This game tomorrow is a must-win game for Newcastle, so the club can stay on track, following our surprise defeat at Blackpool during the week.
We just have to keep up with the pace for an automatic promotion place this season.
And with all the focus on building our squad, we’ve been very lucky so far with injuries, with only Ameobi and Argentine winger Gutierrez not available for the game – which has a rather strange KO time – 3:00 pm on a Saturday afternoon would you believe!
We fully expect Chris Hughton to bring back Alan Smith to defensive midfield, a position he plays so well these days, at the expense of Nicky Butt, who just didn’t get the job done on Wednesday night, in the absence of Newcastle’s Viking.
And the news is out that Alan is now clean-shaven following the defeat at Blackpool – but we kind of liked the beard.
Watch for Alan to put in yet another guts and glory display for Newcastle tomorrow, to ensure the lads take all 3 points from bottom of the table Plymouth. Alan’s missed just one game this season and we were beaten 2-1.
For fans going to the game they could also see our new defender Zubar Khizanishvili, who we expect to make his debut tomorrow, but not to start the game.
We also expect Nile Ranger to be given enough playing time tomorrow, as he scared the living daylights out of the Blackpool defense, with his pace and aerial ability, over the last 10 minutes on Wednesday, and almost scored in injury time.
This is the team we think Chris will start tomorrow:
Simpson Taylor S. Coloccini Enrique
Guthrie Smith Nolan Barton
Subs: Krul Khizanishvili Kadar Geremi Ranger Butt Taylor R.
That’s a much stronger bench than of late, and is hopefully a reflection of some slightly increasing strength in depth, but we are still woefully short on numbers.
Plymouth wil be boosted by the return to fitness of striker Bradley Wright-Phillips, the younger brother of the England winger, who made his long-awaited Argyle debut as a late substitute in Tuesday night’s 1-0 home defeat by Watford.
That was Plymouth’s 5th consecutive league loss in a row so we have to make that 6 tomorrow.
Manager Paul Sturrock can also call upon Australian defender Shane Lowry after the 20-year-old arrived on a three-month loan from Aston Villa.
Newcastle must win this game, but we shouldn’t expect Plymouth to just lie down – they’ll be fighting for their lives and the points.
Howay The Lads!!