The game this afternoon is the most important game since we played Reading at home earlier this year, and we have to hope the result is better than what happened against Reading back on January 18th.
With Southampton winning at Reading yesterday, they are now on 37 points and in 11th place, two points behind Fulham, who look fairly safe on 39 points.
Newcastle are on 33 points in 15th position – 6th bottom – and Aston Villa have the same points total now after their good win at Stoke City yesterday – and Stoke remain on 34 points just above Newcastle, and they have been a in a big slump this year.
So there are nine teams at least involved in possible relegation – with Reading and QPR likely to be two who will be relegated since they are both on 23 points, which is 8 points from safety – with Sunderland 4th bottom on 31 points.
A win today will see us climb the league table and a draw will see us in the same position in the league or even lowe depending on the other scores today.
So after losing our last three games and the last two on the road in the league to Wigan and Manchester City we have to start putting some points on the board and getting some wins – if we are survive this season in the Premier League.
Unfortunately we still have a long injury list, and we’ll be without Fabricio Coloccini, Mathieu Debuchy, Massadio Haidara, Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote – and all but Massadio would be starting the game of they were fit.
James Perch and Danny Simpson both came off injured on Thursday night in Lisbon, but we are assuming they will be fit – since Alan Pardew said nothing different in his press conference yesterday when talking about injuries.
Yoan Gouffran will start today, and that may be the only change that manager Alan Pardew makes from the side that lost 3-1 against Benfica last Thursday night,
Here’s the possible team that starts today:
Simpson Taylor(S) Yanga-Mbiwa Santon
Gouffran Perch Cabaye (c) Gutierrez
Subs: Elliot Williamson Bigirimana Anita Marveaux Obertan Ameobi(Sh)
That means Gouffran comes in for Marveaux, and it’s hard on Sylvain, who played very well in Lisbon, but we think the manager will go for experience and Jonas Gutierrez, who played very well on Thursday night.
Papiss Cisse seems to be in some good goalscoring form, so maybe he can get some goals from half chances today ….
And our defense needs to play very well today – but in the summer we just have to bring some new defenders in, as we still have one of the worst defenses in the league this season
Newcastle have conceded a massive 56 goals in 31 league games, and that’s the third worst defensive record in the league behind only Aston Villa and Reading – and it’s hard to argue with facts.
In our poll around 62% think we’ll win this game.
It will not be easy today against a Fulham side in form, and we have to hope the lads are ready for this game and come out fighting, and can stay in the game in the second half – a win would be fantastic.
Howay The Lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org