It will be a tough game today at the DW Stadium against Wigan Athletic, and we have to hope we can do a lot better than in last season’s fixture, when we taken apart 4-0 by a rampant and revitalized Wigan side.
And it could be that Wigan are coming into some form again, as they again try to avoid relegation, and certainly last time out at Everton last weekend they turned in their best performance of the season to beat the Toffees 3-0 on merit, and reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
But Newcastle are also in good form right now, and we have just reached the quarter finals of the Europa League, with one of our best results of the season when we beat Russian club Anzhi 1-0 on Thursday night at St. James’ Park, with a last second goal from Papiss Cisse.
In their last eight games Wigan have three draws and a 3-0 win at Reading, so only 6 points from those eight games, and they have played better away from the DW Stadium this season, than they have at home.
Bottom teams QPR and Reading were both beaten on the road yesterday – QPR losing 3-2 at relegation rivals Aston Villa and Reading losing 1-0 at Old Trafford, and Newcastle are 9 points above the relegation zone and Wigan, who are 3rd bottom on 24 points.
Alan Pardew will again play a strong side today, and we think quite a number of the lads who played on Thursday night will line up today, although Ben Arfa will not play – with the sad news that he will now be out for the season with that hamstring injury of his.
Mathieu Debuchy and Yoan Gouffran will start this game, after being ineligible for the Europa League, and Yohan Cabaye is a doubt, although we think he will start today.
So this is a side Alan Pardew could play today:
Debuchy Taylor (S) Yanga-Mbiwa Santon
Gouffran Anita Cabaye (c) Sissoko Marveaux
Subs: Harper Haidara Perch Tiote Gutierrez Obertan Ameobi (S)
The Newcastle manager could also find starting places for Haidara, Tiote and Gutierrez, and since that starting eleven above shows only two changes from the side that started on Thursday night, Pardew may want to bring in some fresh legs.
Wigan could be a very difficult side, although they have been inconsistent this season, and this is what Alan ha shad to say about the opposition:
“They gave us the runaround last year when we were in good form and it was a big blow to our Champions League chances so it’s a game where we need to take a slight bit of revenge.”” They’re on a high, for sure, and we’ve had our best result of the season so there’ll be a real good feeling among the players and that’ll make for a good game.”
“I think Roberto has a side where perhaps even himself, he scratches his head at times. They were unbelievable last week – it was perhaps one of the stand-out results of the year. “I don’t think anyone in the game expected them to win quite as emphatically as they did and yet on other occasions they’ve not been at their best.”
“You can get a team like that, a kind of inconsistent team, but I’m sure now he’s looking for consistency just to get them over the line.”
62% of our readers think Newcastle will win today – but the vote count is low – so here’s a chance to vote for how we’ll do today:
We need to take something out of this game, and if we can keep up our solid form of the last several weeks, we could even get the win – and that would be only the second win on the road this season.
So another away win is due this afternoon – and maybe we can do it and get our third win in a row in all competitions.
Howay The Lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org