Newcastle came away with all 3 points on Wednesday evening at Blackburn, and a second successive win in the Premier League tomorrow against Aston Villa would see the lads flying high.
If Newcastle can win tomorrow against a decent Aston Villa side, then Newcastle would have 42 points from 24 games and the side would remain in at least 5th position in the league.
Newcastle still have their top two central midfielders missing in Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote, who plays tonight for the Ivory Coast in the quarter finals of the African Cup of Nations against Equatorial Guinea in Malabo.
French International Yohan Cabaye will be serving the second game of his three match ban for violent conduct, he picked up after the game at Brighton, when Newcastle were knocked out of the FA Cup.
The good news is that Newcastle have their two Senegal strikers back and both Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse have been in training since Thursday, and both are set to figure in this game.
And Cisse will make his debut at some point, wearing the famous number 9 Newcastle jersey.
It’s over a year since Newcastle fans have seen the number 9 jersey, which was last worn by Andy Carroll against Liverpool in his last game for Newcastle in December of 2010.
That was Alan Pardew’s first game in charge and of course we slaughtered Liverpool 3-1, and Andy scored his last goal for Newcastle just before the end of the game, with that great left-foot shot.
Newcastle did really well on Wednesday night at Blackburn, but they sorely missed the presence of Cabaye in midfield in that first 45 minutes, and it wasn’t until James Perch came on in the second half for Ben Arfa, that Newcastle got to grips with Blackburn.
And we have t think that James will keep his place alongside Danny Guthrie in central midfield.
And Shola Ameobi was again not up to par at Ewood Park, and we expect him to give way to Demba Ba up front, but we do think that Leon Best will start the game alongside Demba Ba up front.
Hatem Ben Arfa was ineffective in the first half against Blackburn, and Alan Pardew could start Ryan Taylor out on the right wing, so this is the team we expect to start for Newcastle United tomorrow afternoon:
Simpson Coloccini Williamson Santon
Taylor (R) Perch Guthrie Gutierrez
Subs: Harper Ferguson Ben Arfa Gosling Obertan Cisse Ameobi (Sh)
Newcastle will need to play a lot better in the first half than they did on Wednesday night, if they are to win the game tomorrow.
And we have to hope that Coloccin, Krul and the lads at the back have another stalwart game, and another clean sheet would be just great.
With Demba Ba back in the side, Newcastle must stand a decent chance of coming away with all 3 points, but it will not be easy, and Newcastle will have to be on their mettle.
There’s a good chance that St. James’ Park will be completely full tomorrow afternoon, to both welcome Demba Ba back, and to see Papiss Ciisse, formerly of German club SC Freiburg, make his debut in the number 9 shirt.
And with Sunderland winning again today at Stoke by 1-0, they are now only 6 points behind Newcastle, which is another reason the lads need to pick up all 3 points tomorrow afternoon.
Sunderland were helped by the sending off of Rubert Huth just before half time, but the wintry conditions were terrible at Stoke this afternoon, but it’s worrying the Black Cats are winning so many games under Martin O’Neil.
Sunderland have won 7 of their first 10 league games under the former Aston Villa manager – that’s not good. 😀
And there was also a sending off at the Emirates, where Givet saw red after 43 minutes and Blackburn went down 7-1 to Arsenal.
At Loftus Road the home side lost to Wolves 2-1, and they also lost new boy Djibril Cissé after just 34 minutes to a red card, when they were leading 1-0, and QPR and Wolves are now level on 21 points each.
And one stat that got our attention from the Newcastle web-site today – apart from Manchester City, Newcastle have won more league games against Aston Villa than against any other club.
Tomorrow’s game is the the 153rd meeting between the two clubs, and the 146th in the league.
A win is what we want to see tomorrow, which will keep us in at least 5th place in the league, and anything less will have to go down as a disappointment.
Howay The Lads!!