We know the game is still 5 days away, but since it’s such an important game for Newcastle United, one the most important in our history, we’ll discuss the potential team today.
Peter Lovenkrands – we’d like to see this player start on Sunday
Unfortunately we heard that Bassong is out earlier today, because the English FA turned down our appeal against his sending off. But that should not come as too much of a surprise to Newcastle fans, although he will be a big miss at Villa Park – there’s little doubt about that.
We don’t know if Owen, Beye or Enrique will be fit – but we’ll assume Owen is fit and Enrique and Beye will not be.
Alan will have a number of permutations and combinations for the defense, but we expect Steven Taylor and Duff to keep their positions from last Saturday.
Then the question is who will replace Beye and Bassong, and the answer seems to be we don’t seem to have too much choice and that young David Edgar will be given his chance in one of the biggest games he’ll ever play in, and Coloccini will come in at center back. The only alternative is Claudio Cacapa – and Shearer will not play him.
David’s best position is center-back so it may be that Alan chooses him there and play Coloccini at right back. He’s played there before for both Deportivo and Argentina.
Up front – if Martins is fit we think he’ll keep his starting place, but Alan may want to replace the Nigerian with Owen, who is after all our captain, and Alan may want to give Michael a full game to score the goals that will save the side.
Either way we’ll see Martins and Owen playing up front with big Mark Viduka, unless Alan plays 4-3-3 and goes all out for goals. That may be a little dangerous against a side as good as Villa, and we cannot make too many tactical errors in this game.
Of course if we do go behind, then we’re sure Alan will try everything and anything he can to score – because otherwise we’ll be relegated.
Here’s the team we would start against Villa:
Coloccini Edgar S.Taylor Duff
Guthrie Butt (c) Nolan Lovenkrands
Subs: Krul Cacapa Geremi Carroll Gutierrez Owen R.Taylor
We prefer Guthrie to Gutierrez because he has more of an end product, and his corners will be important for Viduak and Carroll (and Taylor) to head home. Jonas recently has just run at the opposing defense until he’s dispossessed or falls over. That’s not to say he’s not a good player (to Gutierrez fans), but the lad is not in his best form right now.
We want to see Peter Lovenkrands start this game, because he can score goals, and vital ones too. If he can score on Sunday and we stay up – he’ll be given a longer term contract at the club – and all will be great on Sunday night.
But Alan must play players who can get us the goals.
We think Alan will likely pick the above team with Coloccini and Edgar switching positions, and he will in all likelihood start Michael Owen, and then use Martins as an impact substitute with 30 minutes of the season to go.
We will be hoping and praying – but we’ve done that all season – to little avail. We hope we don’t see the scenes of newcastle fans (and players) crying at the end of this game – because that will signal we haven’t made it.
So sad to see good club go bad – in the words of the Everly Brothers. 🙁
At the end of this game there will be unbelievable scenes of celebration if we survive, and the exact opposite (despair, anger, despondency) if we go down. There will be no half measures, although there never is with Newcastle, and it’s little wonder the game will be broadcast live around the world.
If we do get relegated, Newcastle will be the best supported club ever to be relegated, with an average home attendance of over 48,000. But that about sums it up at Newcastle – the fans are so much better than the team.
Lets know what you think the team should be for Sunday.