Tomorrow’s game at the JJB is always a difficult one for Newcastle, and last year we gave one of our worst performances of the season in losing 1-0.
Within a couple of weeks Sam Allardyce was out at Newcastle and of course since then we’ve had another two manager in Kevin Keegan and right now former Wimbledon boss Joe Kinnear, who has done a sterling job so far.
Newcastle have gone 6 games without defeat, and have won their last two games, and will be looking for all 3 points at the JJB tomorrow.
Newcastle have Ameobi and Martins out injured, with long term injuries to Alan Smith, Joey Barton and Ignacio Gonzales.
We expect Mark Viduka to start for Newcastle, although Joe may elect to start Damien Duff up front with Michael Owen, and bring on Mark in the second half.
But we’d like to see Mark start the game, in an effort for him to become fully match fit becasue once he’s fit he’s a good player – but of course he’s very rarely fully fit during the season.
We expect the team to be as follows:
Beye Coloccini Bassong Enrique,
Gutierrez Butt Guthrie N’Zogbia
Subs: Harper Cacapa Taylor Edgar Geremi Carroll Duff
The lads are in good form right now, and looking very well organized in all areas of the field, and we must be a decent chance of all 3 points on Boxing Day.
Again, a strong defensive display will be necessary and a clean sheet would be great.
Wigan are in decent form having won 3 of their last 5 league games, and Emmerson Boyce may return form his torn hamstring, and of course Geordie manager Steve Bruce will have his side fully prepared against his home town club.
Wigan has an extremely impressive record against Newcastle and have managed to beat the Magpies on every occasion at the JJB in the League, but the winning scoreline has always been 1-0, and we think it may be difficult for the Latics to hold our attack tomorrow. Also, with our defense in excellent form, they may also find it difficult to score our much improved back-line, with Given again in terrific form.
Wilson Palacios will return to the Wigan side after his one match ban kept him out of the 3-0 win over hapless Blackburn.
Last season at the end of the year, we had 26 points from our 20 games played and right now we have 22 points from 18 games. So two wins in our remaining two fixtures will put us better off than we were last year at this time, and after all the nonsense that’s gone on at the club since August, that wouldn’t be too bad.
It should be a decent and close game tomorrow, and we are hoping Newcastle will be able to shade it – and then we can think about Liverpool at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
Comments very welcome.