Newcastle will field another good looking back four tomorrow afternoon in the important league game against Southampton – which we really need to win – but there will still be four changes made from the defense that played against Metalist Kharkiv on Thursday night, so the team will still be fresh.
Massadio Haidara in action Thursday – had a great debut for Magpies
Tim Krul will be seeing a specialist on Monday, after he had a scan yesterday on his damaged left ankle, but the results of that scan proved inconclusive so rumors that he was out for five weeks may be premature – but he will not play on Sunday.
And Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor and Davide Santon will come in for Danny Simpson, Yanga-Mbiwa and Massadio Haidara, and they will know their places are under threat, because the three they are replacing all had stellar games on Thursday night, including the returning Danny Simpson.
We knew Danny was a decent player, but Yanga-Mbiwa and Massadio Haidara proved they are top class players, and to come into a white-hot atmosphere and play as well as they did against Metalist, shows what very good players we now have in our squad.
And given that Massadio is still only 20 – here’s another full French International of the future in our ranks – as the youngster was simply awesome against Metalist.
It seems that Davide Santon would have played in the Ukraine, but he picked up a slight knock in training – so the young Frenchman took his chance big time – and it now seems Colo will be the only one in the defense tomorrow who also played in the Ukraine.
Alan Pardew now has the luxury of a strong squad to choose from – and he had this to say in the local press this morning:
“I only really rested Steven Taylor, and I didn’t really feel that was a case of resting someone because Mapou is at the same level.” “Mathieu Debuchy trained on Thursday and Davide feels a little bit stronger so I’m hoping they’ll both be available for Sunday.”
“But having said that, I have no problem picking Massadio now after his performance on Thursday. And of course Yoan Gouffran will be fresh.” “I’ll be able to freshen it up with some senior players, and I’ve never really had that luxury.”
“I’ve now got the luxury of having four center-halves, three of whom are really playing well. The other guy (Mike Williamson) isn’t really going to get a chance now because the other three are playing so well.”
“I don’t see any problem, if say, Colo got injured, because I could play the other two. I’ll put them all in the frame, but category one is our captain.”
Whatever team Alan puts out tomorrow will be a strong one – and we need to show the same skill and determination we showed in our previous two games in Europe if we are to get all 3 points - because we are up against a rapidly improving Southampton side.
What do you think?
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