Blackpool vs Newcastle – Match Preview


Blackpool FC nufc-crest

When you look at the the game tonight against Blackpool, at least on paper, you could see an easy win for the Magpies, but it is these games where the lads could come a cropper.

There should never be a time this season when Newcastle go into any game over-confident after what happened last season. The lads are still making up for their pathetic performances of last season.

We expect the players to fight like they’ve been doing so far, for every single game until  we’ve played our very last league game of the season next May. Only if they can do that, can we look forward to promotion at the end of the season.

And we fully expect manager Chris Hughton, to have the boys ready for this game, just like he and Colin Calderwood have prepared the team so well for every game so far this season.

Of course we’ll be without chief warrior Alan Smith, suspended for this game following his sending off for two yellow cards on Sunday.

Alan has been little short of a revelation this season, but we do have the amply experienced Nicky Butt, now fit again following his hand operation, who we think will get the job done for the team tonight.

We also expect Nicky be captain for the game at the seaside, and basically we half expect this to be the only change from the team that started against Cardiff on Sunday.

Local lad and England U21 striker Andy Carroll is fit again, and he will get a run-out for sure, but we expect 18 year-old England U19 International Nile Ranger to be given his 4th start on the trot. Nile has performed extremely well for the side so far this season, and his future looks so very bright on Tyneside.

Hughton has has only good words to say about the young Londoner,  who has hunkered down well to learn his trade under the solid guidance of Chris and Colin this season:

“He’s still learning but the most important thing is that he continues to improve,”

We expect Chris Hughton to name the following side for tonight’s important game:

Harper
Simpson Taylor S. Coloccini Enrique
Taylor R. Guthrie Butt (c) Nolan Barton
Ranger
Subs: Krul Kadar Tozer LuaLua Carroll  Lovenkrands  Geremi

Chris will probably continue a 4-5-1 formation, although he could switch that at any time during the game, and bring on Carroll to play up front with Ranger,  where the giant young strikers could cause some physical and aerial threat to the Blackpool defense.

This is potentially a dicey game because we don’t know too much about Blackpool, other than their new manager, Ian Holloway, will prepare the side well, and they will start the game quickly,  trying to get an early break-through.

We have to hope the Newcastle lads will continue their good start to the season.

At the moment Newcastle are down to 3rd place behind the other two Premier League relegation sides, WBA and Middlebrough, although most of the others in the top eight did not fare well last night.

Newcastle need a win tonight, there’s no doubt about that, and if the can deliver all 3 points they can then look forward to another  huge home crowd, maybe close to 50,000 at St. James, to welcome them back for our next game on Saturday against Plymouth – KO 3:00 pm.

Howay The Lads!!



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60 comments so far

  • Ericles

    Sep 16, 2009 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #1

    Wot? No Lovenkrands? On the bench surely until fully match fit? I would leave Butt on the bench and have Nolan in midfield if Carroll starts alongside Ranger. Not an easy game this one – could be a bit of a greasy pole but I reckon the lads are fired up for it after slipping behind (temporarily) the smogs and the baggies.

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  • Bill F

    Sep 16, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #2

    Just hope the midfield can keep some posession and not force the defence to keep lumping the ball straight back the Blackpool players.
    For those knocking Butt (fnaah fnaah), just remember we were saying the same about Smithy before the season began. Perhaps we might have another Phoenix!!

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  • Kevin Nichol

    Sep 16, 2009 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #3

    ericles…just beat me to it on lovenkrands…?

    Another three points would be massive for us; however had you asked me on Sunday before the Cardiff game if I would have been happy with 4 points from two away games then I would have said yes and that still stands!

    I would love another victory but I would not been to downbeat with a draw and maintaining our unbeaten run!

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  • Bill F

    Sep 16, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #4

    And as it was about 300 threads ago I wanted to comment about the reserves, but didn’t bother as no one is likely to read it. But I just wanted to say that if Terry Macs son is anywhere near as good then when have another gem in the pipeline.

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  • DJG

    Sep 16, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #5

    I hope this isnt the game we come a cropper. Despite having a sub 10,000 ground they certainly are no push-overs thats for sure.

    Carroll might actually be crutial in this game if he can come on and bully their defense, creating space for Nile.

    We have been keeping the ball alot better without Butt and TBH I dont think we’re desperate enough to play him yet. I would prefer to see this team.

