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Newcastle vs Norwich – Match Preview

10:15 am, Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 63 Comments

nufc emblemNorwich City   .svg

Newcastle play Norwich City this afternoon, and if we can win this game against Chris Hughton’s side, it will be the third league win in a row, and that’s something we didn’t achieve all of last season, and things will could be looking up on Tyneside, and last season’s nightmare  will hopefully start to become a distant memory – when we entered European competition again but were completely ill-equipped to deal with two games a week.

But Newcastle seem to be a lot stronger this season, thank goodness, and fewer games and far fewer injuries means there is always  competition for places, and today is no exception.

In fact it appears that Alan Pardew has a fully fit squad to choose from, and Jonas Gutierrez is now back from his compassionate leave in Argentina, and presumably now available for selection.

Mathieu Debuchy has five yellow cards and will miss this game through suspension today, so the real question is what the back four will be.

It seems the manager will continue to play a 4-4-2 formation, with big Shola Ameobi and Loic Remy up front, and the rest of the side basically picks itself, since the manager will not want to make many changes form two excellent performance in the last two games when we beat Chelsea at home and Tottenham away.

The two most probable back fours today are – Santon Williamson Yanga-Mbiwa and Dummett – or Yanga-Mbiwa Williamson Coloccini and Santon.

There are other possible formulations, but those seem to be the most probable, and in our poll most readers favored the one that brings the captain Coloccini back into central defense.

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We thought that would be what Alan Pardew would do today – but some of his comments this  week – about not wanting to change a winning team – may suggest he will stick with Williamson and Yanga-Mbiwa in central defense, who have played tremendously well over the last three games.

We’ll assume Colo stays on the bench today, so this is a team Alan Pardew could field this afternoon:

Santon Williamson Yanga-Mbiwa Dummett
Sissoko Cabaye Tiote (c) Gouffran
Ameobi (Sh) Remy
Subs: Elliot Taylor (S) Coloccini Anita Ben Arfa Gutierrez Cisse

Steven Taylor is fit again from his hamstring injury, and we are assuming he will be in the bench this afternoon.

That’s a strong side and a strong bench for today’s game. :D

And Alan Pardew knows that Newcastle fans will expect all 3 points this afternoon:

“Our fans do expect a win, but that’s any crowd and I think ours is one of the more supportive at a big club towards the players.”  

“Of course they will expect us to win against Norwich, but trust me, if we build up a head of steam at any time they play a massive part.”

“There might only be a ten minute period in the game where we can win it, that could come between 40 and 60 or 80 and 94 but it will be significant and that’s why we are so strong at home.”

In fact 74% of readers expect Newcastle to win the game this afternoon.

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The keys to the game are that our defense can against play very solidly, as they’ve done over the last three games since that terrible Sunderland loss.

And we assume with the creativity in the side, some chances will be created and maybe Loic Remy can add to the 7 goals he has already scored in the Premier League this season.

But we also know this game could be another banana skin for Newcastle, and a loss would be really hard to take.

So that’s the challenge for this in-form Newcastle side – to go out against a weaker side at home – and get the business done – and that means get all 3 points.

It’s really as simple as that.

Comments welcome.

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Tags: Injuries · Match Preview · Newcastle News · Poll · Premier League


63 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Black and White with an army lol // Nov 23, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Santon, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett.

    this should be the back 4 today

    Colo should not be in the starting 11 because he doesn’t deserve it since MYM & Willo have been superb at the back.

  • 2 bills-son // Nov 23, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    All ifs and buts….

    If we win today and Arsenal win we’ll be only 2pts off Southampton.

    If Everton win we’ll be just 3pts off them and Liverpool.

    With our next game home to WBA we could be in the top 6 after a third of the season.

    Please lads don’t mess the next two games up :-)

  • 3 Ciaran // Nov 23, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Next two games are massive and entirely winnable. Pardew was right when he said earlier this week that we are in a ‘poised position’ couple of wins and we could potentially be in a fantastic position.

    It is the games we should win where we seem to lack motivation, here’s hoping we come out of the traps flying.

