The last time we hosted Manchester United, back in early January, we hammered them 3-0, and we’re looking for another 3 points today, when the Red Devils visit St. James’ Park this afternoon.
And Newcastle will be buoyed by their excellent display against Bordeaux on Thursday night in the Europa League and that win put us top of group D – with two of the four teams qualifying for the knock-out rounds at the end of this year.
For once Newcastle hit something like their best form on Thursday night, with goals from Shola Ameobi and Papiss Cisse, and an own goal made it 3-0 to the Magpies.
The Manchester United defense has looked a little uncertain so far this season, and that’s probably their weakness, and from Alan Pardew’s comments in the press since Thursday night, it seems Newcastle will attack the defense from the first whistle.
And on the injury front we are told that Colo and Steven Taylor are still out, and in one of his interviews, the Newcastle manager said that Williamson and James Perch would be the starting center-backs – but it wouldn’t surprise us too much if Colo is back this afternoon to captain the side – but we’ll assume for the team selection he is still injured.
Steve Harper will start in goal and with Tim Krul and the impressive Rob Elliot both out injured, 19 year-old Jak Alnwick will be on the bench this afternoon.
For his first game back after injury Danny Simpson was particularly impressive on Thursday against Bordeaux, and we expect him to start today at right back.
So this could be the team that Alan starts this afternoon.
Simpson Perch Williamson Santon
Ben Arfa Tiote Cabaye Gutierrez
Ba Ameobi (Sh)
Subs: Alnwick Bigirimana Tavernier Anita Ferguson Obertan Cisse
We have a hunch that Shola could get the start this afternoon, and certainly the Nigerian born striker and Demba ba played well together in the 3-0 mauling of the Red Devils in early January, and Shola is very good at the knock-ins he gets in the air.
The keys to this game seem fairly simple:
- James Perch and Mike Williamson have strong games at the back and can cope with Rooney and van Persie – not an easy task by any means
- Demba Ba, Shola and Papiss continue to be in good goal-scoring form and can take the chances as they come
- The Red Devils defense is as good (or bad depending on which way you look at it), as it’s looked so far this season – it’s their weak link
- Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote continue where they left off on Thursday night, and both have good games and we control the middle of the park
And of course we will need some luck as well, as we had on Thursday night, when we scored the goals at just the right time.
We really do need 3 points this afternoon to give our season some momentum in the league, after we have put ourselves in a very decent position to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Europa League, and we can get the win today – but we’ll need some luck too and be very near our best form.
Let us know what you think the team will be this afternoon and also how you think the game will go this afternoon.
Howay The Lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org
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