Portsmouth vs Newcastle – Match Preview

It’s about time we had our first away win of the season, and that’s exactly what we’ll be looking for today at Fratton Park.

We hope that Joe Kinnear has a game plan to attack Portsmouth on the south coast this afternoon, because we are now back to 3rd bottom of the league, two points behind Sunderland, after their 4-0 home win against WBA yesterday.

West Brom remain bottom and Blackburn Rovers are just 3 points behind us, after a 3-0 defeat yesterday at Wigan Athletic, so we must start picking up points soon, and draws just will not do it.

We’ve proved that with 4 draws in a row and we’re 3rd bottom. Unbeaten in four and without a win in five, is where we are right now.

These things are exactly what we said last week before our very winnable home game against Stoke City, and when we were 2-0 up at the half we thought we were home and dry, but how wrong can you be?

From 2-0 up with just 30 minutes to play at home, we still managed to throw 2 points away, although we did wait until the 91st minute to let their rather soft equalizer in.  And for the second home game running, it was a former Newcastle player who equalized – just to rub it in.

But we are starting to run out of decent excuses for why we remain near the bottom of the league, and one thing we have to do is to raise our sights and standards, and go into every game assuming we are good enough to win it.

There are five players who underwent fitness tests yesterday, and we still don’t know who was passed fit, but this is the team we would like to see against Portsmouth for the 1:30 pm KO:

Beye Coloccini Bassong Enrique
Gutierrez Butt Guthrie N’Zogbia Martisn Owen (c)
Subs: Harper Cacapa Taylor LuaLua Viduka Xisco Edgar

We are assuming that Ameobi is still not fit, and if he is, he’ll replace Xisco on the subs bench.

We have LuaLua in there, who was not there last week, and that’s because last week we had three back four players and 3 strikers on last week’s bench, and when Guthrie got inured and couldn’t continue in the second half, that probably cost us the win, and 2 vital points.

If either Guthrie or Butt fail their fitness tests look for 18 year-old Kazenga LuaLua to start in central midfield, or on the left wing with Charles N’Zogbia in central midfield.

If we are going to start to pick up points, our defense will have to start playing more consistently, and not let in soft goals, like the two we let in last week against a very mediocre Stoke City side.

With Michael Owen back, and with Martins and Viduka available, we should be able to score the goals, so that shouldn’t be a problem today.  So a clean sheet from our defense would be very welcome, and would give us 3 away clean sheets in a row.

But we have to go all out for the win, because if we don’t get one, we’ll remain 3rd bottom of the league, and that’s not a good position to be in at this time of year, or at any time, come to think of it.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

35 comments so far

  • Ganiyu

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:26 AM

    Comment #1

    A win.not a win not a draw joe

  • AndyNUFC

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:26 AM

    Comment #2

    I’d love a lucky win today but realistically I can’t see anything but a Portsmouth win. Not that I particularly rate the Butt/Guthrie partnership anyway, but if one or both of them are out, then it could be a bad day.

  • Ganiyu

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:30 AM

    Comment #3

    A win not a draw joe so keep the attack on for 90 mins

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:30 AM

    Comment #4

    If Lualua plays, which I hope he does, he should be on the right, Jonas on his prefered left and Zog in the centre.

    If Ameobi is fit he’ll replace Edgar, not Xisco.

  • Ganiyu

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:41 AM

    Comment #5

    Joe would annoy us this week.ten defenders and one striker.

  • GlenRay

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:50 AM

    Comment #6

    I reckon we’re well capable of beating Pompey, Mon Joe.

  • GlenRay

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:50 AM

    Comment #7

    I reckon we’re well capable of beating Pompey, CMon Joe.

  • micknufc

    Dec 14, 2008 at 1:19 AM

    Comment #8

    look,its as simple as this.. we need to and have a go!1 weve gotthe players for god’s sake..
    joei ts up to you lad..your desicions latley have been rank mate,
    we need 3 points no less.coz we have dropped too many at yem to teams we should be beating

  • bruTOOOON

    Dec 14, 2008 at 1:29 AM

    Comment #9

    i wont be more optimistic for tonite match.

    we can’t even win at home and why some fan think we can win at portsmouth?

    a draw is the best result

  • fostino

    Dec 14, 2008 at 1:35 AM

    Comment #10

    re: Canada Willie

    27 points from 22 games is defently possible mate, we should still be hoping for top ten finish, where’s the faith…………….i wish us newcastle fans returned to being the 12th man for the team. it has never been so depressing being a newcastle fan!! we need to get back playing to beautiful carefree football, even if that means taking a few chances, look at teams like everton, aston villa for example, they have too have small squads but they can still hold there own. we have the potential to be better then these teams. these teams show faith in their players, and play to their strengths. our style should always be attacking football, this is want the love. too often have newcastle overspent on expensive, overrated and under performing players!! the club needs a good shake-up but its not all doom and gloom………….with our present squad we have one of the best strikeforces in the league with an abundance of quality strikers who all appear fairly fit at the moment. our defence surprise, surprise is also looking solid with the revelation bassong steping up to the mark. our keppers are 1st class and we also have some exciting wingers in nzogbia and jonas and duff showing some signs of his old self. its probably our CM’s that are lacking so why not play 4-3-3, an already teasted and fairly successful formation for the next few weeks, i.e.

