The game today between two clubs who were founded back in the same year – 1892 – is perhaps a water-shed game for Newcastle, when we take on Liverpool at St. James’ Park this afternoon.
Newcastle have not fared well since the Southampton game in the league, and in the last seven league games since then, we have only two wins but four defeats against Swansea, Wigan, Manchester City and Sunderland.
And this home game is yet another sell-out and the Geordie crowd will know just how important it is to get something out of this game.
Newcastle have been given a huge boost because Luis Suarez will not be playing this afternoon, as Liverpool have wisely decided not to appeal against the Uruguayan’s 10 match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic last week for his Sunday lunch.
So that’s a little bit of luck we have been given, and let’s face it, Newcastle haven’t had much of the commodity this season.
Fabricio Coloccini is back in the squad for this game and recovered from his back injury, although it’s likely he will start on the bench, and Cheick Tiote is also back and fit to play.
But Cheick may not start this game, and Alan Pardew could prefer James Perch in the holding modified role, depending on how James has been looking in training.
And the great Ben Arfa is now said to be 100% fit after his hamstring injury and he could start, but Sylvain Marveaux still seems to be out with a groin strain.
This could be the team Alan Pardew puts out against the Reds today:
Debuchy Taylor(S) Yanga-Mbiwa Haidara
Gouffran Cabaye (c) Perch Ben Arfa
Subs: Harper Williamson Anita Tiote Gutierrez Obertan Ameobi (Sh)
Alan Pardew could prefer Tiote to Perch and we have a feeling he will find some place in the starting eleven for Gutierrez, because he works his socks off and tracks back well – and he may be played to help out young Haidara on the left, as the 20 year-old gets used to the Premier League.
The keys to this game are that Newcastle must defend solidly, and we cannot afford to miss good chances, which basically cost us the win last week at West Brom in the first half.
So if we see the lads creating good chances this afternoon but not taking them, that would not be a good omen.
And this is the first home games since the Sunderland debacle, so it’s a chance for our players to start to make up fr that surrender against Sunderland – which both embarrassed and infuriated Newcastle fans.
It’s another full house at St. James’ Park this afternoon and they’ll be cheering on the team – hopefully to victory.
A win this afternoon will be huge for Newcastle United.
And 77% think we’ll get something out of this game.
We need all 3 points today.
Howay The Lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org