Sheffield United vs Newcastle – Match Preview

sheffield united fc nufc-crest

Every game this season is important for Newcastle United, but tonight’s game is particularly vital.

And that’s because Newcastle fans are still not sure whether our players are really good enough for promotion this season, although of course we all hope they are.

After a terrific start to the season, when  we hammered Ipswich Town 4-0 in a game that was televised live around the world, and was the best performance from a Newcastle team for a long long time – we have gone off the boil.

After that game we had 22 points from just 9 games, with a goal difference of +13, and 4 points clear of 3rd placed Preston – that was on 26th September.

But in our last 5 games we’ve got just another meager 5 points, and now have just 27 points from our 14 games, with a goal difference of +12.

So if we are to press on for promotion, we need to start getting some clean sheets and put a good win streak together.  In the last 5 games we’ve conceded five goals and scored only four, so while the defensive record is OK, we need to score a lot more goals.

On the injury side of things we have Barton and Ameobi on the long term injury list, and Georgian International  Zurab Khizanishvili is suspended for 3 games, after being sent off last time out against Doncaster.

And we don’t think Steven Taylor will make it tonight, and we certainly should not risk him if there are any doubts at all.

But we do expect Coloccini and Danny Simpson to return to the side, and make no mistake about it, Fabricio Coloccini can be a vital player for the side this season – so we have to hope he comes back in top form tonight.

Fabricio is more than good in the second division, even though there are existing doubts about him being a good Premier League player.

Alan Smith also returns, and will captain the side, after his one match suspension, having accumulated 5 yellow cards in his fist 13 games this season.

The team will almost pick itself tonight and we expect Chris to go with the following side:

Simpson Coloccini Kadar Enrique
Guthrie Smith (c)  Nolan Gutierrez
Ranger Carroll
Subs: Krul Tozer Geremi Butt Lovenkrands  Harewood
Taylor R,

That looks like a fairly strong line-up and we hope Chris will unleash (that’s probably the best way to describe it) youngsters Carroll and Ranger up front.

The subs bench is also strong, and we have to hope that players like Lovenkrands, Geremi, Harewood and Butt can make a bigger impact than they’ve managed so far this season.

Danish International Peter Lovenkrands in particular has been very disappointing.

And let’s hope that 18 year-old promising youngster Nile Ranger, who we are told some big clubs will be after in the January transfer window, gets his first senior goal for the club, after playing so well so far this season.

This lad seems to give 100%  in every game he plays for the Tyneside club, and is rapidly becoming a firm fan favorite at Newcastle. He is definitely one for the future at Newcastle.

And we dont want any bad news surprises just before kick-off tonight, like we got  just before the Doncaster game, when we were told both Colccini and Simpson were out injured.

Surely Coloccini is now fit enough to start a game, after being out for the last 5 games, in which we have not fared too well, at all.

On the Blades’ side of things Jordan Stewart is on standby to replace Andy Taylor at left-back, and the side seems to have a number of  injury problems for the game tonight.

They are on a a three game losing streak, and it’s been seven games since the Blades won a game, that was their 3-2 win against rivals Sheffield Wednesday at Bramall Lane on Friday, 18th September.

Midfielder Nick Montgomery  is out with medial knee ligament damage,  and former Everton player Gary Naysmith is also out with a knee injury.

Goalkeeper Paddy Kenny remains out because of his drugs ban, while injuries continue to trouble Jamie Ward (broken wrist), Lee Williamson (back), Derek Geary and Andrew Davies (knee) – and striker Richard Cresswell is also doubtful with a rib injury.

This is an example of a game where Newcastle must take advantage of a weakened Sheffield United side, but we don’t think it will be easy tonight.

Let’s put it this way – there will be growing doubts about a Newcastle promotion this season, if we cannot take all 3 points tonight, when most things, including a weakened Blades’ side,  seem to be in our favor.

Howay The Lads!!

21 comments so far

  • Kevin Nichol

    Nov 2, 2009 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #1

    No Ryan Taylor in the team or the squad Ed?

    For me; he is the best option we have out wide on the right.

    I would go for the same team with R.Taylor in place of Guthrie; although i believe Hughton will go for guthrie out wide.

    Three points tonight could set us off on a little run with Peterbrough at home next.

    West Brom play away at Leicester on sat; Cardiff away at Swansea which is a huge derby for them and boro are away at palace. Perhaps there is a chance to open up a little gap again????

