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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Newcastle vs Liverpool – Match Preview

8:07 pm, Saturday, March 31st, 2012 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 77 Comments

Newcastle have a chance to get their third win in a row, for only the second time this season in the league, and of course it’s against Liverpool at St. James’ Park tomorrow afternoon.

The first time was in October/ November when we beat Wigan 1-0 at home, Stoke 3-1 away and then Everton 2-1 at home.

With Chelsea deservedly beating Aston Villa 4-2 at Villa Park today,  and former Liverpool striker Torres finally scoring his first league goal for a long long time, Chelsea are again 3 points ahead of Newcastle on 53 points, but Arsenal were surprisingly beaten 2-1 at QPR, and are still 8 points ahead of Newcastle.

Indeed Wigan, Bolton and QPR all won today, so Aston Villa are now just 5 points above the drop zone, and it looks like Wolves may  a lost cause a full 6 points behind second bottom placed Wigan.

Alex McLeish couldn’t take a Birmingham-based side down for the second season running – could he?

A Newcastle win tomorrow can bring us level again with Chelsea,  and just 5 points behind Arsenal, but the main thing with the win, is Newcastle will be a full 8 points ahead of Liverpool.

Liverpool are currently in 8th place in the league table,  after Everton’s 2-0 win at home to West Brom today  put them on 43 points, one point ahead of their Merseyside neighbors.

There is every reason for Liverpool to try to get the win tomorrow, not least because they  have lost to two bottom three sides in their last two games, and no doubt will be going all out to win this game.

But Newcastle are in good form and have recovered well from their heart-breaking defeat at Arsenal almost three weeks ago.

The lads have come back to beat Norwich 1-0 and West Brom  3-1 on successive Sundays, when the game at The Hawthorns was virtually over at half time after Newcastle had ripped West Brom apart with Cisse getting two goals, and the great Ben Arfa getting a goal and two assist, all in the first 45 minutes.

If Newcastle can start off this game in the same way as last week,  we should have a good chance of all 3 points, but Newcastle really secured the win with a solid second half defensive performance, apart from a misunderstanding between Krul and Williamson for West Brom’s only goal.

One negative out of the game last Sunday was that Newcastle have lost Coloccini for a couple of games, but we have every confidence in James Perch, who will play alongside Williamson in this important game tomorrow.

James had a very good game last Sunday, when he played at left back in the first half and center-back for Colo in the second half, and it’s players like James who are the unsung heroes at Newcastle this season.

This is another huge opportunity for James to prove he has a future on Tyneside, even if it is only as a good squad player.

Two players who are back for Newcastle tomorrow are Cheick Tiote and Ryan Taylor, who have both recovered from their injuries,  which kept Cheick out for two games and Ryan out for three games.

Cheick will start tomorrow, and that’s directly from manager Alan Pardew in his press conference yesterday, and he also had this to say yesterday about Cheick, on his first day back in full training:

“He is the lion of our team and like any lion who has been down in the dumps he came back this morning and let everyone know he’s back, let out a few roars, had a couple of scuffles.”

“We are better for it. Not everyone was pleased to see him back but as the coaching staff, we smiled, and he managed not to kill anyone so we are ok.”

West Brom beat us at Newcastle last year at St. James’ Park in the game just before Christmas, and we got revenge for that one last weekend, and Liverpool beat Newcastle at Anfield on December 30th with a 3-1 victory, and we have a chance to avenge that defeat tomorrow.

But in the 11 league games since that game, Liverpool have only two wins and two draws,  and one of the wins was a gift from Everton who fielded six reserves in their league game in mid-week.

That’s because they were holding players back for the game the following weekend, against Sunderland in the FA Cup, which they got through last week,  and they will now play Liverpool in the semi-finals at Wembley.

Liverpool’s form has been horrendous this year, and we hope it doesn’t improve too much tomorrow. 😀

Ryan Taylor is also back but now sure whether he will start, but he could come in at left-back where he played earlier in the year, and we half expect Liverpool to try to attack Newcastle down the wings tomorrow.

