Newcastle are 4 points above Wolves on 36 points, and the very last thing we want to happen tomorrow, is to have Wolves gain points on Newcastle.
Unfortunately, Newcastle have let two teams that were lower in the league when they played Newcastle, gain all 3 points, and that’s a recipe for disaster. But that’s what has happened in the last two games against Everton at home, and at Stoke City.
Newcastle played only two games in March, and while one would have though that would have allowed any injuries to clear up, almost the opposite has happened.
Len Best and Stephen Ireland picked up injuries in training, although Stephen is expected to be fit for tomorrow’s game, and that would be his debut after being on Tyneside over two months.
In addition to injuries to Best, Ben Arfa, Gosling, Smith and Enrique (we’ll assume he’s out tomorrow), both Tiote and Ryan Taylor are suspended for this game, which is almost a must-win game for the Magpies against a side third bottom of the league.
If Newcastle cannot beat Wolves, who have only two wins and two draws in their 15 games on the road this season in the league, then a good question is – who can we beat?
Wolves have conceded 27 goals in their 15 away games, so we are hoping that Newcastle will be able to score a few goals tomorrow, even though the in-form Leon Best is out with his injured ankle.
It’s expected that Danny Guthrie will come in to replace Cheick Tiote in defensive midfield, and we would expect Alan Pardew to play in a 4-4-2 formation with possibly this side:
Simpson Coloccini Williamson Ferguson
Barton Guthrie Nolan (c) Gutierrez
Subs: Krul Campbell Taylor (S) Ireland Perch Ranger Kuqi
James Perch is available for this game, and will miss the next game at Villa Park with his one game suspension, for receiving a red card while playing for the Newcastle Reserves last week.
And this is also Ryan Taylor’s third and final game he will miss, for his sending off against Bolton Wanderers almost five weeks ago, and Ryan will be available for the next game at Villa Park a week tomorrow.
There are a few keys to the game but one important one is that Newcastle do not give up soft goals, as they did against Stoke, where at least three of the goals were due to some diabolical defending from the Newcastle side.
A second key factor tomorrow is if Newcastle can score the goals in Leon Bests’ forced absence, and we expect both Peter Lovenkrands and Shola Ameobi to step up to the plate.
Both players are experienced, and will know a lot will depend on their performances in front of goal tomorrow, but in the past both players have proved they can knock that ball into the back of the net.
Nobody has to tell Alan Pardew or his players that tomorrow is an important game, and we expect to see the lads come out of their starting blocks like the proverbial steam train at 3:00 pm tomorrow afternoon.
A win tomorrow would be absolutely great, and will calm the nerves of Newcastle supporters everywhere – and that’s what we are hoping for tomorrow – and of course it’s important to stay positive as much as possible.
And after just two games in 5 weeks or so, tomorrow kicks off the last 7 weeks of the season, in which Newcastle have 8 games to play, and the Magpies complete the season with a home game against WBA seven weeks come Sunday.
We have to hope we are safe by that time, otherwise the finger nails will be rather short.
What team would you start tomorrow?
Comments always welcome.