Newcastle will have a number of top players missing on Sunday at Villa Park, but they can still field a strong side.
Joey Barton – will captain Newcastle on Sunday
Cheick Tiote, James Perch and captain Kevin Nolan will all miss the game because of suspension, and of course Ben Arfa, Dan Gosling, Leon Best and Alan Smith will all miss the game through injury.
Stephen Ireland is also not eligible to play against his home club, but the good news is twofold – Jose Enrique seems to be fit again after his hamstring problems to resume at left-back, back in for the impressive young Shane Ferguson, and Ryan Taylor is available after serving his three match ban for being sent of against Bolton Wanderers.
And it could be that Ryan Taylor could come straight back into the team on the right wing, with Joey Barton given a chance to prove he’s the best English midfielder, by taking over the central midfield position from fellow Liverpudlian Kevin Nolan.
Danny Guthrie will continue in Cheick Tiote’s position in defensive midfield, after putting in a solid and good display in the 4-1 trouncing of Wolves last weekend.
So it seems Alan Pardew could start the following side at Villa Park on Sunday:
Simpson Coloccini Williamson Enrique
Taylor (R) Guthrie Barton (c) Gutierrez
Joey Barton will captain the side in the absence of Kevin, and that signifies the importance of this player to the Newcastle club, although we’d be happier if he would keep most of his opinions to himself these days. 😀
But Joey has been great for Newcastle this season, just great, and he will see this as an opportunity to lead Newcastle to safety in the Premier League this season, if the lads can get all 3 points.
It will be a good test for Joey, and he will be Newcastle’s main man again, but if Joey is on song, which he has been for most of the season, then Newcastle should be able to take something out of this game.
A draw will take Newcastle to 40 points, and we’d be satisfied with that, but of course a win will propel Newcastle to safety from relegation, and we’d be ecstatic with that.