Cheick Tiote was said yesterday to be only 50-50 for the game tomorrow against West Brom at The Hawthorns.
Cheick Tiote – has just failed a fitness test
That’s what Alan said in his press conference yesterday, and he has come out today and said he will not risk the Ivorian, if he’s not fully fit:
“I won’t risk him, 100%, no way will I risk him.” “He is as important a player as we have here.”
“I have made that very, very clear in my team selection.”
And the Daily Mail is reporting that Cheick Tiote has just failed a fitness test today, and will not play tomorrow, so it looks like it’s the second game in a row without the Ivory Coast International in the starting eleven.
With Danny Guthrie just chomping at the bit for a start we wouldn’t be surprised if Danny gets another start tomorrow, but where he would play we don’t know.
Newcastle started last week with James Perch and Danny Guthrie in central midfield, and Yohan Cabaye out on the left wing with Jonas Gutierrez at left back, but we’d be surprised if that’s the team tomorrow.
It seems that James Perch will keep his defensive midfield position, but who gets the other spot in the middle of the park we don’t know, although Pardew will hardly start Cabaye on the bench?
And we know that Demba Ba has not scored in his last three games, but it seems that Alan Pardew is not too concerned about that.
After all Demba Ba went a good number of games early in the season, before he netted his first goals for Newcastle, a hat trick against Blackburn Rovers at St. James’ Park on September 24th.
And Ba now has scored 16 goals in the PL, and is in 4th position in the goal-scoring charts behind only Robin van Persie (26), Wayne Rooney (20) and Sergio Aguero (17).
Alan Pardew has pointed out that Ba in his career has scored regularly, and doesn’t have too many of those barren spells:
“If you look at the history of Demba, he does not get streaky periods. He’s consistently knocking on the door.”
“We’re only talking four or five games with him and, don’t forget, he missed a penalty two games ago. He will score before too long, for sure.”
So - given what Alan has said above, we suppose we could say our Senegal striker is not a streaker?
We are expecting a goal from Demba tomorrow, and how Newcastle do could well depend again on what kind of game James Perch has – if he starts in defensive midfield which now seems likely.
James had had a number of good games for Newcastle this year already, and long may that continue.