Newcastle play an important league game tonight, against the in-form Crystal Palace, and will be going all out for a win.
In our last 5 league games we have only 4 draws and a win, so that’s 8 points we’ve dropped in 5 games, and in fact 8 points that Nottingham Forest have gained on us since 12th December.
Currently we are level with Forest on 52 points, with only a slightly better goal difference. which may not last long, with \Forest scoring so many goals.
A win is vital tonight, because it can take us 3 points clear of Forest and 8 points clear of WBA.
Newcastle have Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor and Joey Barton out injured for tonight’s game, with Ryan Taylor suspended, and Geremi not available.
With the signing of Wayne Rutledge, we would expect him to start on the right wing, but the big question is who will play at right back tonight.
It could be 18 year old James Tavanier, Ryan Donaldson, who played there when Ryan left the field on Saturday, Danny Guthrie or even Nicky Butt, who is fit again.
Nicky certainly has the experience and may be preferred there, although we think that Hughton will plump for Danny Guthrie.
Peter Lovenkrands is also available, following the tragic loss of his father, and we expect to start thew game alongside the in-form Andy Carroll.
And the Evening Chronicle is suggesting that Mike Williamson is all ready to start should the paper-work come through on his move to the Magpies – we will assume Mike will not be in the squad tonight, since he hasn’t played a first team game for 5 months.
Here’s the side we expect Chris to field tonight:
Guthrie Coloccini Kadar Enrique
Routledge Smith (c) Nolan Gutierrez
Subs: Krul Tozer Ameobi Ranger Butt Donaldsson Pancrate
That’s not a bad starting eleven at all, and we expect Kadar to start in central defense.
Crystal Palace were placed in administration yesterday, so we’re not sure what impact that will have on their players for tonight’s game.
Kevin Nolan thinks they will be pumped up, and of course Neil Warnock will have his troops ready, especially after we won 2-0 at Selhurst Park back on August 22nd.
We would hope for both a clean sheet tonight, and a win.
The performance of the defense will be important, since we have conceded 6 goals against the good looking WBA side in our last couple of games, and we need to get back to closing the door at the back.
Both Carroll and Lovenkrands have been in good form lately, so we would hope for some early goals to calm the nerves.