This is the biggest game of the season for Newcastle tomorrow afternoon at bottom of the table and already relegated Queens Park Rangers.
It’s also a crucial game for manager Alan Pardew – and it’s a chance to see us safe in the league before the last game of the season a week tomorrow.
A win will see us safe – officially – and a draw would be a very decent point – but a defeat would put us in real danger of being relegated for the second time in four years – which would be a complete disaster for Newcastle.
And if the relegation battle goes down to the last game of the season, we wouldn’t fancy our chances too much.
That’s because in the last two home matches against Sunderland and Liverpool we’ve been hammered 9-0 by a cumulative score – and it seems just too much for some of our players – some of whom seemed to give up in those two games.
There’s too many similarities with four years ago when we thought we were looking in a good position with two games to play – bu lost both of them and found ourselves relegated.
This is what Alan Pardew said about the game today:
“They’re professionals and any professional team is difficult to beat. Sometimes it’s about falling on teams; I think QPR three or four weeks ago have had some tricky games but they’ve got themselves together a little bit better.”
“Certainly against Arsenal they were a lot more disciplined and I think that’s the team we’ll face, so it’s not going to be easy.” “They’ve got goalscorers – Bobby Zamora who I’ve worked with at West Ham, Loic Remy who we tried to bring here.”
“So we know the two strikers very well and we’re going to need to be on our guard against them because they can get goals. “And obviously they have(Adel Taarabt who is their Hatem Ben Arfa.”
“He can create something out of nothing. I can’t say that this game is a game that we’re confident of winning but we’re positive in our attitude to go there and try and win.” “There was a little bit of tension lifted when the result came through, you could sense that at the training ground, but it doesn’t make the task easier,”
“We still need to get something at QPR and hopefully get ourselves an away win. Our away form has been poor this year so hopefully that’s what we’ll do.”
“We still need to get something at QPR and hopefully get ourselves an away win. Our away form has been poor this year so hopefully that’s what we’ll do.” “We’ve still got six points to play for”
“We think they’re two games we can win, with one of them being a home game, and that’s what we’re going to have to do – try and get six points because six points at this stage is going to jump you considerably up the league.
“On Sunday, we’re going to have look for a positive result and then hopefully get a result against Arsenal.”
Let’s put Alan’s words into perspective – QPR may have good strikers but they have scored only 29 goals this season in 36 matches, and after all they are already relegated and are bottom of the league, and have won only four games all season and lost 19.
You could argue that the best team to play at this stage of the season for Newcastle is the bottom of the league side, who are already relegated, and there are rumors that some of their players are showing signs of not caring too much about the club’s situation.
Moussa Sissoko and Shola Ameobi are out for the season, but it looks like Davide Santon and Sylvain Marveaux are fit again, and we think they will start on the bench – which will be a strong one.
And we have to think that Sylvain Marveaux will be introduced at some point in the second half, as he has a few assists for us this season, and has looked a good player.
We are assuming Massadio Haidara is still out with his hamstring problem, so here’s the team that could start tomorrow:
Simpson Coloccini (c) Taylor (S) Yanga-Mbiwa
Ben Arfa Cabaye Tiote Gutierrez
Subs: Harper Debuchy Santon Perch Ferguson Marveaux Campbell
What would your team be for tomorrow?
If Newcastle manage to lose this game – against a team sho have only scored 29 goals this season – then there’s a case that could be made that we may even deserve to be relegated, because we’ve choked over the last eight games – when other teams are starting to fight their way clear of relegation.
Anything but a defeat would be an acceptable result tomorrow afternoon, and in our poll only 15% think we’ll lose this game.
We need our lads to really produce tomorrow – and remember a win will mean we are safe.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org