Arsenal vs Newcastle – Match Preview


Newcastle have an opportunity tonight to show just how could a team we have this season.

Newcastle have not played particularly well over the last three games but a very encouraging sign was the second half display against local rivals Sunderland, where they looked a very good team.

And we were even just a little unlucky not to be able to get the two goals to win the game.

Newcastle’s defense must tighten up if we are going to hold our high position in the league, and we are 5 full points clear of 7th placed Liverpool,  and a place in the Europa League looks a definite possibility.

Mike Williamson has taken some criticism lately,  but Mike is a strong character and we know this lad can play solidly at the back, and we have to hope the back five are in good form tonight,  against a side who are scoring goals for fun again.

Arsenal have scored 12 goals in their last two home league games against Blackburn and Tottenham

Of course we are not even sure what the back four will be tonight, and as we mentioned earlier today,  Alan Pardew has some decisions to make as to who he starts tonight.

Ben Arfa looked great in the second half against Sunderland, and he changed the game in Newcastle’s favor to his enormous credit.

To accommodate the mercurial Frenchman,  Pardew switched Ryan Taylor to left back in place of Davide Santon.

And we think Ryan will be in the starting eleven somewhere tonight, because he takes the corners and is good on free kicks – Ryan has become an important player for Newcastle this season.

We think ben Arfa will start, so here is the team we think Alan Pardew will start tonight:

Krul
Simpson Coloccini (c) Williamson Taylor (R)
Ben Arfa Cabaye Tiote Gutierrez
Be Cisse
Subs: Elliot Santon Perch Ferguson Guthrie Obertan Ameobi (Sh)

Davide Santon will be unlucky if he is dropped for tonight’s game, and certainly my son Neil yesterday said it would be daft to leave him out when I mentioned Taylor could start at left back.

There are several keys to the game tonight:

  • Newcastle’s defense don’t give any silly goals away like they did against Sunderland – they must be tonight and not make daft mistakes
  • Cabaye and Tiote are back at or near their best to battle out the midfield with Arsenal’s top players
  • Ba and Cisse take any chances that come their way – even half chances

It’s a big test for Newcastle tonight, and if the lads can play well that’s the main thing,  and we can always hammer Norwich City at St. James’ Park on Sunday, whatever the result tonight. 😀

A draw would be a good result for the lads, and a win would be simply unbelievable.

Let us know what your team would be tonight.

Howay The Lads!!



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171 comments so far

  • Eastander

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #1

    That Be is a hell of a player!

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  • Pardew's fist pump

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #2

    2-2 – Shola off the bench for the equaliser – heard it here first.

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  • Dannyo

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #3

    I can’t see Santon being dropped, Arsenal has too much pace on their wings for that, Santon is quick enough to deal with it, Raylor would be a wasted sub in this game. And he do belive he’s injured.

    If we go with a 4-4-2 tonight i’ll be frustrated, has to be 4-5-1, win the battle in the middle.

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  • Pardew's fist pump

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #4

    To begin:

    ____________Krul____________
    Simpson__Willo__Colo__Santon
    ____________Tiote
    Ben Arfa__Cabaye-Guthrie__Jonas
    ____________Ba

    Think that core trio of Tiote, Cabaye and Guthrie would take the game by the scruff of the neck.

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  • pbNcl

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #5

    Krul
    Raylor…willo…capt cool….santon
    obers…cabs…TANK…gutti
    Hba
    Ba

    That would be my team, it’ll prob look nowt like that tho, I can’t get into pardys head and work him out! Like I says earlier post, I think the pressure will falter arsenal and I think we can beat them 2 nil. Like somebody already said, we’ve kept rooney quiet so I’m sure we can keep the rvp quiet. Toon toon

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  • eaststandgeordie1982

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #6

    At 4 that would be my team i had a different one earlier i think tiote and cabaye will stay deep let guthrie spread it about

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  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #7

    Win the middle, stop Song, Rosicky from supplying RVP, however Arteta and Ramsey are fit and could play some part in the game which is worrying as both are tremendous passers and would more than be able to put the ball on the end of RVP’s boot, although Song is a great long passer of the ball if he is given time, something that would be in short supply IF we bossed the middle with three CM’s/2 CMs and 1 DM.

    There are a few ways of looking at it but rest assured if we line up 4-4-2 against Arsenal’s midfield we will be destroyed.

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  • northernrockstar

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #8

    i see this game being a draw, Arsenal to score first but once we wake up i think we will get a goal or two. prediction 2-2 hope to see HBA not just play but show the desire like he did against sunderland and that Williamson isn’t stupid in the box..

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  • pbNcl

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #9

    Ever since guthrie came on for the last quater or whatever at wolves, and didn’t put a single pass right I woudlnt play him. If he can’t help us beat wolves I wouldn’t depend on him to get a result against the capital’s form team. I know cabaye been off the boil lately, but when on all cylinder’s he’s a crackin player

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  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #10

    When Guthrie is on all cylinders he’s a cracking player too, swings and roundabouts pbNc1.