  • will die for the toon army

    Nov 2, 2009 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #2

    R. Taylor next on form player.

  • Fak_you_ashley

    Nov 2, 2009 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #3

    This what i think the team CH will pick for today:
    Simpson Coloccini Kadar Enrique
    R.taylor Smith (c) Guthrie Guttierez
    Nolan Carroll

    this is what i hope the team would be today:
    Simpson Coloccini Kadar Enrique
    R.Taylor Smith (c) Guttierez
    Ranger Nolan Carroll

  • Fak_you_ashley

    Nov 2, 2009 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #4

    And Finally, HOWAY THE LADS!!!!!!!

  • Stuart79

    Nov 2, 2009 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #5

    Lose I think.

    Always happens, caretaker gets the permanant job and then loses.

  • lesh

    Nov 2, 2009 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #6

    With a bit of luck, Jonas may well play the game of his life to ‘sell’ himself to potential buyers!

  • Jay jay

    Nov 2, 2009 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #7

    Start with ranger please!!

  • Waldo P. Barnstormer

    Nov 2, 2009 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #8

    Its carroll that I am still not impressed with, his work rate is shocking (just prove me wrong Andy) has potential but seems unwilling to push his self a bit like strolla.

    R. Taylor——-Guthrie——————–Gutierrez

    In the games when Coloccini has played along side S Taylor they have been solid and that is one of the key points to promotion (which i still see as unlikely). Colo will ajust to playing in this country with good management as will Gutierrez.

    Ashley will show us his intentions in January on how is best going to screw us over this time.

  • Partizan

    Nov 2, 2009 at 5:39 PM

    Comment #9

    Waldo thats a great formation and line-up,i always liked the 4-5-1 when playing away.

    But this time i’d go for the kill,cos Sheffild are weakened big time.


  • benscott123123

    Nov 2, 2009 at 5:55 PM

    Comment #10

    Simpson Coloccini Kadar Enrique
    Smith (c)
    R.Taylor Guttierez
    Ranger Carroll

    For me this is our strongest team for the rest of the season not incuding S. Taylor and possibly Ameobi on return. Harewood and Lovenkrands have been disapointing hopefully they can impress from the bench

  • Jay jay

    Nov 2, 2009 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #11

    No excuse for getting beat tonight, sheff utd are half a squad of average championship players, we should walk it without harewood, could get beat with him though.

  • magpie6699

    Nov 2, 2009 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #12

    benscott – that’s about right for me – just a question mark still for me about R Taylor vs Guthrie – the former is a more natural wide player and (theoretically) crosser but I like Guthrie’s industry, even if he hasn’t always been on best form this season. Start with either, other on the bench.

  • Toon_Factor

    Nov 2, 2009 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #13

    would definatly play ryan taylor ahead of guthrie at right mid but I would like Guthrie to play in the centre and push Nolan higher forward to have a bit of pace and movement in the centre of midfield which neither Nolan or Smith do

  • Shot Bru

    Nov 2, 2009 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #14

    Agree with Partizan’s formation @9. I really think our best combo up front would be Ranger and Lovenkrands. Loads of movement with Ranger holding up the ball and Krands feeding off him. Plus they close down opposition defenders better than the likes of Marewood and Carroll.

  • AlanSmith.

    Nov 2, 2009 at 6:53 PM

    Comment #15

    expect nothing less than a win tonight. sheffield united have 9 players out of there team.. we should be beating them with them having a full squad let alone with 9 players out.

    think chris will go for :


    simpson. colo. kadar. enrique


    guthrie nolan gutierrez

    harewood carroll

    although would like to see guthrie and harewood swapped for RTaylor and Ranger.

    got a feeling smith might get on the scoresheet tonight.. and toon win 4-1

  • Turkish Magpie

    Nov 2, 2009 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #16

    My team





  • Johno Toon

    Nov 2, 2009 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #17

    A Smith

    Was only thinkin today that smudge will score , him and ranger and nolan for a 3-0 win

  • TonyGreenSupreme

    Nov 2, 2009 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #18

    Good to read that there still remains lots of optimism.
    Remember that we failed to win at the mighty Blackpool and Scunthorpe…
    Can’t see us winning tonight and hope neither Harewood or Lovenkrands start as they are terrible. I’ll settle for a point and a decent performance.

  • Big Dave

    Nov 2, 2009 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #19

    I just hope Butt and Harewood dont start but I think they will. Would love to see smith score one I think he should take our next pen

  • sirjasontoon

    Nov 2, 2009 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #20

    Howay the Lads !!
    We should get a win with Sheffield depleted….I will predict a draw though….new era and all that 🙂

  • Magpie_May

    Nov 2, 2009 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #21

    Any link for the live match ???
    It’ll be presure


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