It could be that 21 year-old Italian International Davide Stanton comes in at left back,  and maybe plays for one half, but we really expect Ryan to start.

So this is the side we would expect tomorrow:

Simpson Perch Williamson Taylor (R)
Ben Arfa Cabaye Tiote Gutierrez (C)
Ba Cisse
Subs: Elliot Santon Ferguson Vuckic Guthrie Gosling Ameobi (Sh)

We are assuming that Gabby Obertan is injured.

The keys to the game for Newcastle are as follows:

  • Ben Arfa can show the same majestic form as last week,  and he can interact with Demba Ba and Cisse up front with the slick passing we saw at West Brom
  • Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse can take their chances – even half chances – as they usually do
  • Mike Williamson and James Perch can form a solid partnership in the middle at the back, and the back five have a good game

Every one of our eight remaining games are important,  and we need to get as many wins as possible,  in an effort to qualify for the Europa League, and of course our home games become very important.

This is a game we can win, in front of a sold-out St. James’ Park, and that’s what we’ll be looking for tomorrow, but we expect Liverpool to be in much better form than in their last couple of league games.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Match Preview · Newcastle News

77 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tsunki // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    and so it begins keep an eye out later for billy bob ted etc and avoid!

  • 2 Tsunki // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    don’t you think AP will drop one of the dembas so he can pack that midfield?

  • 3 geordiejamie89 // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    I think the points tallys on that page were a bit off.

  • 4 geordiejamie89 // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    said if we win we’ll be 8 ahead of liverpool. We already are, we’d be 11 points clear of liverpool.

  • 5 stevetoon85 // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Really looking forward to tomorrows game. Liverpool in poor form but somehow allways seem to pull out a good performance agains’t us!!! Cabaye would be my choice as captain though in Colo’s absence…

  • 6 magpie6699 // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    The draw keeps us 8 points ahead of Liverpool and Everton and 10 points ahead of Blunderland – I’d be happy with that with just 7 games to go.

  • 7 HOVIS (the poster formerly known as cheick norris) // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    i think my only two worries are gerrard and suarez. other than that i think their squad i pretty poor. oh and kuyt.

  • 8 toonking // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    well less than 12 hours (this excludes sleeping hours) until kick-off. so ted indian beattie etc you don’t have much time left to come up with a differant excuse to the perch willo and co if we loose tomorrow because this team is the strongest team we could go with and if you think santon would be better LB wrong i think he’d go forward too much where as raylor would stay back which we need when perch and willo is all we have available as cb, REMEMBER BEATTIE AVAILABLE.

  • 9 geordiejamie89 // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Qualifying for Europa League is a must, gives us the chamce to get hold of some quality players at the end of the season. Then we can have a crack at a Champions League spot next season and get hold of more better players. I hope the season finishes on a high for us Toon fans, we deserve it. I don’t think there’s a bigger club to go so long without success. It would be nice to get some silver next season, maybe a Carling cup win or something?

  • 10 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Obertan injured I thought he was recovering from that head reshapement surgery,apparently all his confidence issues we’re down to his ridiculously shaped cranium.

  • 11 Tsunki // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    cheick – suarez, gerrard and kuyt are my two worries. And Bellamy if he gets a game. And Enrique if he decides to play a blinder. Yes, those are definitely my only two worries, The other two are crap. 🙂

  • 12 Tsunki // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    tonking – I wished I’d remembered Beattie25 WAS available when he changed his name to HWRA. He would have really struggled with that head-exploder ha ha

  • 13 Dannyo // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    A good Tiote could make all the difference tomorrow, we’ll need a MOTM performance from him.

  • 14 geordiejamie89 // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Could be one of the matches of the season tomorrow, not just for fans but for neutrals. I hope Hatem and the Demba’s have a good game tomorrow. They could put us up level with Chelsea again, and put pressure on Tottenham.

  • 15 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    It generally is one of the matches of the season when I should have gone but couldn’t for whatever reason.

