Newcastle vs Cardiff City – Match Preview

The game on Friday night against Cardiff City at St. James Park, is shaping to be a vital game in our season.

With only a single win in the last  5 league games, both WBA and Nottingham Forest have closed the gap at the top on Newcastle – as indeed have 4th placed Cardiff City, who will try to lessen the gap even further with a win against the Magpies tomorrow night.

On the injury front we are told that Simpson, Gutierrez and Ameobi are all fit for this game – with the only players  out with injury being Barton (ready to play in 2 weeks), Steven Taylor and Jose Enrique.

So Chris Hughton has enough players to choose from to give him some selection headaches – and of course that is always a good thing.

We wouldn’t just like to see Newcastle win against Cardiff City – and yes, that’s by far the most important thing – but we’d also like to see a solid attacking performance, with some creativity shown by the side.

That creativity was all but absent in our last league game, against Leicester City last Saturday night, and the lads are due a good display.

The strength of our side is the defense, and the two new boys who came in on Saturday night – Patrick van Aanholt and Mike Williamson took top honors in our Man of the Match honors, with van Aanholt winning and Williamson a close second.

With another new boy Wayne Routledge in 3rd place, that’s testament to the fact we had a good transfer window in January – for a change.

We fully expect Chris to ring in the changes for Friday, and we expect this strong line-up to be given the opportunity to put Cardiff away.

Simpson Williamson Coloccini Aanholt
Routledge Smith Guthrie Gutierrez
Subs: Krul Hall Kadar Taylor (R) Ranger Nolan Ameobi

That’s also one of the strongest benches we’ve had this season – so that also shows our newly strengthened squad.

There is news about Fitz Hall being given his debut tomorrow night, but it would be difficult to break up the impressive partnership of Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini, although it could be that Hall has been impressing in training.

If that’s the case, that would explain it, if he indeed is given a start.

If Fitz plays it could be that all 6 transfer window signings will start the game for Newcastle tomorrow night, and that shows they are good buys, when they immediately start in the first team.

Cardiff are an attacking side, and they have the second highest number of goals scored in the Championship – with 52, just 6 short of  WBA, arguably  the most attacking side in the Championship.

Away from home Cardiff  have scored more goals than any other side in the Championship with 30, and they recently took Bristol City apart 6-0 on 26th January at Ashton Gate.

So it will not be an easy game, that’s for sure.

On the Cardiff City side, Gavin Rae will miss Cardiff’s trip to Newcastle (the first in in 26 years) and has been left out with a hamstring injury.

Manager Dave Jones has to decide who to play in midfield, with Joe Ledley already sidelined,after he had the first of two hip operations, that will probably see his season finished.

The keys to a win for Newcastle are another strong defensive display, some creativity up front to carve out the chances, and putting those good chances away when they come along, which we’ve failed to do recently.

A win against Cardiff will see us right back on track, and then we need to put together a good winning streak, that will take on towards promotion.

But first things first, and we hope we’ll get all 3 points tomorrow night.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

29 comments so far

  • OHurley

    Feb 4, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #1

    “The keys to a win for Newcastle are another strong defensive display, some creativity up front to carve out the chances, and putting those good chances away when they come along, which we’ve failed to do recently.”

    Ed, that sounded very John Madden-esque 😀 Certainly a little better than his famous ascertation:

    “Well, to win football games ya gotta score points. And the team scores the most points wins the football game.”



  • OHurley

    Feb 4, 2010 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #2

    Oh, and props to anyone ower there that even knows who John Madden is hehe

  • DannyBoy

    Feb 4, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #3

    We gotta win this game lads! No 2 ways about it.

    Anything other than a comfortable, confident performance. tomorrow night and all the teams around us will smell blood knowing how close they are.

    I really hope Hughton picks the strongest, most attack-minded formation he possibly can tomorrow because that performance (or complete lack of) against Leicester was appalling, no other word for it. To go so defensive against a 10-man team who we are streets ahead of in terms of the league was just plain cowardly and we deserved nowt from it.

    We have to start really going for the jugular against every team we play from now on.