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  • Nick Sly

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #11

    -Ryan Taylor posted on his Twitter this morning that he was injured.

    It has since been taken down, as I’m sure he got a mouthful from the club for giving away information ahead of time, that could benefit our opponents.

    I hope its not serious but I’m glad because I would’ve started HBA and Santon ahead of him.

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  • Robby Bobson

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #12

    Arsenal away, I think we need to match them up.

    We dont really have the players anymore to go out and bully them, but in guthrie, cabaye and tiote, thats a trio who can get a hold of large periods of the game.

    Add to that Jonas’s hardwork on the left, Ben Arfas unpredictability on the left and Ba’s power, could give them a good go.

    Harsh on Cisse, but hes not a player that can lead the line n his own,

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  • Toon Tang

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #13

    have we played guthers, cabs and tiote in mid together before??

    i reckon it would work well tonight but i dont think pards will go with it. really dont want to see another spuds/fulham fiasco.

    need to lock down that mid like.

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  • Dannyo

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #14

    @WWJBD (from last thread)
    I too feel that it’s now or never for HBA, if he doesn’t get a run of games now, i can see him move on.
    And that would be an awful thing, cause he is and will be an amazing player for anyone.
    So bring HBA on tonight, we’ll need that extra creativity against an in form Arsenal.

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  • pbNcl

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #15

    This is true Ruddy,
    And I really want guthrie to stay with us as he has been somewhat sensational of late. Just that performance at wolves was an absolute shocker. I’m not so sure that cabs and guthrie would play well together with tiote, this may be why vuckic appears to be in contention. Whatever team king alan plays, I believe we can win this one! Where’s them 3mackems who were all in bed together with mum’s laptop earlier? I always miss the buggers they (or he) cracks me up with the offal they spout

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  • VanToonMan

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #16

    Given the fact that we need to keep a lot of the ball tonight and if we try and sit deep we will get picked off, this is my lineup for tonight:

    —————————————Krul———————————–

    —Simpson————–Willo————Collo———–Santon

    —————–Cabaye———–Tiote————Guthrie———

    ———–HBA——————–Cisse—————BA———–

    Obviously HBA and BA little bit further back in a 5-man midfield

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  • NUFC STEVE

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #17

    TOON TANG AND ROBBY BOBSON
    Couldn’t agree more.CAN ANYONE NAME A MIDFIELD TRIO BETTER IN THE LEAGUE THIS YEAR???(than gut cab Tiote). Only tottenham I would say.

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  • stunna

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #18

    I don’t know about RTaylor (if he’s even healthy) at LB. Think he’s been exposed by too many speedy right wings/mids. It could be by design though; let Theo blow by him and dribble over the goal line or put in a crap cross.

    If Pardew goes with a 4-4-2, anyone want Shola to get the start over Cisse? I think the formation has worked better with a hold-up man.

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  • Londtoon

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #19

    For me it would have to be a 4-5-1 or at the very very least a longball 4-4-2 like we played at Man Utd possibly with Shola and Ba or have Ba as the flick on with Cisse’s pace as the follow up.

    Preferably a 4-5-1 to try control the middle, tempo and most importantly the game.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Obertan on the wing tonight just to get us out of the danger area like he has done so many times in the past to get us off the back foot.

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  • WWJBD

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #20

    Arsenal are very prone to buckling under pressure and their defence fall apart if attacked on both flanks as they can’t organise to save their lives.

    Midfield if they aren’t pressed are deadily but we have the hardest working CM partnership in the league and hopefully another body in there.

    RVP and their wingers will put us to the sword though

    Don’t expect much out of tonight if am honest

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  • Pardew's fist pump

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #21

    Think they’ll go with this:

    __________Sczesney__________
    Sagna-koscielny__Vermaelan-Gibbs
    _______Arteta___Song
    Walcott____Rosicky____Gervinho
    __________RVP

    HBA could well exploit the space left by Gibbs, as he likes to bomb on, and with a 5 man midfield HBA won’t have to track deep into our own half – I hope.

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  • NUFC STEVE

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #22

    (4-5-1)
    Krul
    Simmo-willo-collo-santon
    Guthrie-Tiote-cab
    Arfa. Guti
    BA
    Bring cisse and obertan with 15 to go….

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  • Dannyo

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #23

    We have accepted the misconduct charge.
    Why on earth would we do that? Is it due to the ammount of yellows?
    I don’t get it.
    FA knows FA.

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  • WWJBD

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #24

    Dannyo
    Have to say i don’t agree that its now or never for HBA and I don’t expect him to leave this summer

    Have the feeling he will start RW in a modified 442 with Ba sitting a lot deeper and Cisse a head of him

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  • Charlietoon

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #25

    It all depends which Arsenal turn up. The patient passing team or the counter attacking team as when can stop their passing but we are terrible against a swift counter.

