With Wigan and West Ham both looking like real relegation sides so far this season, Newcastle have a chance this afternoon to get their first league win, and prove they can be a decent team this season.
After going through a very tough first game of the season on Monday night at Old Trafford, while Aston Villa are a good team who finished 6th last season, they are hardly as good as the Red Devils.
And couple that with the fact that Newcastle are playing their first home game of the season in front of an expected sell-out crowd, and there’s got to be some hope that the lads can pick up their first points of the season this afternoon, and a win is what we’d just love to see.
The main thing we want to witness this afternoon is an improvement in our defense, and we just have to cut out the careless mistakes that cost us at least a couple of goals against Manchester United.
And indeed we’d be surprised if Chris changes the starting line-up from Monday night, although Danish striker peter Lovenkrands is available again, although Danny Guthrie will probably miss out, with his slight knee injury.
So we see an unchanged side starting this afternoon as follows – and yes in a 4-5-1 formation
Perch Williamson Coloccini Enrique
Routledge Barton Nolan (c) Smith Gutierrez
Subs: Krul Tavernier Taylor (R) Ameobi Lovenkrands Vuckic Xisco
This is an important game for new boy James Perch, as he looked Newcastle’s weakest defender on Monday night, and he will have to improve quickly if he is indeed to keep his place in the side as Sol Campbell should be ready to play at Wolves next weekend.
Against the Red Devils we had little chance to attack, but in this game today we should be able to threaten the opposition, and it will be a very good test to see just how good we are – and of course we went unbeaten all last season at St. James’ Park, and we would hope to at least maintain that unbeaten record today.
Wayne Routledge showed up well last Monday night, and he can be a key forward for Newcastle as he sets up the chances from the right wing, and we would hope that Argentine left winger Jonas Gutierrez will soon start to get back in the groove, as he looked below his best last time out.
Maybe he can prove today he’s as good as his Argentine team-mate Lionel Messi says – and is as good as Torres, Rooney and Febregas.
We would be fairly happy with a draw today, to at least get off the mark as far as points are concerned, but at our best we should be able to beat a good Aston Villa side at home, as we did 2-0 in this corresponding fixture during out relegation season.
Howay The Lads!!