  • 16 woodsee // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    My take on tomorrow,Carroll and Enrique will get it both barrels from the crowd ,and i think Carroll especially will be horrified at the hostility toward him.
    It still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth that a geordie spurned the number 9 shirt after 5 minutes for greed,and for that reason i will be singing along with the hate mob.
    Having said that,i think Carroll will score tomorrow as i cringe at the thought of Williamson marking him, and the result,2s each

  • 17 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Tbh Europe would be nice but my biggest hope us that we finish above the mackems and Liverpool,Everton not making the final would be an added bonus.

  • 18 Dannyo // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    That’s me every year usually mate 😛

    In other news, Sodeberg has signed for Molde, last years norwegian champions, managed by Solskjær.
    Will be interesting to see what’s in store for him.

  • 19 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Is Solksjaer a bit of a legend in Norway Danyo ?

  • 20 davybtoon // Mar 31, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Don’t agree Europe is a must, finishing 6th is a must if Liverpool get to final we will get Europe but until them we jus try n match pace with Chelsea n it’s in our own hands, if we don’t get been a great season still

  • 21 Dannyo // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    He’s THE norwegian legend mate.
    The man scored the winner in the CL final for Man Utd.
    Doesn’t get bigger than that.
    And in his first season as a manager he took a mediocre team and won the league with them.
    He’s a born winner.

  • 22 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    I don’t think its a must either,and is it such a big draw for players having to play thursday nights against lets face it some pretty sh*te opposition in the beginning,and them Sunday games must wreak havoc with their social lives.

  • 23 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Next Man U manager then ?

  • 24 check the toastie // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Will not be giving Carroll any grief 2moro, however Enrique deserves peltors, wont hear me from the gallowgate though, hope the east stand and milburn terrace get into jis bones though, dont think Carroll will play, hasnt in weeks, personally if he does liverpool are a more dangerous side for sure, proven by stats this season.

  • 25 geordiejamie89 // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    That’s very true. In the games where Caroll has played they’ve picked up loads of points. But in the games where he hasn’t they’ve dropped nearly all of them. Regardless of stats the players must be up for the occasion, knowing it’s a big game. Praying for a good game tomorrow, although i’d happily settle for a poor game but a sneaky 1-0 win.

  • 26 Dannyo // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Hehe, ofc, being the legend that he is here, there’s no doubt about it 😉
    And i think Man Utd fans would rather have him than Roy Keane, lol.

  • 27 Mo Drysdale // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Team. Attack



    ———–Guthrie————-Tiote————Cabaye (C)——–

    ——Ben Arfa————————————————Ba——

    Subs: Elliot Raylor Simpson Ferguson Vuckic Gosling Ameobi

  • 28 Tooooon // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Anyone know whats happened to Obertan?

  • 29 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    I think we’ll have to wait till pre season until we see any formations like that I think he’ll go with what’s been a success already.

  • 30 MagpiesFlyHigh // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    The way it’s going that last match at Everton might be for the Europa spot …

  • 31 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Extensive head reshapement surgery it was the longest operation in the history of medicine.

  • 32 woodsee // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Check,why wont you give carroll grief,believe me youll be sittin down quietly on your todd,pardew has said again today he asked to leave,call me an old romantic but he totally disrespected the no 9 shirt and for that he will get whats comin tomorrow

  • 33 Dannyo // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Think he must be injured mate, nowhere to be seen on the first team training pics.

  • 34 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Its funny how Pards has waited till now to reveal this information,unless AC comes out and says different you have to believe him.

  • 35 woodsee // Mar 31, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Pardew said it day after he went,and the waltzer spinner hasnt said he didnt ask to leave ,dont take to much working out

  • 36 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Tbh I can’t remember Pards saying much about it at the time.

  • 37 geordiejamie89 // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    I think all the stick fans will give Caroll, and the nerves he’s got, will probably be his best performance for some time. Hopefully not though! Hopefully the talk at the end of the match will be on the black and white shirts. Tiote back in the team! Raylor fit gives us more options, and he’ll be hoping to help with the set-pieces, Hatem on fire, Cisse settling in perfectly, and Demba overdue a goal. Howay the ******** tooon! There won’t be too many geordies not watching the match tomorrow.

