The bottom line for today’s game against Norwich City is that we need all 3 points, and that will give us 8 points from our first five league games, and while that isn’t too great, we’ve also not been playing anywhere near out best form so far this season.
Alan Pardew didn’t bother taking Yohan Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Jonas Gutierrez, Demba Ba or the sick Papiss Cisse to Madeira for our Europa League game on Thursday, but it looks like all five will be in the starting line-up today.
And Vurnon Anita, who is now the proud father of a baby girl, was given compassionate leave by the Newcastle club, as his girlfriend went in to labor with their child, and Vurnon is also like to be in the starting line-up this afternoon.
Alan Pardew has said that both Senegal strikers will start today, although the fit again Cheick Tiote will probably see himself on the bench at the start of this game.
Rob Elliot did himself a lot of good on Thursday night with a wonderful display of goalkeeping for Newcastle, but we still think Steve Harper will keep his place in the side, in the absence of the injured number one – Tim Krul.
So this is what the squad could be the 18 man squad for the game this afternoon:
Perch, Taylor(S), Williamson, Santon
Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Anita, Gutierrez (c)
Demba Ba, Cisse
Subs: Elliot, Bigirimana, Tiote, Gosling, Ameobi (Sh), Obertan, Ameobi (Sa)
Some statistics to have a look at – Sunday’s meeting is the 49th game between the two clubs, and it’s the 47th one in the league, and Newcastle have won 20 and drawn 13 of those game – and lost 15.
And in the last six games in all competitions Newcastle have not shown very good form, with just one win against Atromitos at home, and four draws – so a win is due and what we need this afternoon.
The keys to the game are that Demba Ba keeps up his goal-scoring form of last Monday night at Goodison, and that Papiss Cisse can also find his touch, and maybe score his first goal for the club this season.
And surely we can get a good start to the game in the first half, after looking very poor and sluggish in the first half in our last three games against Villa, Everton and Maritimo.
Norwich have just one win in their last six games, and this is a game Newcastle should win if we are to start climbing that league table and get back into the top six as soon as possible.
We need a win and we are hoping for all 3 points.
Let is know how you think the game will go this afternoon.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org
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