We have a very good chance tomorrow of picking up all 3 points at home to Wigan Athletic, and if we can do that it will be 9 points from our last 4 games.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see Joe Kinnear make some changes to the side that played so poorly and beaten 2-1 last Sunday at Fulham.
We expect Steven Taylor to be fit again from his slight groin strain, and he will replace Cacapa at center-back, who had a disappointing display in London. Michael Owen should be ready too, but we’re not sure if Joe will start Owen with Martins, because that doesn’t give us much height up front.
We believe Joe will again go with Martins and Ameobi as the starting front two, and tell Oba to give it everything he has in the first half, with Michael Owen maybe given a run out in the final 45 minutes, depending on how the game goes. It’s possible also that Owen could start with Shola up front, and Oba on the bench.
We expect our midfield to be unchanged, even though Gutierrez and Duff didn’t particularly have good games last week in London.
This is the side we think Kinnear will put out tomorrow:
Beye Taylor Coloccini Enrique
Jonas Butt Barton Duff
Subs: Harper Bassong Cacapa Guthrie Geremi N’Zogbia Carroll
Joe may decide to give Bassong a game at left back in place of Enrique, and we’d like to see young N’Zogbia given a run out at some time, maybe tomorrow in place of Duff.
However, we don’t think Kinnear will leave Duff out of the starting eleven tomorrow, but Geremi may be able to sneak into tomorrow’s line-up as a starter.
The key to winning tomorrow is fairly simple for the Magpies, and like any other game recently, the defense has to have a good game and cut out any silly mistakes. We look to the excellent Coloccini to again be commanding in the center of our defense, and Steven Taylor supporting him solidly at the back, playing things simple and safe.
We’d also like to see a better defensive performance from left-back Jose Enrique, who seems to be caught with the ball far too much when in possession.
If we can have a tight defensive display tomorrow, we must have a good chance of winning the game, and making up for last week’s disappointing display and result at Fulham.
But of course this is also a special game for Wigan’s Geordie manager Steve Bruce, whose family live in High Heaton, and he will have his players ready for tomorrow, that’s for sure.
We should have been flying this week, if we had turned up in London last week and taken 3 points, because we’d be going for our 4th win on the trot.
But we’re not, and last week is now water under the bridge, it’s gone, and all we can do tomorrow is to win the game, which will get us right back on track.
Howay The Lads!!