Newcastle take on Reading later today at the Madejski Stadium, and Alan Pardew and the coaching staff will be looking for their first win since being handed eight year long deals by the Newcastle owner, Mike Ashley.
And Newcastle are coming off a hard-fought win at St. James’ Park last Sunday against Chris Hughton’s well disciplined Norwich City side, and a good performance by our second team at Old Trafford on Wednesday night in a 2-1 loss, in the Capital One Cup
I watched that full game again today, and Newcastle played even better than I had first thought, and it could have gone either way, and we missed some good chances, otherwise it could have been the first victory there in 40 years – but it was not to be.
One interesting aspect of tomorrow’s game is what team will Alan Pardew put out, and with Coloccini doubtful – we’ll assume he’ll be rested – it could be that only Cheick Tiote and Mike Williamson are the only players who started on Wednesday, who will be in the starting eleven tomorrow.
Cheick seems to be ready to resume his duties in defensive midfield, and we think that Vurnon Anita will slot in at right-back, in place of the injured Danny Simpson, who is said to be very close to returning to training from his hamstring injury.
Reading are a team that we should be able to beat both home and away – if we are to do as well as we did last season in the league, and with Papiss Cisse finally getting on the goal trail, and Demba Ba in good form, we may be able to score a few goals tomorrow afternoon.
Rob Elliot had another good game in goal for Newcastle on Wednesday night, but we still expect veteran Steve Harper to return between the nets for Newcastle tomorrow, after his good performance against Norwich last Sunday afternoon.
So this is the side we think Alan will field tomorrow along with the substitutes:
Anita Taylor(S) Williamson Santon
Ben Arfa Tiote Cabaye Gutierrez (c)
Subs: Elliot Tavernier Perch Bigirimana Gosling Obertan Ameobi (Sh)
The keys to the game are whether Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse can score goals together in one game, which they have only ever achieved once – in the 2-1 home win against Aston Villa last February – and we’re hoping tomorrow’s game will be the second time they have managed to do that.
Newcastle will need to start the game at a fast pace, as we managed to do on Wednesday night, and not give the opposition a one goal start in the first half.
Newcastle got a clean sheet last Sunday, and another one tomorrow afternoon would be just what the doctor ordered.
Make no mistake about it, this game tomorrow is a game Newcastle can win, to give the side some momentum in the league.
We’d be delighted with all three points tomorrow and satisfied with a draw.
Let us know how you think the game will go tomorrow and what your starting eleven would be.