    I can see Simpson starting with Raylor on the left and if either one of them is getting outplayed you might see Santon come on…hopefully for Simo as when Raylor has a good game he is hard to play against.

    One thing is that if Ben Arfa is playing Simo needs to stay back and be purely defensive.

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  • colwell

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #26

    Our main weakness = Team lacks pace

    Arsenals main strength = Pace to spare

    I have a very bad feeling tonight Willo being ran at by Gervinho,walcott,ox shite simmo will be left for dead loads tonight.

    If Pards trys too defend we will get hammered Arsenal are on form our defence is our weakest link by a mile so we should pack the midfield and take as much pressure off them.

    i’d play guthrie with tiote and cabaye in the middle HBA on the left Oba for his pace on the right!

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  • pbNcl

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #27

    Agree with stunna
    If pardy does go 442 I reakon shola would be more useful than cisse. Shola will bully their back 4 and his hold up play is pretty good to be fair. Bring cisse on for half an hour at the end cos he defo is an evil finisher. But… Who knows what pards will do

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  • Indian Magpie

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #28

    my wish 4 2day

    BRUTOON PLEASE COME BACK

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  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #29

    PbcN1 yeah they/he spout some awful tripe it is somewhat comical!

    Well if I had to pick one between Guthers or Harry it would have to be Guthrie, and I really REALLY hope he stays, I just get the feeling that if we let him go it could cost us because he has the potential to be a top top player.

    I think there is one thing we are all agreed on for tonight’s game, and that is 4-4-2 will simply not cut it against Arsenal.

    Look at what can happen if a team sets out in the right way, Swansea took the game to City and dominated the first 30mins of the game with slick pass and move footy that would rival some of the big money men in the league (Dalglish take note, that’s how a real manager sets up a team, unlike Kenny the chequebook warrior) and they came away with a justified victory. We have to do the same, set out for the win and although we are away from home we can do this!!

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  • pbNcl

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #30

    Checkbook warrior! Creased! 3 hours to go and I’m feelin well optimistic : D

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  • toontime

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #31

    I think (fitness dependent) that the starting line up will be:

    Krul
    Simpson Williamson Collocini Santon
    Taylor Cabaye Tiote Guthrie Gutierrez
    Ba

    Only problem I see with this starting 11 will be the lack of goals/chances in it. However, I think it would be a strong, solid team and would mean Arsenal would have to play well to beat us.

    I also believe that there could be a sending off again tonight, just don’t know which team. My betting would be either Tiote or Song. If Arsenal do have an off night or go down to 10 men, then obviously Ben Arfa or Cisse should come on.

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  • Oleg G

    Mar 12, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #32

    Can you all be quiet please? I am tried to study for my exam here!!!!

    And seriously, how they expect me to study if there is a game today? 3 hours before the game and I am already thinking only about the game for the last 4 hours. argh!!!!

    Have to do something to make this time pass faster!!! Any ideas?

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  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Mar 12, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #33

    Indian, whilst I would never advocate banning someone from a public forum, in the interests of maintaining his word he must stay away. His constant derogatory comments aimed at one of our players was, simply put, unacceptable, and he said that he would stay away if Shola ever scored again, which he preceded to do in the very next game. I think I speak for 99% of the blog by saying, whilst NUFC appreciate his support, this blog is slightly more peaceful without his presence

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  • Indian Magpie

    Mar 12, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #34

    OLEG G

    get in here and debate

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  • Marty-Toon

    Mar 12, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #35

    Sorry guys,I try to be an optimist but this tie looks like a whippin is comin our way.
    Maybe not in goals but possession.
    We have to be able to get on the ball and keep it.
    I don’t see that happenin unless we’ve got 5 in midfield.
    I would love AP to go with
    Jonas,Tiote,Cabaye,Ben Arfa and Raylor with BA ahead and the usual suspects at the back
    Can’t see us getting much with anything else

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  • Indian Magpie

    Mar 12, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #36

    well i am in 1%ers then

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  • Indian Magpie

    Mar 12, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #37

    Guys

    Is Taylor (R) injured or not

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  • sweendog

    Mar 12, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #38

    Colwell .. yep our main weakness in defense is pace .. although we have pace throughout the rest of the pitch ..
    I just hope Pardew goes 4-5-1 ..and I’m hoping for a 0-0 at half time then arfa to come on around 66mins and win the game for us ..

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  • sweendog

    Mar 12, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #39

    Indian .. he’s injured

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  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Mar 12, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #40

    I have no doubt you are. But you would struggle to find many other regular posters who would be glad to have him back constantly giving out about Shola again.

    I would love to see him back again if he brought intelligent discussion and well reasoned comments to the blog. But if his remit is to slag off our players then I, personally, wouldn’t want to see him here again.

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