Newcastle have signed right-back Danny Simpson on loan from Manchester United, but will be without both Nicky Butt (hand) and Danny Guthrie (hamstring), for the first home game of the season against Reading, tomorrow night.
Goalkeeper Steve Harper was taken to hospital for tests after suffering a head injury at West Brom, but the goalkeeper has now been passed fit, and will start tomorrow.
This is a good chance for Newcastle to get off to a good start this season, but it will not be easy against a good Reading side well coached by Brendan Rodgers
We think the team could well be unchanged from that which started against WBA last Saturday with the exception of 18 year-old Kazenga LuaLua in the squad, and he may even get a start in place of Duff, who we don’t think will play tomorrow.
We expect him to be a Fulham player before the kick off tomorrow, or some time over the weekend.
Chris Hughton could also start Danny Simpson at right-back and play Ryan Taylor on the right wing, which is probably what he will do.
This is the team we think Chris will start tomorrow:
Simpson Taylor S. Coloccini Enrique
Taylor R. Smith (c) Barton Gutierrez
Subs: Krul Kadar Tozer Geremi Ameobi LuaLua Ranger
We’d also like to see Nolan play up front with Carroll with Ameobi on the bench. Kevin can play his withdrawn role, which we think would be better than starting Ameobi and Carroll together, and that also allows Joey Barton to come and provide some creativity in midfield.
Reading have no new injury worries ahead of their trip to the north-east.
Brendan Rodgers is likely to field the same line-up that drew at home to Nottingham Forest on the opening day.
Newcastle have an excellent chance to get off to a good start to the season with a win, and that’s what we’ll all be looking for tomorrow by around 7:30 pm.
We want to see the same fight and spirit we saw last week, during the second half at WBA, and with some luck there’s no reason the lads cannot get all 3 points tomorrow.
At least that will give Newcastle fans something to celebrate, and will a nice change from all the doom and gloom surrounding Mike Ashley, who will probably stay on as owner of Newcastle.