    ———————Harper———————
    Simpson—S.Taylor–Colloccini–Enrique
    Guthrie—-Nolan(c)—Barton—-R.Taylor
    ————–LoneRanger—BigAndy———

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  • Geordie-Gerrard7

    Sep 16, 2009 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #6

    Also im relishing the fact that if we smash plymouth on saturday, that fat sturrock will get the sack. plymouths very own messiah.

    just while im on the subject of other managers, cant wait to see ian hollaway on the sidelines tonight, he is funny as fcuk and have met him a fair few times, hes a class bloke, and has to deal with hell of alot in his home life, fair play to the

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  • Nick 69

    Sep 16, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #7

    i would definitely like to see either carroll or lovenkrands start up front with ranger tonight, ranger has been outstanding leading the line on his own but he cannot get into goal scoring positions when he is alone and therefore id like to see someone up there with him to give him a better chance to get off the mark as he really deserves it!!

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  • DJG

    Sep 16, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #8

    Geremi and Butts contracts are up at the end of the season. It will be a welcome release of two high earners. Neither could hack the prem anymore. Butt will be 35, let him go to Derby or Sheffield Wed or somewhere ha.

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  • Dragonera

    Sep 16, 2009 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #9

    I personally feel Carroll and Ranger up front would be a bad idea. Carroll is going to be too groggy to start, and after seeing Lovenkrands on Sunday i cant see him being ready for a start today. I say we stick with the same side, with Butt filling in for Smith. It will be a case of flying out of the traps as soon as the whistle goes and putting Blackpool under immense pressure. I doubt they will be able to hack the high tempo and will eventually buckle.

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  • Geordie-Gerrard7

    Sep 16, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #10

    just realised blackpool are in very good form of late apart from the leicester game

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  • Geordie-Gerrard7

    Sep 16, 2009 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #11

    djg- for some reason i really like geremi, dont know why

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  • Dragonera

    Sep 16, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #12

    GG7

    Yes, mate. Not a bad side at home. However, so were Cardiff. A performance that mirrors our one against Cardiff should see us run out with 3 points in the end.

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  • Jamesthefirst

    Sep 16, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #13

    I expect the usual Hughton tactics tonight…kick lumps out of the opposition and hoof it up to Ranger every time we have the ball, especially with Hollywood passes by Butt.

    Yes it’s been successful so far but in one of these games we are going to fail to “nick that goal” and we will be found out with a midfield devoid of any pace or creativity.

    I feel sorry for Ranger because too much is being asked of him too soon.

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  • Geordie-Gerrard7

    Sep 16, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #14

    james you must be watching different games lad

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  • Lew Davies

    Sep 16, 2009 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #15

    I think he might start with ranger and nolan, and finish with carrol and loverpants. Would rather start with Geremi than barton who is surprisingly cack.

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  • G

    Sep 16, 2009 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #16

    I don’t know why but I have a bad feeling about this game. It has classic banana skin written all over it. On paper we will still be putting a team out with at least 9 players who played prem football last season, so we should in theory have too much for them, but I have this alarming feeling that this match will see us sussed as Jamesthefirst has just put it.

    Please prove me wrong lads.

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  • Lew Davies

    Sep 16, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #17

    Geremi and Butt will be playing the 1st half of the season looking for a new contract. (unlucky!) and when they dont get one will be uninterested come the new year, so we should make good use of them while we can.

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  • Dragonera

    Sep 16, 2009 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #18

    G and James

    What do you mean sussed? Did you not see the first 20mins against Cardiff? We were playing some decent stuff and applying heavy pressure up until we scored. This team can hold possession and play football if it is needed.

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  • Lew Davies

    Sep 16, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #19

    G – everygame is a potential banana skin this season mate. Like Ed says, they all will want our scalp. There is going to be no easy games.

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  • Lew Davies

    Sep 16, 2009 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #20

    Dragonera – so why after we score do we become so negative instead of going on and scoring more?

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  • Dragonera

    Sep 16, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #21

    Lew Davis

    Come to think of it you are probably right. Geremi looked much better in front of young Jose than Barton did on Sat. Our whole left side was near enough exposed at the end as Barton looked to have run out of steam by the 65th minute.

    I would go with

    ———————–Harps———————
    Simps——-Taylor——-Colo———-Jose
    —————Smith—–Guthrie—————
    Taylor————–Nolan————-Geremi
    ———————-Ranger———————

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  • Lew Davies

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #22

    smith cant play mate.

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  • Dragonera

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #23

    Lew Davis

    Hughton, a former defender, probably believes in building from the back and keeping clean sheets. To be fair, our defence is one of few in the Championship solid enough to successfully implement these kind of tactics. There is no need for an open, fluent game if you are 1-0 up.

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  • Dragonera

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #24

    Lew Davis

    Oh yes, i forgot momentarily. Replace Smith with Butt.

