Newcastle vs Norwich – Match Preview

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.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Norwich City?

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79 comments so far

  • Dennis Twice

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #1


  • kunoglessi

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #2

    You have typed ben arfa twice, hope you mean ba up front:)

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #3

    ED How can we lose with 2 ben arfas in the pitch!!! 😉

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #4

    Not convinced about the value of that type of poll, Ed, to be honest.

    Having trouble seeing any sort of bi-partizan outcomes. Not sure Norwich are going to get their due.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #5


    Willo, Simmo, Harper and Elliot all love to lump it forward. We keep losing the ball like this. They have no confidence in their footwork and love the hit and hope idea. We seriously have to overcome this mentality and play from the back with confidence. The times we try to do this the ball is nervously played along the back four, ending with Willo hastily passing the ball back to our keeper only to kick it high and long for us to lose possession yet again. A quality defender ala Debuchy would have solved this. For this same reason I think Pardew should play Anita at RB who is much more comfortable on the ball and can find a pass.

  • Burni

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #6

    Re jp from previous thread I agree. I want to see some slick passing. I dont mind if we win sloppily but I really wanna see us playing well like we are than capable of.

  • stickyjokes

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #7

    I’d rather see Perch in CM, and Anita in RB. That change against Everton was a big part of us turning that game around. Always liked Perch better i midfield than on RB.

  • Ed Harrison

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #8

    I know Ben Arfa is good – but I’ve been told I cannot have two of them in the team – I meant Demba Ba up front. 😀

  • HamarMagpie

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #9

    Your starting 11 looks likely, apart from the slip up with Ben Arfa x2 instead of Demba Ba. But Marveaux will be on the bench (if not nackered) instead of Gosling or Sammy.

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #10

    Yeah, but a back four including, Colo, Anita, and Santon would play it out from the back. I also believe Good is very comfortable on the ball. Don’t want to see Stevie Taylor fannying about at the back by any means, although always happy to see him picked.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #11

    Burni – Hopefully now we start to play like we did last season. I just think back to games like Swansea, Man U and Chelsea where we dominated them last season and they could not handle our passing and ferocious pressing. We had more creativity and fluidity to our passing and most was along the ground towards the end of the season. Willo and the ones I mentioned above are the usual suspects of the long ball. This is something we should eradicate from our game and I bet Pardew has the team improving on our woeful set-plays this season too as that also needs major improvement.

    Today’s game should be a win for us but we cannot be complacent and must remain focused if we want to win, and win well.

    I think we’ll win it with a hint of luck but we will play better than last week, I have a good feeling.

  • stephen1971

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #12

    to be honest i,d play bigi ahead of perch in the holding role and stick anita at rb, like said we need defenders that can be comfortable on the ball and play it out

  • Super Magpie

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #13

    Wow, it’s a long time since I saw Ed post.
    Hope all is well Ed and keep up the great work on running the blog.

    Since Pardew has said both Ba and Cisse will start, then it will probably be 4-4-2. Although a lot of you are now suggesting a 4-3-1-2.
    It looks very narrow but if used correctly it can work. I don’t think we’ll play that though.

    We need to attack from Kick off. We can’t let them settle like we let Aston Villa settle. Anything less than 3 points today and I won’t be happy.


  • MagpiesFlyHigh

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #14

    Either a real flair performance as we’re due one to build form and confidence … or more likely we’ll grind out the result. Two Benny’s would have helped 🙂

  • Super Magpie

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #15


    Our set pieces have been exactly the same as they were last season.
    Kick it back post to Willo/Saylor who knocks it back in. It doesn’t work and never has.

    Tbh, there is lots of ways to catch teams out with set pieces, because simply just hoping someone will head it doesn’t work unless you’re Stoke and we are not Stoke.

  • check the toastie

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #16

    Hope Jonas has a good game today as i am starting to think his ability to actually be an attacking threat at left midfield is in decline, play him away from home but at home currently he is struggling to supply our front 2.

