs: Harper, Taylor, Cacapa, Geremi, Butt, Owen, Ranger.

    Jonas and N’Zogbia as wing backs.

  • thesparkatron

    Nov 3, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #11

    “Player for Player we are a better team than Villa” – That is a remarkable statement, I know everyone has blinkers, but does anyone actually believe that?


    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #12

    Why play our two best attacking midfielders as wing-backs? They need to be pushing from the mid to the opposition’s box and laying it off. We need to attack hard and fast tonight, as we all know what happens when NUFC sit back – we get hammered. I’ll eat my own shoe if we win tonight, it would set us in a good position for the next two winable games.

  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #13

    Tom_toon .. maybe change bassong for Taylor as he plays alot against these lads for the under 21’s and should know a few things about them.

    Also move Spiderman up to midfield to get move impetus for attack but nearly spot on IMO. 🙂

  • Kevin Nichol

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #14

    Wings backs???

    Are you taking the piss m8???

    Why on earth would we change formation when we have just won our last home game and never ever played with wing backs before! How old are you???? 12???? You need to stop playing football manager and get back into the realms of reality there bud!

    We will play 4-4-2. If there is any changes at all it will be as ED has said. Wing backs; have a word….

  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #15

    Jonas- Guthrie-Barton-Duff

    Spiderman to score .. Mon The Lads..

  • Steven R

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #16

    We need Colo to step up his performance. Besides the Man utd game he has not played really well or good as this article suggests, he was shocking against WBA, if he does not manage to mark Carew tonight we will be very exposed by Carew’s aerial presence.

  • Nick Cotton

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #17

    Yeah why the wing backs mush, ma reckons play them pushing up like the last geezer said.Crazy idea you boys need to attack not worry about young and agbondswhore. maaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #18

    Think ed’s playing 12 there 🙂 .. but yep he’s nearly spot on .. but Zogs instead of bassong would be interesting

  • Nick Cotton

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #19

    tom toon Bianca could pick a better formation than that! But it will never be done so you can bleat on about how it would have worked maaaaa.

  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #20

    Steven R .. yep Collocini is sh*te from dead ball aerial set pieces (villa’s usual game plan).. maybe bassong on instead of Zogs will help sort out dodgy aerial defending.. as he’d be better defending in the air than zogs.

  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #21

    One thing is for sure .. If we attack well and give away no silly/rashy fouls in key positions we’ll win this one..

  • sweendog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #22

    Rashy fouls are the worst kind .. in case anybody was wondering 🙂

  • The Jones

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #23

    Tom Toon,

    How good would it be if we played 5 wing backs on each sideline and Nicky Butt alone in the middle. We’d definately get the points then don’t you think? Unfortunately you can’t just press the ‘sprint’ button in real life, and our player’s green ‘stamina bars’ don’t refill as quickly as on FIFA.

    4-4-2 is as much formation flair our squad can handle mate.

  • bruTOOOON

    Nov 3, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #24

    we WILL concede goal

    when we concede first, we WILL lose

    Nicky butt always play well during the first 30 mins then WILL give away useless freekicks

    Steven Taylor WILL always make some mistakes.


    play barton instead of butt. opposition will afraid more towards barton instead of buttttt

    Start Jonas and Duff.

    Me need to play ordinary football and stop playing long balls..we need the likes of duff,jonas and martin to get lots of the balls

    Score first ! after the first goal we need a second goal !

    The home fans will always support the team…

  • ToonEskimo

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #25

    Where are you from? interesting dialect you have there…..
    Nick Cotton…I thought you were dead or is that just wishful thinking…
    1-1 tonight, Villa may not have any superstars but O’Neill will have them well organised.

  • Whumpie

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #26

    Sorry to be dull, but I agree with Ed on all counts – but I think we’ll need Owen on before too long, and may need to introduce Geremi to settle things down a bit like against WBA.

    Nervous about this one – Villa are a damn good side, and particularly good at the stuff which we’ve been poor at defending.

    BUT we can do this. Great squad to pick from tonight.

  • toonoholic

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #27

    hmmm its going to be fun to watch jonas vs yonug/agbonlahor. I really feel that nzogi shld be playing today on the same flank that milner wld be just to prove a point to milner.
    however the most imporant battle is surely
    BARTON VS BARRY. whoever wins that will seal the game.
    And a feeling inside me tells me its going to be our fav jailbird to win it hands down !

    HOWAY THE LADS ! 14th it is tonight !

