Newcastle have made a great start to the league this season, with 7 points out of their first 3 games.
And the team are in a rather high position of 6th in the league, and will move up to at least 4th position with a win tonight, behind only the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea, probably the best three teams in England this year.
We don’t expect Newcastle to remain in such a high position in the league as the season progresses, but you never know of course, and we hope the lads can stay out of relegation trouble this season, and continue to be in the top half of the table.
The injury situation seems to be clearing up at Newcastle quickly, with Slovenian Haris Vuckic and Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa the only players not available tonight.
However, the mercurial French International should be ready to participate in the 3rd round of the Carling Cup at Nottingham Forest a week tomorrow, and that’s great news.
The other big question about the starting eleven is whether new boy Davide Santon who will wear the number 3 short, will take up his position at left back, since Pardew may not believe he’s played enough in practice with his new team mates yet.
As soon as he was signed, the 20 year0old was off to captain the Italian U21 side, and only returned to Newcastle last Thursday, but it will depend on how he’s looked in training since he returned.
But we wonder how he communicates with his team mates, since he doesn’t yet speak English.
We’ll assume he’ll not start tonight (but we hope he does), and we think this could be the side that Alan Pardew goes with tonight:
Simpson Coloccini (c) Taylor (S) Taylor (R)
Obertan Tiote Cabaye Gutierrez
Best Demba Ba
Subs: Harper Santon Perch Ferguson Ameobi (Sh) Lovenkrands Gosling
It shows how strong that bench is, when there’s no place for Sylvain Marveaux, Danny Guthrie, Alan Smith or the impressive local youngster Sammy Ameobi.
And we have to think James Perch will be on the bench as cover across the back four, and particularly at center-back, in case Steven Taylor or Coloccini are injured (heaven forbid).
The keys to the game for Newcastle are that the defense again displays good fortitude, and even though they may be under severe pressure at times, they don’t crack.
Also, we have to hope that Tim Krul keeps up his wonderful form in goal, and Tim has been simply outstanding for Newcastle this season so far, and the 23 year-old has certainly gained some points for his club.
And one question that is very topical is whether our two strikers, Leon Best and Demba Ba up front, can get the goals for the club.
We think they can, and it’s a terrific opportunity for both strikers to show what they can do for the club.
Leon Best seems to rise to the occasion when he gets his chance on Tyneside, and we are becoming big fans of the Irish striker, and think that Demba Ba just needs his first goal for the club, and then he should be okay from that point forward.
We’d also like to see Davide Santon play some part tonight, and he’s already a big favorite with the fans, and to get such a top young player at the club is a real coup for Newcastle, and will help in January and next summer to attract other good players to the club – we hope.
We’ve all been able to complain about how the Board were unsuccessful in getting a new striker in, on the last day of the transfer window, but now we have this squad until the end of the year, and they will be the ones to make Newcastle successful until January rolls around.
And of course we’ll support the lads big time , as always.
All in all, this will be a good test for the team tonight, and with good spirit and decent form, the lads should be able to get something out of the game tonight, and that will be good enough for us.
Howay The Lads!!