  • Crawfordladd17

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #17

    –Ben Arfa—————-Cabaye——————–Jonas

    Elliot Tavenier Bigfirmana Tiote Marveaux Vuckic Sh.Ameobi

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #18

    I agree that it would be good to see Bigi on from the beginning if Tiote isn’t ready to start. Obviously you know Perch will give you a performance, but bigi may well prove to be the seamless replacement we don’t have when Tiote is often missing. Everton away was a tall order, but Norwich at home is perhaps worth the gamble.

  • Burni

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #19

    Jp, funnily enough I mentioned willos long balls during the game against maritimo. It seems to be becoming more of the norm and, hopefully, as you say, pardew has worked on this and our poor set plays.

    As the team hasn’t played brilliantly this season yet, I dont think complacency will be an issue. At least I hope so.

    I’m looking forward to today I really am

  • eaststandgeordie1982

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #20

    I would go with this

    Anita taylor willo santon
    Cabs bigi guti
    Hba cisse ba

    Or sit HBA behind the dembas

  • toonLYF

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #21

    Anita and Perch the other way round for me. Anita does everything at right back better than perch & Anita/HBA looks a scary prospect. Plus I think Perch is better in the Tiote role as shown against Everton (this will come for Anita though).

  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #22

    Super Magpie – It really is baffling as to why we can never get a player that can cross the ball well in the box. Ever since Solano and Milner left we have been dying for a good deliverer of the ball. Guti can’t and Ben Arfa tends to go infield and I prefer him to do that as that’s when he’s most dangerous. Simmo can’t and neither can Santon do it enough. We are crying out for a great crosser. I thought we had one in Cabaye until I realized the longer he stays in Newcastle the worse his crossing gets! Weird I know. Raylor is half decent but not on par with Milner and Solano. I would like to see more of Marveaux as I believe there is still hope that he is a great crosser, he just hasn’t had much of a chance to show it yet. Anita at RB and Marveaux at LB should see us create more chances from the wings and we really need this as we’re becoming way too predictable in our attacks.

    We need to pass the ball over the first man in the corner! The tactic at the far post worked great when Carroll was here but he’s not anymore so we should just concentrate on putting the ball in the danger area, the centre of the box and cause havoc there.

    We are so frustrating to watch 75% of the time, we seriously need to improve on crosses, passes and mix it up in our play. PASS AND MOVE, TRIANGLES ETC!!

  • Kyo

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #23

    Wow Ed actually posted a comment. First time seeing that lol

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #24

    If ba and cisse are to play together and ba won’t play left in a 433, then I agree we have to go 4312 and let benny have a full time free role to drift wherever he wants which is where he dragged us back in against spuds.

    Yes apart from Taylor, Anita, Colo and santon can all play it our from the back so totoally agree with JP I hope we start seeing more football and less hoofing a la southampton yesterday – great to watch

  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #25

    I was really disappointed, as most of us were, that in the summer we failed to bolster our defense. If we would have bought Mbiwa and Debuchy all this would have been sorted I feel. We would most probably be more assured at the back and controlled when playing from the back. Right now we are trying to do this with players like Willo and Simmo that are decent players but not ball players, they are no-nonsense defenders and clear danger and that’s it, there’s nothing more to their game. These days if you want to challenge the top 4 you have to have ball playing defenders that can pass accurately along the ground and move quickly. Defenders with technique like Coloccini is what we’re missing badly. Ahhhh what can we do but hope for the best and trust Pardew to somehow work it out.

  • Rotonda heights

    Sep 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #26


    couldn’t agree more.

    We are a debuchy and M’Biwa away from being the complete package.

    Simmo and willo won’t get us there sadly

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #27

    I think Pardew will pick Anita and Santon at fullback and Colo and Taylor in the middle when all are fit. I think that will be the natural back four for all the reasons you outline JP.