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  • Lew Davies

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #25

    its not good for my heart tho lol
    and I’ve got nay finger nails left either 😀

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  • G

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #26

    Well, I hope everybody is right, I just feel we are going to be very slow in the midfield tonight. Barton still looks 3 or 4 yards off pace (To be fair, he’s no winger like) and butt has the pace of a tectonic shift these days. I would agree with the calls to put Geremi on for this game. I do hope Jonas comes back soon.

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  • Lew Davies

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #27

    You are right tho, the best teams are built on a solid defence, and it is good to see the players ALL committed to defending when needed.
    Little steps in the right direction I guess.

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  • Dragonera

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #28

    Lew Davis

    It’s not good for my heart either, mate. Like all tactics, there will be times when it backfires and we end up conceding an equaliser. However, until we get a few more strikers through the door we simply don’t have the potency up front to feature in open games. At the minute we need to focus on gritty, hardworking performances and defending the few goals we do score.

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  • Lew Davies

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #29

    Yes good call Dragonera. I remember years ago when arsenal were struggling. They became the masters of the 0-0 bore draw under George Graham I think. But eventually they had enough confidence in their defence to go on and win games. Not done too badly since!

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  • Ross

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #30

    Going 1-0 up away from home against a team who had a 100% home record in their new stadium (Cardiff im talking about here), we were always going be forced to do some heavy defending for longer periods of time-they’re one of the best in the league.
    As far as us not creating much-like Dragonera said i think Hughton is intent on keeping clean sheets, and to be fair to him we did and we won the game. Injuries forcing Ranger alone up front doesnt help us either. I’m fully confident that against the lesser teams, we will have the ability to play good, passing football and win games convincingly. If im fully honest, i’m quite satisfied with the fact we can grind out 1-0 wins against physical teams. As the saying goes, a sign of a champion is to perform badly and still win. Or its something along those lines anyway,lol. I do find it quite satisfying that we can change our approach when needed for different opposition though, its good to have that option.

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  • Ericles

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #31

    I still think Butt is a bench player (especially away games) and I also have a sneeking admiration for Geremi. They do both have the experience to make up for aging legs at times. We can win this game as long as the lads adopt tha attitude they did at Cardiff. There are NO pushovers in this league. Time for Ranger to get his first goal and I reckon Coloccini has got his NUFC boots on at last.

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  • Dragonera

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #32

    Ross & Lew

    I take confidence from the fact that we are the only team in the Championship able to keep a clean sheet. Boro and West Brom look good going forward, but they leak goals. Boro are taking action to prevent this with the signing of Sean St Ledger, but i can still see both, especially West Brom, faultering later on in the season as their goals go through a dry patch and they continue to concede. Once we have a couple of loan signins in i have no doubt that we will be by far the best team in the Championship.

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  • SimonToon

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #33

    Hey guys,

    This is a call out from Australia. Has anyone found an online stream for the game?

    Cheers lads

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  • Macas35

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #34

    If we keep relying on our defence in games then we won’t get promoted. One or two key injuries back there and we are doomed. We urgently need an experienced striker or two up front and some pace and skill on the wings. Add to that 2 more defenders in as cover.

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  • sahota

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #35

    As long as we keep winning our games I don’t care how we play. What matters at this moment is that we win as many as possible as we are on a good run. there will be times in this season when we might draw 2-3 games on a run or lose few..So better to get full advantage of current situation. I want our unbeaten run to go on for more 5 games atleast, if we can win them all, that would be brilliant.

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  • Symo22

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #36

    I am tipping Nile to score tonight folks.. and with Smith absent in the middle this is how id line up

    Harps
    Simpson.Taylor.Colo.Enrique
    Taylor. Geremi. Guthrie.Barton
    Nolan
    Ranger

    Ive picked geremi instead of butt because ive never sene him looking so eager to play for toon and i rekon his class and calming presence on the ball could be key tonight.. also i feel ryan taylor crosses will be big factor!!

    Any links for commentary for tonights game guys???

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  • G

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #37

    Just read that the ref for tonight is apparently a mackem! I can feel a strong letter to the league coming on!

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  • punk skunk...

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #38

    I think the song went: 1-nil to the ars-e-nal, not nil-nil, didn’t it?..

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  • G

    Sep 16, 2009 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #39

    @Symo22. Thats the line up I would use too. Keep Lover & BigAndy on the bench, introduce them in the 2nd half, pending how the play goes.

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  • punk skunk...

    Sep 16, 2009 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #40

    Dunno about Barton on the left wing like!..

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