Newcastle have been in very good form in the last three haves of football they have played.
After the dismal first half against Arsenal, the lads have come back to life, and continued where they left off against Arsenal at Blackburn on Saturday and with just a little bit more luck would have grabbed all 3 points.
The team basically picks itself and Alan Pardew says he will play the same starting eleven and the same bench, for tonight’s rather difficult game at Birmingham.
Unfortunately, Newcastle are meeting a Birmingham side showing some good form recently, in this rearranged game tonight.
They have won their last two league games, against Stoke over the weekend with an injury time winner form Zigic, and have won four of their last 5 games – so …… they must be due for a defeat.
It will be a very tough game against a side that defends very well, and against a team that has a fantastic worth ethic, as manager Alex McLeish certainly gets the very best out of his players.
Anybody who saw the game on Saturday at Ewood Park, will agree that Newcastle were much the more enterprising side, and if any side deserved to win that game it was Newcastle.
Of course we may also be just a little bit biased there too.
And it is very likely to be a similar game tonight at St. Andrews, with both sides defending very solidly, and it seems that the team that will come out on top, is the side who can get the better of central midfield.
Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan and Cheick Tiote have been in fine form of late, and if they can get a grip in the center of midfield, you have to think Newcastle have a very decent chance of winning the game.
There are obvious keys to this game for Newcastle:
1) The defense has to continue with their solid defending and especially Mike Williamson, who will have the job of marking tall 6’7″ Serbian striker Zigic
2) The central midfield, with Cheick Tiote and Kevin Nolan in particular getting control in the center of the park, so that Newcastle can move forward and hopefully get a lot of set plays, which they have been really good at, so far this season
3) Probably the most important and difficult aspect of the game for Newcastle is whether they can score – a thing we didn’t manage at Blackburn. But at the set plays, the two center-backs and Kevin Nolan come up, and who knows, one of them may get a goal. Certainly Fabricio Coloccini almost scored another great goal on Saturday. But we also hope that one of our two strikers, Lovenkrands or Best can get on the scoring sheet tonight.
With an unchanged side tonight, this is the team and subs for the game:
Simpson Coloccini Williamson Enrique
Barton Nolan Tiote Gutierrez
Subs: Krul Perch Campbell Ferguson Guthrie Ranger Kuqi
Depending on how the game goes will decide when Nile Ranger and Shefki Kuqi get on, but if we haven’t managed to score say by the 60th minute, we would expect Alan to go for it and switch the two strikers.
It’s clear form hearing Alan and the players talk in the last two days, that they are going for the win tonight, and while they are disappointed at not notching their 3rd win of the year last Saturday, they are still in very good spirits and confident too.
And with another fantastic turnout of Geordie fans at St. Andrews tonight, the lads could just deliver what all fans want to see – a win for the Magpies- since we have no wins on our last 6 games.
And just think, Alan will be able to have a sound sleep tonight with a win, and not even have to think too much about how disappointed the Newcastle fans will be at not winning.
He will be able to sleep very soundly if the lads can get that win tonight, that’s for sure – same here!
Howay The Lads!!