This is a game tonight at Chelsea that Newcastle are not expected to win, and therefore the pressure is off the lads in London tonight, in the 3rd round of the Carling Cup.
The good news, if that’s the right way to put it, is that Carlo Ancelotti will not play his strongest side, and will field a number of the top Chelsea youngsters for tonight’s game, including 20 year-old Patrick van Aanholt, who was on loan at Newcastle earlier this year and was just fantastic for the Magpies.
Of course the changes will not weaken Chelsea too much, and Newcastle themselves will make around 8 changes from the side that started the game at Goodison Park, when Newcastle won for the first time there in nine years.
One way to look at this game, as Hughton has pointed out, is that it’s a chance to play one of the best club teams in the world, and see just how good this new Newcastle side may be right now.
Newcastle are an improving side, and it’s a good chance for some of the fringe players to learn a lot against the Premier League Champions, who play every game to win, and attack all the time. In short, Chelsea have looked awesome this season.
Chris Hughton has rightly pointed out that right now Chelsea ar the best side in England, and few would disagree with him on that, and they have won all their first 5 games, scored 21 goals and conceded one – not too bad a start to the season at all.
But Newcastle manager Hughton will still ring in the changes tonight and this is the likely side we think he will start tonight:
Taylor (R) Campbell Williamson Kadar
Ranger Smith (c) Barton Lovenkrands Gutierrez
Subs: Soderberg Tavernier Nolan Carroll Donaldson Tiote Ben Arfa
Steven Taylor, Danny Simpson, Danny Guthrie and Dan Gosling are all still on the injured list, and of course Steve Harper is out after getting injured Saturday – but all other players are available for tonight’s game.
It will be important to start well tonight, after seeing how Chelsea tore Blackpool apart last Sunday in the first few minutes of that game, and the longer the lads can keep a clean sheet the better it will be for Newcastle.
But every player will have to fully concentrate on the game, and the last thing we want to see against such a talented sides are any mistakes, especially at the back.
The news today is that Carlo Ancelotti will hand starts to his young stars Jeffrey Bruma, Gael Kakuta, Daniel Sturridge and Patrick van Aanholt against Newcastle.
It is fitting that Dutch youngster Patrick van Aanholt plays tonight, as we have said the lad was just outstanding for Newcastle earlier this year, and he looks a great player in the making, and of course is very good friends with our own Dutch U21 International goalkeeper, Tim Krul.
No doubt Newcastle fans will show their appreciation to the young left-back tonight, a youngster who became very popular on Tyneside.
First-teamers Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, John Mikel Obi, Michael Essien and Didier Drogba are all expected to be rested for tonight’s tie, and both returning players Frank Lampard and John Terry will be rested and likely to play this weekend.
So tonight’s game looks like it will be a very tough game for the Newcastle side, but we hope the lads can play well, and if they can get through to the next round, that would be a shock – but also a tremendous achievement.
So we really have nothing to lose tonight and we live in constant hope.
Howay The Lads!!