  • 38 woodsee // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Andy asked to leave,day after he was sold

  • 39 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Just read an article in the Mail feb 2011 with AC saying he was gutted he wasn’t wanted and that he didn’t want to leave Llambias asked him to put on the request,so up to yourself who you believe.

  • 40 cupiddstunt // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    To those interested if you look at the contents of the posts and the narrow mind that made then I think you will find that pecorino is none other than the smelly cheese boy gorgonzola

  • 41 pardew no 1 // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    stop this andy carroll crap he doesnt even play for us no more just focus on the 3 points jesus he is born and raised in newcastle give the lad a break

  • 42 woodsee // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Article in the mail or our manager saying it i know who im believin

  • 43 HOVIS (the poster formerly known as cheick norris) // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    @42. the mail being the mail probably blame Andy Carroll.leaving on aninfluxof immigrants

  • 44 Ben-Arfa11 // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    I hate harry Redknapp so much.

    he was in an article in the sun earlier and he was at the qpr match and he was delighted they won so arsenal would lose but he was like chelsea won so its going to be tight between the 3 of us now for the champions league places.

    where is the respect for newcastle if we beat liverpool 2moro and spurs lose to swansea which is possible since swansea play possesion football and spurs are not at there best we could be just 2 points away from spurs and on level points with spurs which shows he has no respect for our club atall.

    we probably wont get a champions league places especially after colo getting injured however im sick of those clubs above us disrespecting us atleast arsene wenger atleast respects us abit and mentions us as possible candiadates unlike harry knobnapp

    and i hope newcastle fans boo the crap out of carroll 2moro i hope its a spicey affair really lucking forward to this game hope the lads are pumped up

    been a 11 points ahead of liverpool in the league is a mouthwatering prospect.

  • 45 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Why would somebody post under an equally disgusting cheese pseudonym.

  • 46 HOVIS (the poster formerly known as cheick norris) // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    obertan was missing from training because of a mix up on the shift rota at the crusty crab

  • 47 woodsee // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Hows it crap if he decides to piss off after been giving the number 9 shirt which most geordies would give there right arm for,he never gave the club a chance,oh and to a club we had just stuffed 3 1

  • 48 Tooooon // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Look at how few Sunderland fans there are at the Man City game.. if that were Newcastle the tickets would have been sold out weeks before.

  • 49 Marty-Toon // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    When’s match of the day start on firstrowsports lads?

  • 50 HOVIS (the poster formerly known as cheick norris) // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    @45 probably some connection to people calling him a bellend.

  • 51 Tooooon // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    I wish Dzeko nailed Bardsley right then.. I don’t know who I hate more Bardsley or Cattermole??

    Oooooh tough one.

  • 52 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Probably right. 😉

  • 53 gaz 44 // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    hate sunderland even more i had a 3k bet at the start of the year that the top 3 would be city. manure and arsenal in that order.. frigin city gone and blown it

  • 54 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Going to enjoy the next two goals.

  • 55 HOVIS (the poster formerly known as cheick norris) // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    on redknapp he is playing mind games by ignoring us. either that or he digest see anywhere outside of London.
    all he is is a cocky chancer who lands on his feet overtime he gets a new job because they are willing to let him spend everything

  • 56 HOVIS (the poster formerly known as cheick norris) // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    ok mistakes
    digest = doesn’t
    cocky = cockney
    overtime = everytime

  • 57 geordiejamie89 // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    I think Alan Shearer is a legend, but he’s far too nice about sunderland week in week out. STOP IT!

  • 58 ochytoon // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Anyone know if JB, GG or WWJBD still post on here?

  • 59 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Maybe he’s got a AMAB vest on
    underneath his shirt.

  • 60 geordiejamie89 // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Pleas excuse me, i don’t think shearer is a legend. He IS a legend. excuse my last.

  • 61 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Haven’t seen JB or Boater for awhile GG every now and then WW still here but looks like he’s been having a break the last couple of days.