    I think the club know they missed out on the one or two defenders that are comfortable on the ball we need and I’m confident they will be the type of players who come through the door next, but I agree we could do with them now.

  • Nufc-83

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #28

    Jp agree with everything you say apart from marveuax lb that’s just ridiculous

  • Conaldo (The Wizard)

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #29

    I see Liverpool are 80:1 to get relegated. That’s got to be worth a cheeky quid bet?

    Also, did everyone see Jose mourinho praising Newcastle and Pardew on SSN before?

  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #30

    Thanks guys

    Nufc-83 – woops hahaha my bad I meant Marveaux at LM not LB he can’t defend the poor lad lol I really think he is a talent going forward and I loved it when we nicked him off under Livefool’s nose. He can make things happen and as much as I appreciate Gutierrez’s hard work and graft we should use him more in games against good passing teams like Man U, City etc to break up their play and win the ball back via fouls. And play more direct with Marveaux on LM to supply good balls and create space.

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #31

    I’ve for quite some time felt that Mourinho might one day manage the Toon. It’s not the first time he’s spoken well of us and ofcourse there’s the Sir Bobby connection. He’ll know all about the magic of Newcastle. Wouldn’t we be just the challenge a football man like Mourinho, might want to take on at some stage.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #32

    jawballsaswallwell – Mourinho has too much of an ego to manage us. He would no way get along with the tight Ashley. Though Mourinho is easier to swallow due to his praise for Pardew and us I still dislike the man. He’s extremely arrogant and over confident and has the best part of success thanks to the great budget he’s always had to spend on players. Apart from maybe his days at Porto he always managed a club that was already established and supplied him with loads of money to make them better. Thanks but o thanks I would much rather have Pardew and Carr to guide this team to success. Slowly but surely.

  • ToonAndy

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #33

    Just been informed that this will be the team today boys…






    Looking good!

  • JDdubai

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #34

    Pardew needs to make sure we are at it from the 1st minute today, so far this season EVERY match we have been shocking in the first half and only in certain games did we improve to sneak something in the 2nd.

    Performances have been poor overall, time to get the team playing well Pards please, we’re nearly in October.

  • ToonAndy

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #35

    Sorry put perch there instead of TIOTE…. Tiotes on the bench

  • t00ntime

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #36

    @toonandy if we play that team and that formation i will fly to england and kiss you!

    Well thinking about it… I dont have enough cash for that :S

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #37

    Ofcourse that’s the argument now JP. I understand that. I’m thinking somewhere down the track. The Newcastle story is certainly a purist footballing one and someone will be at the helm when we fulfill our ambitions, but hey it could well be Pards, I hope so. But people mellow with age and seek different challenges. I think it’s on the cards.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #38

    That’s a strong team. Our weak links are obviously Willo and Perch but hopefully they have a solid game. What is the most important thing is we keep the ball and play it wisely. We should make the most of our possession and create lots of chances that Norwich won’t be able to handle. We have too much quality in this first 11 to come up short against Norwich, come on lads LET’S WIN THIS!

  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #39

    jawballsaswallwell – Yeah it could be on the cards but I think I would still be uneasy to see him as our manager. Mourinho loves to make the headlines and I just see us referring back to the bad headline days when this was a circus. He does know how to handle big personalities though and big squads and maybe if/when we get there we will have a much larger squad with big players. But do can you honestly believe that Mourinho and Ashley will got along well together? I don’t and if they did then it would be interesting, but right now long live Pardew, I just hope Ashley backs him up that little bit more in the transfer market then I’d be really happy.

  • Slank

    Sep 23, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #40

    Burni @ 19

    ‘willos long balls….becoming the norm…..pardew has worked on this..’

    Yes, I think Pardew has sussed it on the basis of the lesser of the two evils. Better for Willo to hoof it than any attempt by him at passing the ball and worse any attempt at bringing the ball out of defence!!


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