    beye colo bassong(based on form takes the middle) taylor
    jonas butt Nzogbia
    viduka martins

    owen shown he can do a job in the hole
    and i would put barton in for butt when he returns to action

    p.s. lua lua should also be given a chance if we need a player to change a game

    i think to play an effective 4-4-2, we need an effective midfielder that can run the show and pull the strings, at the moment we don’t have that, barton has the potential but he may blossom with another effective midfield presence. this should be our top priority in the transfer market, although i doudt much cash will be splashed with ashley at the helm. we then need attacking full backs for an effective 4-4-2 formation. beye is top notch but L.B. is a problem, if only N,Zogbia could defend better and enrique could be more consistant. this is our second essential signing. i think colo, taylor nd bassong are solid in the middle of defence, perhaps an experienced vetern like sol campbell could still come in and cement the defence with his experience and presence. we should remeber tozer and kadar are up and comers. we also need cover at right back, in case the fans favourite beye is out. back-up is a big problem, playing players out of position should always be avoided, especially in defence.

    players that need to go to free up the wage bill are cacapa, edgar, ( wont make it at newcastle at this stage), smith (just hasnt worked for him at newcastle unfortunatly, its a shame he wouldnt develop into a keane-like midfielder) possibly ameobi(despite his recent heroics, i dont think he’s very reliabale) or xisco….xisco especially would generate some funds, but i dont think he’s been given the chance yet to truely prove himself. carrol, the local lad should be loaned out for experience.

    butt too hasnt too long left in the tank and is prone to carelessly giving the ball away and geremi has also struggled to hold down a place in the team, however i think his verstatility should warrent a stay in the squad. duff too i imagine is a highly paid player who dispite recent form has not given newcastle enough, perhaps he should be replaced with a newer model…..lets not forget about N’zogbia either, its about time he stepped up and consistantly performed to his ability………he could nail down his spot on the wing. arron Lennon would be a nice replacement for duff with jonas alternating from left to right wing to accomodate the team.

    my suggestions for players: ive watched L.Diarra alot and he is class. sol campbell for experience at the back. w.bridge at L.B (if only), and possibly some unknown R.B for cover.

    if viduka goes then gudjohnson would be a good replacement.
    if owen goes then defoe as replacement, however defoe perhaps is too similar to martins??
    i think another C.M. should also be bought to eventuall replace butt, a proven defensive midfielder like sissoko would be sweet. with sissoko, Diarra, Barton, Geremi or a newly reformed smith, jonas, nzogbia, lennon, lua lua in the middle we would have a formiddable midfield for the future…..i suppose there would be no harm in butt hanging around either as a reliable back-up with vast experience

    my realistic dream team


    beye taylor colo bridge

    jonas Diarra Barton Nzogbia

    owen viduka

    ….back-up team


    (R.B) Campbell bassong enrique

    lennon sissoko smith(maybe the Gonzalez kid could be ood) lua lua or duff

    martins ameobi or xisco

    then there’s froster, krul, kadar, tozer, geremi, butt, range, spearr etc ……………this is where our scouting system needs to continue on and recruit some top young talent….this tactic will bear fruit in a few years.

    anyways thank you to those that took the time to read this, Rant over!!

  • wsq

    Dec 14, 2008 at 4:40 AM

    Comment #12

    short journey to sunderland adn middlesbrough didn go well. what about the longest journey.. i doubt it’d be any better. some players might not turn up at all this weekend.

  • Piers

    Dec 14, 2008 at 5:52 AM

    Comment #13

    Good Morning to all (ha its 12:43 in the Us, but almost 6 in England)

    Anyway, with a bit of luck we can beat Portsmouth. I really believe that, with jonas and zogs running on the flanks we looked very dangerous in the first half of last weekend. Hopefully that continues this week. Prediction: Newcastle 2 Portsmouth 1 (Martins in the 36th and Owen in the 79th) Howay Lads!!!!!

    As for the transfer season:

    You all know i want Gourcuff from Bordeaux (On loan from AC Milan)

    And maybe Juan Manuel Vargas from Florentina if we have the money.

    And if we sell Owen, i also agree with the majority in to the signing of Derbyshire from Blackburn.

    Lastly, (I’m not saying we can get them) But how much are Moutinho and Veloso worth on Sporting

  • Spyro

    Dec 14, 2008 at 5:55 AM

    Comment #14

    Morning Piers mate

    Sorry had to rush off earlier, i have been revising in the library for a test i have on tuesday. So stressful

  • Spyro

    Dec 14, 2008 at 6:00 AM

    Comment #15

    Veloso and Moutinho are both around the 12-13million mark i would say.

