It was back on December 9th when Newcastle last won an away game, and that was at Coventry City (2-0).
Danny Guthrie – play the lad in central midfield
Since then, the lads have been on the road 7 times in all competitions, have drawn five of those and lost a couple of times to WBA (4-2) and Derby County (3-0).
But we have not won in that away streak of 7 games.
Newcastle, showing excellent form at home over the last 3 home games when the side has scored 12 goals, can end that streak on Saturday at Watford – but it will not be easy.
There will be a number of players still missing as Jose Enrique, Nicky Butt, Peter Lovenkrands and Wayne Routledge have all lost their fight to be fit for the trip to Watford.
We were hoping in-form striker Peter Lovenkrands would be able to play, after leaving the pitch last Saturday after just 14 minutes with a tight thigh, but it’s not to be.
Peter had already scored his 10th goal of the season after just 3 minutes in that game, but we hear today he will not make it for Saturday.
Shola Ameobi, Steven Taylor and Joey Barton are also out injured with longer term injuries.
But the absence of these players gives a chance for others to come in and do a job for the club, and after some initial thoughts here’s what we think is a decent team that manager Chris Hughton could field on Saturday.
Simpson Coloccini Williamson van Aanholt
Pancrate Guthrie Smith (c) Nolan Gutierrez
We are assuming that Hughton will play a 4-5-1 formation on Saturday with Nolan pressing forward to support lone striker Andy Carroll.
And while we want to play the lads in their best positions, it could be a good time to bring Fabrice Pancrate into the starting line-up on the right wing.
After all the Frenchman has set up a couple of goals when he’s been brought on during the last two home games.
That will allow Danny Guthrie play more in the middle of the park, which suits his style and passing ability.
This will be Patrick van Aanholt’s last game under the current loan agreement with Chelsea, but the London club have other left-backs who can slot in during the absence of Ashley Cole, who has a broken ankle.
So it’s still unclear even now, if Chris Hughton can get his loan period extended.
That would be good, because it will give Jose Enrique more time to recover, and also the longer the lad is on Tyneside, hopefully the more he will become enamored with the club, and Patrick could be a potential longer term target for the Magpies.
He looks a very good player in the making this boy.
And Chris Hughton this afternoon talked about Patrick’s loan:
“The agreement we had with Chelsea is that it was for a month, so at this particular moment, his loan period finishes after the Watford game.”
“I am in dialogue with Chelsea – whether that changes slightly for a little bit longer, that’s something we will ascertain, but at this moment, the agreement we had was very much until after this game.”
“We have been delighted with him and we would like to think he will go back to Chelsea having learnt and become a better player than when he came here.”
Good words from Chris about Patrick, and that will not go unnoticed at Chelsea.
Newcastle can fairly easily switch to a 4-4-2 formation with those players above, and we think it’s more than a decent side to try to get our first away win in almost a couple of months.
Let’s know what team you would start on Saturday, given the injuries we have.
Your comments and thoughts are always welcome.