  • 62 Tooooon // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Guys a question for you:

    Who do you dispise more out of these thugs Bardsley or Cattermole?

  • 63 ochytoon // Mar 31, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Ahh cool cheers man, haven’t been particularly active myself recently except on match days.

  • 64 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    However much MA has pi*Des me off in the past can you imagine having the Venkys’ or that Randy Learner,what was he thinking appointing the guy who has just relegated your fiercest rivals.

  • 65 geordiejamie89 // Mar 31, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    @toooon- i’d probably have to say cattermole. Because not only is he hateworthy he’s also exceptionally good. arggh!

  • 66 Tooooon // Mar 31, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    nothing on tiote mind jaime

  • 67 American Toon 13 // Mar 31, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Tiote letting out a few roars? I would take a dump in my pants. Glad to see him back, although I really like Guthrie and he always puts in a good shift. I wonder if Pardew will stick with same formation as last week or have Jonas go to LB and keep Guthrie, Tiote and Cabaye in the middle, with the three headed monster of Ba, Cisse, and Ben Arfa up front. I would be tempted to try that. If he was really sly he could move Santon over to right back, but I like Simpson too, despite all the stick he gets. He generally plays solid.

  • 68 American Toon 13 // Mar 31, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    cattermole or bardsley? haha, depends on who makes the first tackle. Can’t stand either one, although I find cattermole’s tackling humorous to a point when no one gets injured and he gets himself sent off

  • 69 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    How could he be exceptionally good if he’s playing at the stadium of sh*te every other week.

  • 70 pardew no 1 // Mar 31, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    hope we get some wigan players like moses he is great and their player like tiote diamand or something

  • 71 Pardew's fist pump // Mar 31, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Bed time thought – I haven’t yearned for a win like this, since we were in our relegation scrap.


  • 72 supatoonkid // Mar 31, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    I think Pards should stick with same the same line up that trumped WBA bar Collo of course & bring in big Cheick:

    Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Jonas;
    Guthrie, Tioté, Cabaye;
    Ben Arfa, Cissé, Ba;

    Tioté is the key tomorrow; he has to protect Perch & Williamson extremely vigilantly & keep a check on Suarez (maybe man mark him). If that happens, I think our attack should be too much for Liverfool’s pitiful, injury ravaged defence.

  • 73 Jail for Ashley // Mar 31, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    What a joker that Wigan player couldn’t score in a brothel.

  • 74 Alexx // Mar 31, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    I’m a fan who’s found themselves in Newcastle the weekend of the game. Unfortunately trying to get tickets failed as it’s a sell-out. Anyone bought tickets from people selling at the gate before? How much would they cost?

  • 75 Sav // Apr 1, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    Raylor’s stats for shots and crosses makes him far more potent as an attacking FB than Santon. That’s not to mention the free-taking and the long throws, I expect Ba will play deep and to the left when Jonas will tuck in as a midfielder, moving wide when Ba goes forward. It is fluid and ambitious but difficult to stop. Cab na Mr.T have to do a good job on the midfield and SG in particular and we should come out of it alright. A draw would be ok.

  • 76 geordiejamie89 // Apr 1, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    On transfers, who do we think will leave in the summer? I’ve got this list in my head:

    Steve Harper 30k per week
    Alan Smith 60k per week
    Lovenkrands 15k per week
    Nile Ranger
    Leon Best
    Danny Simpson (may sign new contract, if not 3 mill transfer)?

    I don’t know how much that amounts to, but I’d imagine in total there’s a good 150k per week not including Danny Simpson.

    So that taken into account, added to the transfer money received from letting some of those players go, we should be say 5 million better off from transfers, plus 150k per week better off.

    That would give Newcastle every chance to expand. Given the reward financially for finishing 6th, plus Europa League prospect, financially Newcastle should have every reason to sign some very decent players.

    Looking forward to finding out in the summer!

  • 77 geordiejamie89 // Apr 1, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Add to that list Tamas Kadar, who’s contract I also believe will run out in the summer.

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