  • 4 JackButler // Nov 23, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Santon should switch to right back with Dummett coming in at left back, the rest of side should stay the same, they’ve all earned they places, if Pardew does bring Colo back in and moves Mapou then he needs his head tested as our central pairing are working very, very well and you simply don’t fix what isn’t broken

  • 5 south coast toon // Nov 23, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    these next 2 games are vital 6 points would put us right up there and last season will seem like a blip to any of the half decent players looking to move in jan, a striker is a must, but we need to look atractive would remy have choose qpr if we were in the top 8 last jan………i think not… he likely to want to stay if we finish top 8 ummmm….. more likely, this janurary we will see what ashley does i think we will be surprised as we have been the last 2 janurarys

  • 6 bills-son // Nov 23, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    My guess would be Taylor or Guti at RB. Taylor probably has the edge on training and fitness and I would go with him. Anita good player that he is is too small and light for a FB in the Prem imo.

    Switching Santon means two changes in defence and that doesn’t make sense to me.

  • 7 cyprus // Nov 23, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    you don’t bother reading comments dude? The double Santon persists in your set up for voting…

  • 8 cyprus // Nov 23, 2013 at 10:52 AM


  • 9 cyprus // Nov 23, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    the mathematics of next two games six points can wait…

  • 10 JackButler // Nov 23, 2013 at 10:54 AM


    the major problem with putting Saylor at right back is that he’s beyond poor there. At least with having Santon and Dummett we will have two natural full back’s who are comfortable there and not a CB being moved over.

  • 11 Jail for Ashley // Nov 23, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    I know QPR were poor, but don’t you think Anita had a good game at RB when we played them at home last season.

  • 12 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Gotta be Anita at RB for me, it’s the least possible disruption to the back 4 and the only one out of all the names being touted that actually has regular playing time under his belt this season and us in form

  • 13 Mister Tuff // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    I think we should get a win today 3 -1. If the attitude of the last couple of games continues we should have enough to get the 3 points.
    Taylor at fullback ? No way will Percy do that.

  • 14 boreddrummer // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Santon Yanga-Mbiwa Williamson and Santon.

  • 15 Magpies-till-d3ath // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    A win today takes us above City, level with Spurs who play tomorrow. If we beat these ones today, all of a sudden we look a pretty good side, if we lose, then I don’t have a clue about Newcastle anymore. There’s no point in beating Chelsea and Spurs if we lose to Norwich and Sunderland. Hope Yohan, Yoan and big Moussa are up for this today. If they can provide the main man with service, we all know he’s gonna hit the back of the net. It’s just what he does. :D MON THE TOOOONNN

  • 16 bills-son // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    JB, Jail,

    I’d wouldn’t sweat if Anita gets the nod but I think the criticism of Taylor is ott in the same way as it was for Willo.

  • 17 jayphoto // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Id personally play Anita at rightback! Failing that Jonas if hes fit! The fullbacks are important today, norwich have van wolfswinkel who’s very strong in the air and hopper who has a habbit of being first to the ball inside the box, they put alot of crosses in!

  • 18 bills-son // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    RVW is injured but if alot of crosses come in you don’t want Anita at the far post in a one one. Thats why I’d be more inclined to go for Taylor or Guti and Taylor has the edge in the air.

  • 19 jayphoto // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    NEVER ever thought id write this, but Shola and Willo have got to start today! Shola will be on a high and was unplayable for 65 minutes against Italy! Willo seems to compliment MYM, hel be important today as norwich put alot of balls into the box! Been impressed with willos attitude too! He was hammered by fans, disrespected by pardew with. ‘The other guy’ comment yet hes knuckled down and worked hard and has really earnt his place the hard way! I suspect pards has his eye long term on taylor and MYM being the partnership but Willo is a great lad to have in the squad.

  • 20 jayphoto // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    @bill-son is he?? Didn’t realise, thats good, actually rate RVW quite highly, annoyingly hes the exact type of striker we’ll be looking for in january!
    Think norwich are better than people think, they don’t win many but they are very tight and competitive, especially away from home! (City aside) Players like pilkington and bennett are very underrated and Fer is a class player!
    Think it’ll be a 1-0 with remy scoring kind of game

  • 21 Jackel001 // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Just saw on the Daily mail, Cisse on his way as part of a swap deal with Remy..thoughts lads? Personally I’d snap their hands off! Never rated Cisse, yes he scores unbelivable goals but you need more than that in this league.

    On the game today, Williamson and Shola to start for me. I don’t think Colo will feature for the rest of the year due to the fact he wants to be away. I’m going 2-0! HWTL!!!!!

  • 22 Ciaran // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Right lads, few things to do before the game, here’s hoping for a good performance and a result to match. Personally I’d go Anita RB, but I think we’ll see Santon RB, M’biwa LB and Colo Willo CB.

