Tomorrow’s game will be the first game Alan Pardew has really been in charge of the Newcastle side, after getting a full week’s training with the Newcastle players in preparation for the game.
Newcastle played very well against Liverpool last Saturday, and at the end were worthy 3-1 winners against that improving side.
And of course Birmingham City are nowhere near as good as Liverpool are, but that doesn’t mean this will be an easy game for Newcastle – that’s very clear.
In fact we expect Birmingham to be a lot better than they were last week at Wolves, when they went down 1-0 to one of the poorer side in the Premier League.
Consistency is what Newcastle have lacked all season, and we seem to play well against the better sides, but keep our worst performances for the sides we should be beating – but we don’t.
We’d get a lot more points if we played well against the poorer sides and not just against the better sides.
There’s little doubt that at least on paper the game tomorrow afternoon is a game that Newcastle should be winning, and new manager Alan Pardew has said that is his ultimate goal tomorrow.
A second win in a row would do wonders for Alan Pardew and the Newcastle players, not to mention the Newcastle fans, and it would give the lads confidence and also help the fans settle down a little.
There’s still some turmoil caused by last week’s latest upheaval caused by the Newcastle owner Mike Ashley – the bomb thrower supreme.
As far as the line-up goes for tomorrow, we expect both Mike Williamson and Fab Coloccini to return to the Newcastle defense, at the expense of Campbell and Steven Taylor.
If indeed Steven is leaving Newcastle in January, then we think he will be on the bench tomorrow, and Pardew will go with the players he knows will still be with him in February.
We would also like to see young Nile Ranger get a start, and while Shola Ameobi is a doubt with his hamstring injury, we will have the local lad on the bench tomorrow, regardless of whether he’s fit to start the game.
If his injury is too severe of course he’ll not even make the bench tomorrow.
Here is the side we’d like to see start tomorrow:
Simpson Coloccini Williamson Enrique
Barton Nolan (c) Tiote Gutierrez
Subs: Harper Perch Taylor (S) Smith Guthrie Lovenkrands Ameobi
Birmingham looked hopeless last week at Wolves, and even allowed Wolves to get a rare win, and for once manager Mick McCarthy was smiling after the game.
That’s a nice change from the usual when Mick is blaming it on bad luck, the referee, or both for Wolves being beaten.
But the poor performance last week has had the Brum players coming out this week saying they will be much better this coming game with Newcastle, after what they think was their worst performance of the season at Wolves.
The news today is that the Birmingham players also called off their Christmas celebration this week, they basically canceled Christmas, and didn’t have their usual party.
But let’s hope that their partying doesn’t start at 5:00 pm local time tomorrow afternoon at St. Andrews, with a win against the Magpies.
On the Birmingham side of things they have a couple of players who will not make the game tomorrow with Alexander Hleb having a hamstring injury and is doubtful, and James McFadden who is out long term with an ACL knee Injury.
Newcastle have never shown any consistency this season, but a win tomorrow will hint that the team is making progress in that area – and even a draw would be acceptable.
However, a defeat at Birmingham, following the great win against Liverpool, will show we are still too much of a yo-yo side.
Howay The Lads!!
Comments and your Newcastle team for tomorrow are welcome.