We hope that Newcastle’s good away form will continue at the Reebok stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Newcastle have not been too good at home this season, after going all last season without a home defeat, but this season we have lost to Blackpool, Stoke and Blackburn, and have only drawn with Wigan and Fulham.
Those are home game we would have been expected to win.
But Newcastle are still in 8th position on 18 points from their first 13 games, because our away form has been excellent, with wins at Everton, West Ham and Arsenal.
We hope we can get another win at Bolton tomorrow, but the Trotters have been in good form so far this season, and that’s been both at home and away.
Bolton have 9 points from their 6 home games (2 wins 3 draws and a single defeat against Liverpool), and have 10 points from their 7 away games – so they are one point above Newcastle right now.
It will be another tough game for the Magpies, as most PL games seem to be this season.
Newcastle have conceded too many goals this season, and one key in tomorrow’s game, is how the Magpies defense will play, which will likely be unchanged for the sixth league game in a row, since Danny Simpson returned at right back from injury.
Newcastle gave away two bad goals against Blackburn last week, and if they do that again tomorrow, we’ll lose the game, but last Saturday the defense was much improved, and played very well against Fulham.
But Bolton have conceded even more goals this season than Newcastle, and have let in 19 goals in their 13 league games, and 8 of those in their 6 home games, so they can be scored against – Andy Carroll please take note.
We expect Shola Ameobi and Carroll to be fit for this game, although Shola is said by manager Hughton today to be still touch and go.
And of course Sol Campbell and Steven Taylor are both fit again after both played for the Reserves on Tuesday afternoon, but Cheick Tiote and Joey Barton are both unavailable because of suspension.
Striker Leon Best is back fit again, and also played for the Reserves last Tuesday, but we don’t think he will make the squad for tomorrow’s game, with Ranger, Lovenkrands and Ameobi all available as strikers.
So this is what we think the starting side will look like for tomorrow’s game, in a 4-5-1- formation.
Simpson Coloccini Williamson Enrique
Routledge Guthrie Smith Nolan(c) Gutierrez
Subs: Soderberg Campbell Taylor (S) Kadar Lovenkrands Ranger Ameobi
Make sure to let us know what you think the starting team should be.
Chris could well play a 4-4-2 formation and play Danny Guthrie out on the right wing and bring in either Lovenkrands or Ameobi up front with big Andy.
That may be especially true given that Bolton seem to concede quite a few goals, and Guthrie put in some good crosses from the right wing against Fulham last Saturday – something England didn’t do on Wednesday night even though the 6’4″ Andy was up front.
Alan Smith will get a rare start tomorrow, and he will need to make the most of this chance, since Cheick Tiote will back for the home game against Chelsea the following Sunday afternoon.
Bolton are a good side this season, and seem to have improved since Owen Coyle joined the club last January from Burnley.
Owen has the side playing very well right now (unfortunately), and of course the Bolton side have never lacked fight or grit, but these days Newcastle have an excellent team spirit too, so it should be a good and competitive game.
We’d be happy with a point, but after the single point in the last two home games we suspect Chris Hughton is again aiming to win the game, if at all possible.
Finally, it will be interesting to see what reception the new Newcastle captain, Kevin Nolan, gets at his former club – and we think it will be a good one.
Kevin has been great for Newcastle over the last 20 months, and he has always talked very fondly of his Bolton years, and indeed when he came to Tyneside, he was shocked at just how poor the Newcastle team spirit was compared to what he left at Bolton.
Kevin Nolan has since fixed that – and he is currently a credit to football and to Newcastle, and also acts as a good diplomat for Bolton Wanderers these days too.
We’ll be happy with a point tomorrow, but we’d be absolutely delighted with all 3 points.