There’s no doubt that Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye will be big players for Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.
Yohan Cabaye – important player on Sunday
And the game will very much depend on how they can control the central midfield as Sunderland are expected to flood their midfield to hold Newcastle at bay.
Cheick hasn’t exactly had the greatest preparation this week as he has had to travel to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast.
And he played the whole game in a meaningless 0-0 draw with Equatorial Guinea, and that was after Cheick had been away for six weeks at the African Cup of Nations.
Cheick will rejoin training today at Benton, as he arrived back from the Ivory Coast yesterday, and it seems that all our players are fit and ready for Sunderland, following the International games, as Alan had this to say today:
“I don’t anticipate any problems. At the moment we are OK.”
Yohan Cabaye didn’t have a good second half last Saturday, but he did have a run-out for just over an hour on Wednesday night as France beat Germany 2-1 in Bremen.
That was Yohan’s 10th cap for France after only making his France debut a short 18 months ago, when he was a second half substitute in the friendly game against Belgium in August of 2010, under new manager Laurent Blanc.
Alan talked about signing Yohan for Newcastle last summer from French Champions Lille:
“It was a no-brainer,” “He’d won the double in France and not only that but he was the creative force. Zinedine Zidane gave a quote once when he said what made him special was that he never thought about his first touch because he knew he would control it. Cabaye is a bit like that.”
“We have got big players now. Demba Ba feels like he’s a big player, Fabricio Coloccini does, Tim Krul does. Now we are looking at the core of a team – Cheick Tioté, Cabaye, Papiss Cissé – and you are saying ‘on a given day, that team’s got a chance against anybody’.”
Both Tiote and Cabaye were a little rusty last Saturday, since they hadn’t played together for Newcastle since the Manchester United game on January 4th, so we suppose that expecting them to be straight back to their best was asking a little bit too much.
But they will hopefully be a lot better this Sunday afternoon, and the result of this game will depend a lot on just how these two central midfielders perform for Newcastle.
Howay The Lads!!
We want to pass on a message from Thomas Chan, Vice Chairman, The Hong Kong Newcastle United FC Supporters Club.
The Live match vs Mackems is being shown live from Hong Kong at Cable TV CH200/300, and there will be an official Supporters Club gathering begin at 7:30 pm (Hong Kong time) to watch the live match together with some local Toon Army at Trafalgar Bar in Wanchai.