  • Piers

    Dec 14, 2008 at 6:09 AM

    Comment #16

    Good Morning,

    Oh yeah i know what you’re feeling…… ive been studying for what seems like an eternity….2 finals next week.

    Veloso looked very good against Barca a few weeks ago, just wondering and thanks

  • Piers

    Dec 14, 2008 at 6:11 AM

    Comment #17

    Lol and the ImScouting site is really pissing me off…..i really want to see the whole thing but i don’t want to buy it. Quite the predicament!

  • Spyro

    Dec 14, 2008 at 6:18 AM

    Comment #18

    I noticed from an earlier thread that you watched the Barca game, i went to the pub with a mate to watch it as a break from revision and it was fantastic eh. I was supporting Barca (probably like 75% of those watching) and i was ecstatic when eto’o and messi scored their goals, especially messi because those cheating pricks had been fouling him for the whole first half. When was the last time we watched NUFC and walked away happy with a win? Too long ago eh.
    Was you as happy as i was to see that crappy Sidibe stretchered off today? I know it sounds mean, but i hate the guy, he isn’t even a proper footballer, just a dirty fouling bolton-esque player

  • Spyro

    Dec 14, 2008 at 6:23 AM

    Comment #19

    IMScouting is a great site imo. Some of the special reports on there are class mate. I wouldn’t spend money on it though in all honesty. As i said earlier, my friend has it, but i am not sure if he actually paid for it or if he just knows someone who has paid for it. Either way, i have been going on it on his laptop and i have not got bored of it yet. 😀

  • Piers

    Dec 14, 2008 at 6:40 AM

    Comment #20

    Oh yeah that was an unbelievable game to watch……what an atmosphere……Ya lol it really did feel good to jump up and yell again……. And ya the bastards were fouling Messi the whole first half, it was getting ridiculous! lol

    Yeah i was definitely happy to hear about Sidibe, still can’t believe the Stoke game!!

    Yeah i like the site a lot but you can’t do anything on it unless you pay for it….kinda ridiculous.

  • Piers

    Dec 14, 2008 at 6:43 AM

    Comment #21

    A win today would be fantastic! Can’t wait, we really did miss Guthrie last week, hopefully he’s not out this week

  • Piers

    Dec 14, 2008 at 6:46 AM

    Comment #22

    And did you watch the Man U game, it was amazing how well Lennon played, one on play he went by 3 or 4 defenders with ease and produced a good shot on goal, i was completely amazed how much havoc he was creating for Rafael and Ferdinand, etc..

  • Danish_Magpie

    Dec 14, 2008 at 7:23 AM

    Comment #23

    Good piece on Ashley, although there are only about 5 quotes in there..


    Dec 14, 2008 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #24

    If Lua Lua was to play or come on as a sub he has to play on the wing! He would get blown away in the middle more so than Jonas.

  • xfer

    Dec 14, 2008 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #25

    Seems like ed thinks we should crowd their midfield with a 4-6-0 formation =p

  • Turkish Magpie

    Dec 14, 2008 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #26

    if they’re all fit,

    bring on the 4-3-3!

  • Turkish Magpie

    Dec 14, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #27

    Does Martisn have any relation to Martins?

  • Lars

    Dec 14, 2008 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #28

    Why can’t Bassong play left back??:

    Beye Coloccini Taylor Bassong
    Gutierrez LuaLua Guthrie N’Zogbia
    Owen Martins

    Subs: Harper Cacapa Enrique Butt Viduka Xisco Edgar


    Dec 14, 2008 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #29

    Lars theres no balance at all in your selection! That centre midfield would get beaten up!

  • Lars

    Dec 14, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #30

    GEORDIE69: Hehe… but Butt! He’s so f… bad. I know what you meen, but we need someone who can run and maybie play som passes

  • All we are saaayyinnnng..Is give Xisco a chaaaannnccce!!

    Dec 14, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #31

    I think it’ll be a draw. Any injury news yet?


    Dec 14, 2008 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #32

    i agree with the line up but i would really really like to see us playing 433 again with duke owen and martins upfront. owen of course playing a deeper role.

    But the question then is…who do we leave out in midfield.

  • Timmers

    Dec 14, 2008 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #33

    Realistically a battling draw-if we’re lucky. How anyone can say otherwise is deluded. 2-0 up at home then a draw does not stand you in good stead. A win is needed as gaps are now apearing all be it 2 points-but that win will not happen today. I fear the current bottom 3 that means us (for the crazy ppl who keep voting on a win each week no matter the opponent) are the most likely. I’m hoping Pest Ham have a bad run and lose as many players as we will which will give us a team to battle with.

  • somali boy

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #34

    in fan nufc the bestr team in the world today pompey vs nufc 3 1 win nufc prempier ship

  • King Joe

    Dec 14, 2008 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #35

    Timmers- Nothing like getting behind the lads eh?


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