Tomorrow afternoon at Bloomfield Road, Newcastle have a great chance to get only their second win in the last seven league games.
The solitary win in the last 6 league games is the 4-1 thrashing of Wolves at St. James’ Park, and that was a win when it really mattered, but Newcastle have also suffered three defeats and have draws at home to both Bolton and Manchester United.
So that’s just 5 points from the last 6 games, and our opponents tomorrow, Blackpool, are going through a difficult time of it, although their best player, the brilliant Scottish International, Charlie Adam, is fit to play against Newcastle tomorrow.
Adam sustained an injury in last weekend’s 3-1 loss at Bloomfield Road to Wigan, but manager Ian Holloway is pleased to welcome back his captain, and he said yesterday:
“He has not broken his foot, it was just bruising and he has trained for the last two days.” “Charlie is fine; it’s good news for everyone.”
It seems that Blackpool are almost a lost cause without their hugely influential central midfield player, but Newcastle will also be at full strength in the middle of the park tomorrow.
Mercurial captain Kevin Nolan will resume his central midfield partnership with the Ivory Coast International Cheick Tiote.
Kevin is back from a two game suspension for picking up 10 yellow cards, and Cheick returned from a similar suspension against the Red Devils on Tuesday night, and had an excellent game, as usual.
Although Kevin Nolan is back it seems that Danny Guthrie picked up an injury in training, and the news is that he could be out for the season with a foot injury, but we have no more news than that.
Central midfield will be an important battle in tomorrow’s game and if Nolan and Tiote can get a grip there, and take the initiative away form Charlie Adam, then Newcastle must have a decent chance of winning this game.
That’s especially true, since they played so well against Manchester United in holding the league leaders to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday night, in front of terrific 50,000 fans.
Newcastle have Steve Harper, Dan Gosling, Ben Arfa, Alan Smith and Danny Guthrie all injured for tomorrow’s game, and the team almost picks itself, and we expect Kevin Nolan to replace Danny Guthrie in an otherwise unchanged side from Tuesday night, as follows:
Simpson Coloccini Williamson Enrique
Barton Nolan (c) Tiote Gutierrez
Subs: Soderberg Taylor (S) Ferguson Campbell Taylor (R) Ireland Ranger
The only possible change to that starting line-up is if Alan Pardew decides to replace Lovenkrands from the start with Stephen Ireland, but we will probably see both Ireland and 20 year-old striker Nile Ranger after about 60 minutes, and depending on how the game is going.
Keys to the game are that all Newcastle players turn up for this game.
It’s easy to be inspired to play well against the likes of a Manchester United, and the lads started that game like a steam train, but it’s against the weaker sides like Blackpool, where good teams continue to win, and in that sense it will be a test of Newcastle’s professionalism.
Blackpool are like other sides lower in the league, in that they give 100% in every single game they play, and just never know when they are beaten, to their great credit.
So it’s very important Newcastle mustn’t allow themselves to be out-fought tomorrow afternoon, which happened so often in our relegation season of two years ago.
Blackpool have leaked more goals than any other team in the Premier League with 69 goals conceded in their 33 games, and even Wigan Athletic, who have scored only 32 goals, the lowest of any team in the Premier League, still managed to score 3 at Bloomfield Road, after just over an hour of that game, last weekend.
Keys for Newcastle is that the defense again gives one of its better performances of the season, and also that when the opportunities do arrive, the Newcastle players, Ameobi and Lovenkrands in particular, put the ball into the back of the net.
The Newcastle goal-scoring capabilities should be helped by the comeback of top scorer Kevin Nolan (12 goals) into the side.
Newcastle have been far too inconsistent this season, that’s been the major problem, but Newcastle also have some great results against Aston Villa (6-0), Sunderland (5-1), West Ham (5-0) Arsenal (1-0 away) and Everton (1-0 away), to show they have the makings of a very good side.
But that inconsistency has caused the lads to put in a very poor performance after a very good one, but we just cannot afford to do that tomorrow, and we need to have every single player turn up for this game tomorrow, and go all out to get 3 points.
If we can do that, Newcastle will be safe in the Premier League for this season, and the number one mission for the seaosn will have been accomplished. 😀
Howay The Lads!!