    Come on Pards, go for the win and we’ll be with you all the way!

  • 23 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    I vote for Santon, Santon, Santon and Santon…

    And why do people bother with speculation from rags like the Daily Fail?

  • 24 jayphoto // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    @21 never rated cisse either! Doesn’t do the basics well enough, his control is shocking and his link up play is non existent.
    He seems to only start playing after january too! Also wasn’t impressed with the antics in the summer with Wonga! For me the players are paid astronomical amounts, they live the dream, they should never refuse to play/wear the shirt! Pretty sure he only agreed to play in the end after legal advice!

  • 25 mindshaft // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Dummett is injured so def won’t be playing, hairdryer to step in, cello on bench

  • 26 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Have to say hope colo won’t feature after his comments

    Don’t get me wrong, the lad has a right to want to go home, he’s a human and like the rest of us is bound to personal issues throughout his life
    But he should not be discussing the will to leave so much, the press will ask these questions especially after international duty, but why not say what every pro says “my agents dealing with it etc etc only concentrating on the league with NUFC etc etc”

    Pards should not be putting him in the line up i really hope he sticks with the pairing of willo and MYM, we have plenty of LB’s no need to shift yanga there

  • 27 The next Mike Williamson // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Norwich are in positive mood after winning last week. They’ll come out the blocks fast. I hope our players are focused on this game after the world cup qualifiers.

  • 28 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:41 AM


    I think that’s harsh on Colo. We criticise our football players for just toeing the line when interviewed and yet here is one being honest. It’s not as if he’s kicking up a fuss or keeps saying it anyway. So an Argentinian journalist asks him the question, why shouldn’t he answer it honestly?

    I’d rather switch Santon and play Haidara/Anita or put Jonas at RB though because I don’t think we should change a successful CB partnership. Colo on the bench for me.

  • 29 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Because he’s under contract, he’s our captain and should lead by example that’s why
    He’s been told he can leave in the summer, so why 5 weeks before a transfer window do interview saying i want out as soon as possible

    It’s not harsh at all, he knows the conditions set by the club he’s contracted to be captain of and has shown very little respect at any stage of the whole saga

  • 30 ToonDarnSarf // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM


    Has he been told he can leave in summer? I wasn’t aware of that.

    The only thing that his statements do really is to intensify the pressure on him if he doesn’t perform. If he does, then I’ll be very happy.

  • 31 JackButler // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Colo shouldn’t even be in the squad after his comments.

    Captains lead by example and not bitch and moan about wanting to leave simply because they were unable to keep certain parts of their anatomy in their pants.

  • 32 JackButler // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    bills-son @16

    Every time Saylor has played at right back he’s been turned inside-out and upside-down. He doesn’t have the pace to step in as a right back and only looks half decent as a CB when he has someone else babysitting him. We have better options now and need to move forward with them

  • 33 davetoon // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    why would you change a team that has beaten chelsea and spurs, would be mad

  • 34 bills-son // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:19 PM


    I don’t recall Taylor being turned inside out everytime he’s played RB. Bit of an exaggeration that.

    As I’ve said, I’d be ok with Anita there and whoever plays there we should still win.

  • 35 bills-son // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM


    Debuchy is suspended.

  • 36 davetoon // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    For those who want change, who based on the past 2 games deserves to be dropped to play Collocini or Taylor?

  • 37 Vask // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Dummet appears to be out, so either Haidara at left back Santon at right back. Or perhaps we’ll see Jonas in a full back role.

  • 38 Tsunki // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Of course the least disruptive shoe-in is anita at RB. However this is Pards, so whats the betting Mbiwa at RB, Willo, Colo, Santon? Can’t see Pards leaving the Cap’n out long term and an ‘easy’ game would be a better start for him.

    Now, to the ‘easy’ part – wasnt it this sort of voting that preceded the Hull game? Beware the Ides Movember!

  • 39 davetoon // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    bills – oh yeah… unfortunate as he was on fire. Played very well for France also.

    Hate the idea of taking Yanga-Mbiwa out of central defence though, he looks lost on the right.

    We have too much left back cover and not enough right backs

  • 40 davetoon // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    @tsunki yeah i would give anita a chance to see how he goes

  • 41 Tsunki // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    I’d like Santon to sort his LB role out properly before moving to the right. I would really like to see Haidara get back into the team he was really starting to worry Santon for that RB spot.