    I wonder what would happen if we dabbled with a quick, 4-3-3 formation, at least at home for a change? Show we intend to win the game and give opponents a good battering along the way. I would love to see that.

    Come on lads, lets see a game to remember tomorrow and one we can send out a message to the rest of the league with as well. We are going win this league!


  • Thump

    Feb 4, 2010 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #4

    @OHurley: I think more people know John Madden then you might believe – he is particularly famous!

    And yeah, Andy Gray has had a few belters like that (see FIFA09/10): “You’ve GOT to put the ball in the back of the net, because if you don’t? You’re never gonna score!”

  • MoLar

    Feb 4, 2010 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #5

    Not sure about dropping Andy Carroll but agree that Nolan needs a rest and Guthrie should be given a change in central midfield.

    Off the subject sorry, the Sheff Utd game has been switched to Sky on Easter Monday. I’m in the USA for the first time, on holiday in Manhattan, any suggestion where we might be able to watch the game. Staying in Midtown Manhattan? Any help most appreciated

  • OHurley

    Feb 4, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #6


    haha yeah andy gray’s commentaries are priceless in fifa.

    “I’ll tell ya what the best players do. They take advantage of those chances. He didn’t there.”

    No sh!t, Sherlock… HAHA!!

  • BeeGuy

    Feb 4, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #7

    I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how you select a squad, Jonas is the key to making it all work. There does not seem to be a good 2nd choice for him. Here is hoping Routledge can take the pressure off the left side and further widen the field. That would give the strikers more room to work and allow the central middies get up into the play.
    If Jonas plays Friday night, I am confident that NUFC will not lose. Without him, it will be much more of a struggle to get beyond a draw..

  • BeeGuy

    Feb 4, 2010 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #8

    MoLar, in the USA find a DSL computer or faster and search for the game on Ustream. You should find both the video and local Newcastle radio streaming there.

  • BeeGuy

    Feb 4, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    Comment #9

    MoLar, and don’t forget ESPN360 on the internet. They carry lots of Championship games.

  • ksmit

    Feb 4, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #10

    Hold on… if we don’t have Ameobi or Carrol on the pitch how are we going to continue to punt the ball forward from defense and hope that a striker heads it into the net? This would force us to play an attacking game from the wings… can Newcastle do this under Hughton? As much as I would love to hear that as a starting line up I can’t see it happening under CH… maybe just too pessimistic but I really don’t think it will happen. Please prove me wrong

  • Sgt. Heagerty

    Feb 4, 2010 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #11

    DannyBoy, you are right on bout the importance of this game. I do agree that we need to be attacking more but our bread and butter is solid defense. Even with the injuries our back line is “nails”. The problem last match was the new lads coming into the squad not used to playing with each other and it showed. Passing was terrible and everything looked out of sync. Even still we should have won. I do want to see more attacking but we still have to protect our backline. This match will be a season changer for the good. 3-0 toon!!!!!

    American Toon Army!!!
    Howay the Lads!

    U-stream shows all games in the staes? I watch some on espn 360 and some on setanta but mostly get stuck listening to radio broadcast on nufctv.

  • pearceet

    Feb 4, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #12

    I am very relieved that Guiterrez is back. We failed to create enough against Leicester. I think this is very much down to us not having Guiterrez and to a large extent Enrique as well (although Van Aanholt showed us he is an extremely capable replacement in defence and attack). All our play this season has been down the left. In my opinion, although he doesn’t have an excellent final product, Guiterrez is crucial to our team and creating chances. Without him we are struggling to make chances.
    Anyone agree???????

  • Sgt. Heagerty

    Feb 4, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #13

    i agree completely, nobody can handle jonas and that opens everything up. left flank definately where we attack and need to continue attack. then if they shift to stop it then you have more space on the other flank to put the ball in the box….

