Newcastle vs Preston – Match Preview – Nothing Comes Easy


Most Newcastle fans will be expecting a full 3 points tomorrow afternoon when Newcastle meet Preston North End at home.

The mood on Tyneside is a lot brighter now after Newcastle’s very good 4-1 win on Wednesday night against a reasonable Coventry City side, and certainly a lot better than following Newcastle’s insipid display last Saturday at Swansea City.

One thing Newcastle must get back to in the remaining games of the season (15), is consistency and we cannot have a good performance and have that be followed by a performance in which most of the players give a good impression of being asleep.

These games are getting far too important now.

But the very fact that Preston would appear to be an easy 3 points makes us very cautious, because as we know nothing is ever easy at Newcastle – that’s for sure.

Preston were hammered 5-3 last Tuesday night at Derby County, scoring their 3rd goal in injury time, and they will be out tomorrow to be a lot more solid at the back.

But we would expect Newcastle to try to get an early break-though, but if that is not possible, then wear the opposition down in the second half, which the lads did very well on Wednesday night, after Coventry even went ahead.

Chris Hughton is looking to make some changes, but given the overall good performance of the side, we’d be very happy with an unchanged side tomorrow afternoon.

After such an improved performance on Wednesday night, there’s really no need to tinker with the team.

So we expect Chris to name the following starting line-up at around 2:15 pm tomorrow afternoon local time.

Harper
Simpson Williamson Coloccini van Aanholt
Routledge Nolan (c) Guthrie Gutierrez
Carroll Lovenkrands
Subs: Krul, Pancrate, Smith, Hall, Best, Ranger, Taylor (R)

This would be a terrific time for Newcastle to start putting a string of wins together, and 3 points is a must at home in every single one of our remaining 7 fixtures at St. James’ Park – there’s 21 points in the bag hopefully.

Keys to a victory for Newcastle tomorrow afternoon will be another good performance from the central midfield pair of Nolan and young Danny Guthrie.

Certainly Guthrie looked a good player against Coventry, spraying good passes all over the place, and this is a chance for the youngster to stake a claim to  a starting position for the next few games.

And it’s now 4 games since we last had a clean sheet at Leicester City, so it would be good to keep the Preston attack at bay tomorrow.

We need a good solid defensive performance and a clean sheet – and we’re sure Steve Harper will agree with that sentiment.

Newcastle will also need to use their speedy wingers Gutierrez and Routledge tomorrow, and since they both looked good on Wednesday night, we look for a repeat performance.

But whatever happens during the game, we just have to end up with a win – that’s crucial.

Comments welcome.



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21 comments so far

  • Captain Beefheart

    Feb 19, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #1

    As with Coventry, Preston should be treated as cannon fodder if we are serious about automatic promotion. 3-0 is the optimum result as Preston will certainly not sit back and be thumped again after getting a hiding at Derby. Same team, keep the pensioners on the bench wrapped up warm.

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  • BeeGuy

    Feb 19, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #2

    From way over here in Waxhaw, NC, USA I see in the Preston newspaper and from Preston video interviews that Ferguson believes that all the goals that they have allowed mostly come down to mistakes on set-pieces and corner kicks. He thinks he has remedied that to some extent. He says it is up to his players to make those corrections on the field in the game.
    In his video, one sees a face looking somewhat resigned and words sounding a little to much out of the” book of coaches phrases” rather than those of a man with a plan. He seemed very unlike a Robbie Savage, say.
    So what do we take from this? Push and work hard for free kicks and corners. Look for PNE to be making plays to boot the ball to the sidelines rather than concede corners. And, don’t forget PNE have some bodies that know where the back of the net is, and will put balls there given a chance.
    If NUFC can score early, especially off a set piece of some kind, it could be ugly for PNE. If PNE can hold their own towards half time, I’d say NUFC2-PNE 1. William J. Powers

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  • dutchy

    Feb 19, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #3

    we shouldnt go looking for freekicks.. we should do what we do best at home: get the ball to our – fantastic – wingers and get a head or a boot on the end of a cross.

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  • Doha Mag

    Feb 19, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #4

    Need to play players in their correct/prefered position and we’ll be fine. Don’t mind a bit of rotation in the team to keep players on their toes as that’s what all good teams do…..

    4-4-2 formation tomorrow and a good win; i.e. 4-0 to the boys….

    Ed, great that you’re back bonny lad….

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  • G

    Feb 19, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #5

    I believe the line up against Coventry was our strongest available (and fit) line up, so I am hoping that CH will stick with it. Regardless, I can feel 3 points coming on.

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  • Archie Mag

    Feb 19, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #6

    I know had a decent assist against Coventry but he was at fault for their opener, poor position on the near post and slow to react. Not his worst game, but far from his best.

    Id personally play the same side but rest Nolan and bring Smudger back for this one, especially as Cov was only on Wednesday, Nolan should rest his legs.

    Whilst another large margin of victory would be nice and definately preferable, and scoreline is fine by me as long as it comes with 3pts and a decent performance.

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  • Archie Mag

    Feb 19, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    Comment #7

    I know Nolan***

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  • jimiley

    Feb 19, 2010 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #8

    Ed,
    If its going to be hard beating Preston at SJP, we really are knackered if we get promoted. Maybe Mikeee baby might invest 50 mil then in players?