  • 42 Tsunki // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Thing is, Anita has done ok at RB before, he is quick and responds well, and adapts to the position without straying into the midfield unless theres a good opporunity. He is quite a disciplined player and goes for the percentages, successful passes, nothing too outlandish or risky, all good things for a RB to do.

  • 43 JackButler // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:30 PM


    No exaggeration at all, Saylor at right back is beyond poor, we have far better options now and starting with him there is a backwards step

  • 44 davetoon // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    i guess the only thing in Saylors favour is this would be the best game to bring him back for..

  • 45 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Over exaggeration or not, he hasn’t played since day one of the season
    Even with a run he looks unfit so to play him after 3 months with no competitive football out of position from kick off would be ridiculous

  • 46 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Why is it? Why are people he’ll bent on breaking up a CB pairing that’s working?

  • 47 bills-son // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:43 PM


    Fans were saying worse about Willo than you are about Taylor. Now they are eating their words.

    If Anita plays I hope we dont concede from him losing an aerial challenge.

  • 48 toonincheek // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    I think I would start Anita at RB, although I reckon we will need him in midfield to take over from Cabaye.

    Yohan had a good game for France, but after psyching himself up so much for the game against the Ukraine, a really BIG game just a few days ago, I don’t reckon he will be on form today.
    Not easy to motivate yourself twice in a week.
    Money really doesn’t come into it.

  • 49 davetoon // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    @tas I meant try Saylor at RB against Norwich. Surely he could do a job

  • 50 JackButler // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:47 PM


    We simply have far better options at right back now, going with Saylor or Gutti for that matter would be a serious mistake as we have Santon and Anita who are both able to play there and Anita has done very well when he’s played there beofre

  • 51 JackButler // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Liverpool 1-0 up

  • 52 toonarmydownsouth // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    He hasn’t played for 3 months, we have a player sat in the bench who’s getting minutes weekly and looks more adequate than Taylor at RB

  • 53 davetoon // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    personally i think anita is too small for a RB. i think he will get another chance in MF soon enough but i still would rather him @ RB rather than break up Williamson & YM

  • 54 bills-son // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:57 PM


    I’ve said why I’d consider playing Taylor.

    You’ve got your opinion, I’ve got mine.

  • 55 Hatem's better than Messi // Nov 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM


    Willo was terrible for a long time and the criticism was deserved.
    Now his form has improved the criticism has stopped.
    That’s perfectly reasonable.

    His form has changed so has the fan’s opinion of his game. Completely logical.
    No need for people for eat words. Circumstances change and so do opinions, only an idiot would defend the undefensible …

  • 56 JackButler // Nov 23, 2013 at 1:12 PM


    Sorry mate if you thought that I was looking for or trying to argue with you on Saylor as thats simply not the case

  • 57 bills-son // Nov 23, 2013 at 1:16 PM


    No prob :-)

  • 58 Hatem's better than Messi // Nov 23, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Between Saylor and Colo for the bench for me.
    That decision would depend on where Colo’s head really is.

    On Willo I really hope he’s become the solid defender we’re seeing at the moment, but I remember all those panicky moments, and find it a little hard to believe, but I have my fingers crossed.

  • 59 yo-yo // Nov 23, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Keep the same side but slot Anita in as RB – Obvious – doesn’t rock the boat too much which realigning the CBs would do against a hi-ball team.

    There’s a lot of paper talk about Colo but none of us know the truth and I ain’t going to rush to judge him yet on press rumours.

  • 60 Hatem's better than Messi // Nov 23, 2013 at 1:30 PM


    If a player puts in a transfer request they lose bonuses when they leave.
    Until somebody shows they are prepared to take a financial hit to get away … a contract is a contract. Get on with it .

  • 61 yo-yo // Nov 23, 2013 at 1:34 PM


    So you know exactly what is going on with Colo ?
    All I’ve seen is rumour quality reports.

    He has been a good servant of the club, but his domestic issues seem to have got the better of him. Let’s wait and see. I would not want him as captain at the present time – same way Pardew shifted Cabs out the role when his head was turned

  • 62 Hatem's better than Messi // Nov 23, 2013 at 1:41 PM


    No I have no idea, I said that in earlier post.
    Colo on bench if his head is in the right place.
    If he’s looking hang-dog, depressed and lethargic all the time then Pardew should pick up on that and pick Saylor.

  • 63 Hatem's better than Messi // Nov 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    He has been a good player for the club.
    If he puts in a transfer request we should let him go on a free.

    His high wages for a CB will cover paying a new striker.

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