  • pearceet

    Feb 4, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Comment #14

    that is exactly what happened vs boro just before Christmas. Guthrie had loads of space and was allowed to get the ball in for Ameobi to head in for our second. all because as you said Sgt. Heagerty Enrique and Guiterrez had run the boro defence raged

  • pearceet

    Feb 4, 2010 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #15


  • jackdnufc

    Feb 4, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #16

    MoLar, keep tabs on a couple of days before the game. They’ll tell ya what channel the games on in the US and then you just need to find a bar which will show the channel, ideally Setanta.
    U-stream and Myp2p are good as well if you can’t make it to a tv.
    Lets see us go for a 4-3-3! would be class but I don’t see it happening. Best and Loven should at least start and give Nolan a rest.


    Can’t see it happening though because he’ll definately start Smith, it wouldn’t be Houghton’s style not to!

  • ksmit

    Feb 4, 2010 at 9:05 PM

    Comment #17
    This is a great website for finding out what is going to be on TV in north america. I use it all the time (in Canada). Won’t help you find a location to watch the game but it will give you an idea of what your chances are!

  • Joey Barton 666

    Feb 4, 2010 at 9:47 PM

    Comment #18

    I really hope bot routledge and jonas start tommorow, I think the could bot be a real handfull even in the prem, I’m looking forward to seeing best, a player I rate highly. Also would like to see Simpson in for that crock of shit raylor. I’d go with

    van an man

  • Tom Mo.

    Feb 4, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    Comment #19

    molar, try, if the match is on sky it should be on there

  • Sgt. Heagerty

    Feb 4, 2010 at 11:53 PM

    Comment #20

    pearceet you hit the nail on the head bro. Now imagine what our left flank will look like with the flying dutchman AAnholt linking up with the Mad Argentine Jonas Guiterez . There will be a riot going on over there pure havoc in their back line because of it. 3-0 Toon the goals will fly tommorow lads.

    American Toon Army!!!
    Howay the Lads!!!

  • Thump

    Feb 5, 2010 at 12:24 AM

    Comment #21

    Hang on… is saying that the game isn’t on sky? It’s been reported all week 🙁

  • Mark-o

    Feb 5, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #22
  • Will

    Feb 5, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #23

    @ thump it’s not going to be streaming wither by the looks of things 🙁

    my team tonight would be:

    R. Taylor Williamson Colo Aanholt

    Routledge Nolan Smith Gutierrez

    Best Loverpants

    I agree with you Ed with Guthrie too so maybe him to start instead of Nolan.

    I just want to see a win tonight!!!

  • lesh

    Feb 5, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #24
  • The Entertainers

    Feb 5, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #25

    My worry tonight is the two strikers they have Chops and Boothroyd are very quick and good on the ball.
    Williamson and Colo will not enjoy playing against them tonight.

    Cardiffs defence looks the weakest part of their team and hopefully our strikers can out muscle them and score more than the Welshmen.

    Tonight could be a game of who scores more !

    5-4 to the Toon (who’m i kidding! 0-0)

  • geordielad880

    Feb 5, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #26

    Guiterrez has apparently been ruled out tonight with a thigh strain, and alan smith is also a doubt, im not feeling optimistic about tonight, I would go for fitz hall and collocini at centre half, even though williamson has played well so far, as fitz hall has pace, and we will need it against chopra and bothroyd.

    I would go for harper, Simpson, collo, hall, kadar, R taylor Guthrie, Nolan, Rouledge, Lovenkrands, Ameobi

  • Mac

    Feb 5, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #27

    Where did you hear about Guiterrez? I have been watching sky sports news and nothing has been mentioned.

  • geordielad880

    Feb 5, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #28

    Toon new boy Best ‘straining at the leash’

    Feb 4 2010 by Lee Ryder, Evening Chronicle
    Comments (131)
    Recommend (3)

    * previous
    * 1
    * 2

    Hughton confirmed today that both Shola Ameobi and Danny Simpson have been passed fit to be involved against the Bluebirds, which leaves the United chief with some difficult decisions to make in attack and a dilemma at right-back as he faces a straight choice between the Mancunian defender and Scouser Ryan Taylor.

    Midfielder Alan Smith is also hoping to shake off a thigh injury, although Jonas Gutierrez is doubtful with a muscle strain.

  • dazza

    Feb 5, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #29

    Molar. Ask for the Church. Think you’ll be impressed with the atmosphere. Should have a few toon fans as well.


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