We know it’s going to be a difficult game for Newcastle today, and in our last eight visits to Manchester City we haven’t won, which illustrates how hard it could be for the lads today.
Alan Pardew has kept reminding us all week that this is the business end of the season, and that it’s time for Newcastle to deliver, and indeed, if we can put a good string of results together, this could still be more than a decent season for Newcastle.
And after all, we still have a chance of winning the Europa League – if we have some luck and play somewhere near our best form in the upcoming European matches.
But we are not safe in the league yet, not by any means, and if we forget about what happened last time out in the game at Wigan – it was still a terrible result for us, and had Wigan gain three points on Newcastle, and they are in the drop zone in third bottom place.
This is what Alan Pardew has said about today’s opponents – Manchester City:
“When you have won the championship, as they did with the last kick of the season, and then to back it up next year, is difficult.” “Those first 10 games for them meant it was difficult for him to pick up momentum, I think they will learn for this and be better for it.
“I do hope the manager stays because he will be better for it as well. That experience can help him next season.” “I still don’t think this is a disappointing season for City. They can still have a great season in the Premier League by finishing second to one of the best Manchester United teams Alex has had for a number of years.
“It’s not over yet. So don’t be fooled. If they win the rest of their games then it could be a fabulous season.”
For this game Newcastle have Fabricio Coloccini, Tim Krul, Cheick Tiote, Mathieu Debuchy, Massadio Haidara, Davide Santon and Ben Arfa – so six first team starters are not available today.
Tim Krul has trained all week and he could be on the bench, and our squad is a lot stronger than it’s been all season, so we should still be able to put out a decent side today – and here’s what the starting line-up could look like:
Simpson Taylor (S) Yanga-Mbiwa Perch
Gouffran Anita Cabaye (c) Gutierrez
Subs: Krul Gosling Bigirimana Williamson Marveaux Obertan Ameobi (Sh)
We have Gutierrez starting on the left wing instead of Marveaux, simply because of the Argentine’s work-rate and ability to track back, and Perch and Anita could also switch positions too.
We know it’s going to be tough today, but we are also due some luck after all that happened against Wigan – so we’ll be very happy enough with a point.
And our readers are not too positive about getting much out of the game today either.
At the very least we need a strong performance from the lads, and we need to be competitive, and if we can get a point out of this game we’ll be pleased.
What’s you team for today?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org