Apart from the game at Sunderland earlier in the season, the game at Manchester City tomorrow is the most important game Newcastle have played so far this season.
And certainly there will be a lot more outside interest in this game than the local derby with Sunderland, and there will be reports on this game around the world.
The game seems to have attracted people to an almost David vs Goliath contest, where Manchester City have spent hundreds of millions of pounds to build their team over the last three years.
On the other hand, Newcastle haven’t spend much money at all in building up their current side, and even though the Tyneside club got £35M for Andy Carroll last January, they still haven’t spent any of that.
But that has not stopped Newcastle doing some great business over the summer and bringing in some good players like Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Davide Santon, Gabriel Obertan and Sylvian Marveaux into the squad.
The other attraction to this fixture from outside parties, is that it’s between the top side in the Premier League in Man City, who are 5 points clear of Man United, and Newcastle, who have surprised everybody by going 3rd top of the league and above clubs like Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham.
Both clubs are also the only two unbeaten sides in the whole of the football league in England, so there is an awful a lot of interest in this game, for various reasons.
Mike Williamson and Sylvain Marveaux are definitely out of this game due to injury, and there are doubts about Cheick Tiote, Gabriel Obertan and Leon Best.
With Danny Guthrie having done so well in the last three games, we think Alan could give Tiote another week to recover from his injured knee, although we would expect Cheick to be on the bench.
Assuming Obertan and Best are fit we think this is the side Alan will field tomorrow:
Simpson Coloccini Taylor (S) Taylor (R)
Obertan Gughtie Cabaye Gutierrez
Subs: Elliot Santon Tiote Gosling Ameobi (Sa) Ben Arfa Ameobi (Sh)
No place on the bench there for James Perch, Alan Smith or Peter Lovenkrands.
Newcastle must start this game well, and if they don’t then they could be behind sooner than they would have liked, so it’s very important to try to keep a clean sheet for as long as possible in tomorrow’s game.
The Newcastle defense has been a class act of the side this season, and they will be sorely tested tomorrow by the high priced Man City forwards.
The longer Newcastle can stop Man City from scoring the better chance our lads will have of getting a result at the Etihad Stadium, in a game that is being televised live around the world.
And as we’ve seen before this season, Newcastle will not park the bus in front of their penalty area tomorrow afternoon either, as some previous Newcastle managers – who shall remain nameless – would have done.
Alan Pardew will likely play both Best and Ba up front in a 4-4-2 formation, with Ba lying deeper than Leon, and always try to quickly counter-attack City at every opportunity.
Newcastle will need a little bit of luck tomorrow, if they are going to get anything at all out of this game, and there will also need to be some top performances from some of our players.
And Alan Pardew has rightly challenged the Newcastle players to go unbeaten tomorrow, and become the first Newcastle side ever, to go 12 games unbeaten in a league season in England’s top division.
But we cannot underestimate Man City, who are quite literally the best team money can buy, and heaven knows their owners have spent enough money on players over the last three years, since they bought the club back in August of 2008.
It’s almost obscene the money they have spent, and it doesn’t look any better today when the Manchester club have announced the biggest loss in English football history, they lost £197M for the most recent financial year.
As I said earlier it’s all a little obscene to us, and the sooner the Financial Fair Play Rules are brought in and fully implemented by UEFA the better it will be for football.
And we have to hope that the new rules have some impact against this kind of completely out of control spending by some big clubs in England.
Newcastle have a chance tomorrow to make history, and if they win then the news will be heard around the world, such is the interest in tomorrow’s game.
Newcastle have proved miracles are possible, by the way they came back from 4-0 down after just 26 minutes against Arsenal, back in February at St. James’ Park, and then scored four goals in the last 26 minutes of the game to draw that game.
That result heralded positive news for Newcastle United around the world.
Newcastle could have a second miracle in this calendar year, if they can somehow beat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow afternoon, and show that it takes more than money to build a top side.
We have to hope they can do that, but a draw also would be an excellent result for the Magpies.
Howay The Lads!!