  • Tom_Toon

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #28

    Steven R – You obviously know nothing, Taylor was far worse against WBA than Coloccini, Taylor was constantly up field out of poisition.

    Coloccini was also AMAZING v Bolton and Man City, especially in the air against Man City.

  • Tom_Toon

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #29

    As for the wing-back system, it makes perfect sense to me.

    Wing-backs barely ever defend, just track back a bit more which Zog and Jonas do naturally anyway.

    other reasons why to choose wing-backs:

    – We cant drop Duff because of recent performances and N’Zogbia has to play.

    – Duff comes in centrally a lot recently as he has lost a lot of pace.

    – Jonas has play wing-back for Argentina and Zoggy LB for us and France.

    – Beye has played CB a lot and playing 3 at the back enables us to drop the liability that is Taylor and make us more solid.

  • Tom_Toon

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #30

    oh yeh, and anohter reason:

    – we dont ave decent LBs so this system is better than playing players out of position.

    Now try and say it is the most silly formation.

  • Roadhog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #31

    If someone offered me the draw now I would take it. Villa are too strong this season. Results couldn’t have went worse for us over the weekend so we have to get something out of the game.

    My formation would be

    Beye Bassong Coloccini Enrique

    Duff Barton N ’Zogbia


    Carroll Martins

    Bench: Ranger, Caccapa,Owen,Guthrie,Butt,Ameobi,Taylor

    Bring Owen at half time, he needs the run out. Taylor is too mistake prone. He plays well for 85 minutes of the game then has a hollower (Bramble anyone?) The only reason he is still in the squad is cos he was brought up round here. Same goes for Shola – 2 goals doesn’t make up for the last 8 years.
    Zog gets the nod for me like – give him free reign to go at defenders. Something which has neen sorely missed this season.
    If owen is on and we are down by a goal or two I would throw Ranger on. He has impressed in the reserves and would be an inspiration to the younger lads that they can break into the first team.

  • Karltoon

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #32

    Sweendog – Ed’s team only has 11 players, i reckon Jonas & Gutierrez are but one in the same..

    Bit edgey about this one, but i think we’ll hammer them (in an over optimistic kind of way)..

  • ObaFan2

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #33

    What we need is a decent display from our team, Villa are a good team and it will be a difficult game.

    This game will show how far JFK has come with his squad, we were punished by Citeh (admittedly we had 10 men for nearly the full game)for defending a lead and nearly so with WBA and hope he has learnt from these two games.

    Nearly full strength so this is the best we can expect, especially after January if Owen’s sold.

  • Karltoon

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #34

    If we’ve got Jonas and Duff fit i dont think we need N’zogbia on.. He’s sloppy, huffy, and doesnt give 100% in my opinion

  • aron_

    Nov 3, 2008 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #35

    hey as a villain think this is going to be a cracking game, fair few goals aswell. Hope owen won’t start as he always gets us.

    If O’neill plays our first team with carew coming in for injured petrov we should have just enough for 3 points. Altho if he decides to rest some of our weary legs then it could cost us. With an away game in europe on thurs i’d be happy with a draw here

    bruTOOON it sounds daft but the worst thing you could do is score an early first goal. For some reason we are very good after we’v taken a knock.

  • Roadhog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #36

    For me the Zog has done alright considering the positions he has been asked to play in then subsequently dropped from the 1st team. JK needs to try and mix things up a bit and I think he is the man to do it

  • Aik Mashley

    Nov 3, 2008 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #37

    We are poor team, i`m a loser…hope we win tonigh….okey 1-1 i take that also and 2-2….

  • african-kenyan-ronniezog

    Nov 3, 2008 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #38

    I think this si the best line up ever!!!!!!!
    beye Taylor coloccini bassong

    duff barton gutierez n’zogbia

    owen martins

    (i prefer krul over harper on the bench because i think harpers time in toon is over and it is the high time we start trusting our young keeper who is our next given and probably given time will be better than him)

  • Nick Cotton

    Nov 3, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #39

    Eski mo harris neeaeeeaaaargh, am not dead mate. Got the wrong geezer, eddie royal, reg cox they are dead and that old busybody Edna and er dog. Wishful thinkin wishful thinkin neeaeeeeaaargh, careful mo you aint so popular yerself. bout as pop as dennis wise little tosser.

  • Karltoon

    Nov 3, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #40

    Roadhog – Aye, that’s fair actually, i suppose i’d come across a bit moody, if i had his attacking potential but have played almost a season at left back..


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