Tomorrow’s game at Norwich gives Newcastle United a chance to get back to their winning ways.
But they will have to do that without top center-back Steven Taylor, who was injured in the game against Chelsea last Saturday afternoon, and is now out for the season after undergoing surgery on his Achilles last Monday.
And just to add to Newcastle’s woes, captain Fab Coloccini had already left the game in the first half with a thigh strain, and he is listed as doubtful the for the game tomorrow.
And we thought he was out for a couple of weeks at least, but yesterday, the Newcastle manager gave the Argentine International a 50-50 chance of playing tomorrow, but in fact the odds could be even better than that.
James Perch will definitely comes in for Steven Taylor, and gets his chance with his first Premier League start this season.
But if Coloccini is not available, then who comes in for him is a good question, and you can take your choice between Tamas Kadar and Davide Santon, although Pardew may move Danny Simpson over to center-back and bring in the 20 year-old Italian International at right back.
Newcastle’s last win was at home to Everton back on 5th November, and at that time the lads were in 3rd place in the league, but with just one point out of their last three very tough games, Newcastle are now in 6th position in the league but still have a good 26 points from their first 14 games.
Unfortunately, as well as Coloccini being a doubt tomorrow,. Danny Guthrie is out for up to six weeks with a groin strain, and that’s a big pity, because Danny has been outstanding in the middle of the park since the Wigan game, while he has deputized for Cheick Tiote.
And the Ivory Coast International is still not available, as his knee injury is taking some time to heal, and it’s a little bit of a mystery why it’s taking so long to heal.
Newcastle’s other top center-back, Mike Williamson, is now back in training following his ankle injury he picked up back in August at Scunthorpe, but he will not play tomorrow, but could be fit for the next game at home to Swansea a week tomorrow.
Alan Pardew would love to get Newcastle back to their winning ways at Norwich, and the last time the Londoner was at Carrow Road, his Southampton team won the game 2-0.
That was back on 20th February, 2010 when the Saints and Norwich were both in League One.
Norwich are now in 11th place in the Premier League and Southampton are top of the Championship, so both teams have done very well since that time.
This is what Alan told the press yesterday about the Canaries:
“Norwich have been a surprise with the results and the fact that they have been winning games, which is very difficult to do in the Premier League as a promoted team,” said the Magpies’ manager.”
“They have done exceptionally well and the manager Paul Lambert has done an unbelievable job there.” “I came up against them at Southampton not so long ago, and know what they are about.”
“I know what it is like to go and play there. We actually won there, so we will be looking for the same result this time round.”
42 year-old Paul Lambert is a top up-and-coming manager who was a top central midfielder, and Paul has done a fabulous job for Norwich City and since joining them in August of 2009 and gained two successive promotions in his two seasons in charge.
He was manager of Colchester United at the start of the 2009-2010 season, but surprisingly joined Norwich after his team whipped Norwich 7-1 on the opening day of the season.
He has an impressive record at Norwich with 115 games played, he has won 60 drew 27 and lost 28 for a win percentage of 52.17.
The team section tomorrow will be key for Newcastle, and the result could well depend on whether Coloccini passes a late fitness test – but we’ll assume he will make it (fingers crossed), and we think this will be the side that starts tomorrow:
Simpson Coloccini (c) Perch Taylor (R)
Obertan Cabaye Gosling Gutierrez
Ba Ameobi (Sh)
Subs: Elliot Santon Kadar Abeid Lovenkrands Best Ben Arfa
We think Dan Gosling will get a chance in place of Danny Guthrie tomorrow, although Alan Pardew is also a big admirer of 19 year-old top prospect Mehdi Abeid.
Jonas Gutierrez will return for Newcastle after missing last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat against Chelsea, because he was serving a one match suspension for being sent off at Old Trafford, and he will be making a welcome return to the side.
One key to the game tomorrow will be whether Newcastle can get back to their strong and steady defense, and possibly keep a clean sheet.
But we think the result could be very dependent on whether Coloccini turns out at center-back tomorrow afternoon, but if he cannot make it we have to think that Hungarian International Tamas Kadar will come in.
Tams has always done well in his previous 18 first team appearances for the side, and he will provide some height in central defense and get a big chance to prove he can get the job done for the Magpies.
But players coming into the side have surprised us this season with their good performances, and a win tomorrow would be a terrific boost for Newcastle.
That’s what we are hoping for.
Howay The Lads!!