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  • jimiley

    Feb 19, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #9

    Keep the midfield dynamos on the bench nursing their zimmer frames. Sleep tight Butt and Smith. (Nolan as well but we are not that good to leave him on the bench!!)

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  • Tom Mo.

    Feb 19, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #10

    at the end of the season Demerit on watford is out of contract, we should sign the USA defender for free

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  • Archie Mag

    Feb 19, 2010 at 9:58 PM

    Comment #11

    KP Boateng might not be a bad signing, got to be realistic. He’ll def be on his way out of Pompy, looks quite decent in the prem from time to time.

    I’d like to say go in for Bentley as he doesn’t get a sniff at spurs but can’t see him taking a pay cut and moving up here.

    Maybe whip a cheeky bid in for Chris Eagles too if Burnley don’t beat the drop.

    This is all assuming we go up of course.

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  • MacToon

    Feb 19, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    Comment #12

    arg not Bently maybe Joe Cole though but £30 K a week aint gonna go very far.

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  • Archie Mag

    Feb 19, 2010 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #13

    Exactly, 30k will get you nowt these days. Joe Cole is 10 times the player Bentley is but we probably have zero chance of getting even him, so to say Joe Cole is out of our league is an understatement.

    I share the vision though, love to see him in a toon shirt!

    What we’ll need to be doing is trying to pick the best bones from the lower prem sides, what about Gamst Pederson from blackburn? Lads looked more than decent everytime i’ve seen him play, can’t be on much more than 30k there?

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  • Charlietoon

    Feb 19, 2010 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #14

    I’m a bit torn over this one. I do think last week was one of our strongest attacking sides. However we were all saying the same thing after the 5-1 win and we came out and got hammered. I think their was a bit of complacency there and it also plays into this while ‘if it aint broke’ thing which I cant stand.

    You pick the team with the opposition in mind. This is a big part of the managers job. To say all you need to do is find the right combination and stick with it regardless of who you are playing is rubbish. I think we will playing a team with not much to lose this week and they will come out at us hard. I hope we can do the same. Personally this week I would start Smith for Nolan as Nolan needs a rest. Bring him on for 30 mins.

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  • MacToon

    Feb 20, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    Comment #15

    Archie, glad I didn’t get shot down in flames for mentioning someone like J cole, can’t help thinking it wasn’t long ago we were trying to get Modric, Arshavin, Huntelaar etc. but this will never happen for £30K a week. OK maybe a “Peter Pan” can ignite some creativity into the team, I’m not a scout but hope someone at SJP is looking for that bit of class we’ll need if we are to survive in the prem, if promoted.

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  • chestnut

    Feb 20, 2010 at 2:43 AM

    Comment #16

    I expect us to secure promotion in the next 10 games. 7 of those teams have bad defences, and out of those three, only two have good attacks. So if we can win 7 games, that means 21 points.. plus 63 = 84 points. By previous seasons, that’s should be sufficient for at least second place. Of course, we will be going for the Championship title, to add confidence going into the EPL next season.

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  • DJG

    Feb 20, 2010 at 4:30 AM

    Comment #17

    Today I would like to see us put in an assured performance and not have to come from behind again.

    3 points is essential at home against ANY team in this league, it is that bad.

    66 points by 5pm tonight might see us get a bit of breathing space.

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  • DJG

    Feb 20, 2010 at 6:07 AM

    Comment #18

    I hope Big Andy can notch against his loan club Preston, where by all accounts he wasn’t exactly a huge success.

    Chestnut it would be nice to secure promotion before the last 5 games but it is the title we should be going for. West Brom, Swansea ect can claim they were the best footballing teams in the league but the fact is who remembers 2nd place. It will be us on the back of every paper and news stations if we are claimed the league winners. I know it is a micky mouse league but we just need to win anything at the moment and there’s no shame in coming first, thats all any team could do in the circumstances. Certainly it will prove smug b’##### like Lawro wrong and people who said we would ‘do a Leeds’. Another run of 6-7 wins right now and personally I think we would be uncatchable. I wouldn’t like to put money on it though.

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  • Captain Beefheart

    Feb 20, 2010 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #19

    Chestnut, you need to look at the stats, mate, 84 points is not enough. Last season was a freak season with teams losing out to each other all the way so 80 points was OK. However, Leicester needed 90 points to get second place a couple more seasons back!

    My PROM-0- METER (see http://www.nufcblog.com/2010/02/18/chris-hughton-talks-about-newcastles-worried-fans/) has been devised to take the guess work out of this. As every round of games passes by a clearer picture emerges.

    Currently we are missing out on top spot with the latest PROM-o-METER (17/2/10) extrapolating the final table on current form as:

    1) WBA 88pts
    2) NUFC 87pts
    3) Forest 86pts

    I will update the PROM-o-METER on Sunday evening following the Bristol City v WBA game (which looks like a dead cert win for the Baggies). Forest have the Smoggies at home, which is a little trickier, but overall I can see both our rivals dropping points so we cannot afford to slip against PNE or we increasingly make it tougher with home games running out.

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  • Captain Beefheart

    Feb 20, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #20

    TYPO correction to 19: I meant to say “…I CAN’T see both our rivals dropping points..”.

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  • Charlietoon

    Feb 20, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #21

    We definatly need to open up a nice big gap. 3 of our last 4 games are away from home against teams that may well be fighting against relegation. We have to hope or main rivals do drop points and that we can put another good run going into the end of the season.

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