There’s not much doubt that tonight’s game against WBA, currently in 3rd place, is Newcastle’s most important game of the season.
Currently WBA are 6 points behind Newcastle with a slightly inferior goal difference, so a win tonight could take Newcastle essentially 10 points clear of the third placed team. The top two of course get automatic promotion which is what we all want.
Throughout the rest of the season Newcastle need to keep their feet firmly on the ground and not get carried away with their own success, and continue to treat all sides with the respect we have so far this season.
If we can do that there’s a good chance that promotion will be ours, and don’t let anybody tell you it isn’t a miracle, from where we were on July 1st, when training started up.
Newcastle have no injury problems except for Joey Barton who has started training again and should be available within 3-4 weeks, we hope.
And amazingly this could well be Danny Simpson’s last game for Newcastle, as the incompetence of the owner and Managing Director in now being unable to capture a player who has waxed lyrical about the club, ever since he’s been here.
Peter Lovenkrands is not available tonight, after the death of his father last week, and Geremi is on duty for Cameroon at the African Cup of Nations, and could well have already played his last game for the club.
There is however a report in the Evening Chronicle today that quotes Chris Hughton as saying Peter could still play, or make an appearance, and it will be completely his decision.
If Peter does appear that will be extremely emotional, especially if he scores a goal – the crowd will just completely erupt if that happens tonight.
We expect Chris Hughton to field the following side:
Simpson Taylor (S) Coloccini Enrique
Guthrie Smith (c) Nolan Gutierrez
Subs: Krul Kadar Tozer Butt Taylor (R) Ranger Pancrate
For WBA, Chris Brunt and Gianni Zuiverloon are both fit and a near full-strength West Bromwich Albion side will start tonight at St. James’ Park against the Championship leaders.
WBA were well beaten 3-1 at home against promotion rivals Nottingham Forest in their last game, and were decidedly second best, but we expect them to try to turn that around tonight, and take all 3 points from Newcastle.
The keys to a Newcastle win tonight are another solid performance from our defense, and somebody up front who can accept the chances that we will no doubt create.
A Newcastle win tonight is what we all want to see.