Newcastle do not have a good record against Manchester City over the last several seasons, and we have already lost to the best side money can buy this season, once in the league when we were taken apart 4-0 in the very first game of the season at the Etihad, and then in the Capital One Cup when we lost 2-0 in extra time at home.
And another statistic which is a little daunting is that we’ve lost 13 of the last 14 games against City, and the only non-defeat was in our relegation season when we drew 2-2 at St. James’ Park after right back Habib Beye had been sent off after only 14 minutes.
Alan Pardew and the players are fully aware of how difficult the game will be this afternoon, as Alan had this to say about the game earlier in the week:
“You see things that always help in games, whether it’s negative or positive,” “There were some things that went on in games that we can’t replicate.”
“There were times where they shot themselves in the foot – we can’t afford to do that.” “You have to say the core of that team – Hart, Kompany, Toure and Negredo – is the best spine of any team in the Premier League,”
“We have to cope with that. Yaya Toure, in full flow, is very difficult to stop. Having said that, so is Loic Remy when the ball’s at his feet, and Yohan Cabaye when he’s looking for a pass.”
“There are some things you can’t control, and there are some things that you can control.” “What we mustn’t do is keep giving them the ball – because ultimately, we’d get beat.”
“Possession is going to be important.” “We’ve done that well against the top teams. It was pretty even against Arsenal and Man United.”
“Chelsea was even, and Spurs was probably the only one we’ve won where possession wasn’t even, and that was only in one half.” “Against Man City you can’t afford to have a half like that.” “We have to have an intelligence about how we take them on.”
The good news is that Alan Pardew and the squad have been quietly training all week, and the manager will have a plan as to how we can win the game, and we just have to hope that plan is a good one, as it was against Chelsea, and it can be executed almost perfectly by the players.
That’s what’s needed today if we are to get a result, and a draw would be a good result for Newcastle.
As far as the team is concerned Coloccini is still out because of a knee injury, and Mathieu Debuchy is suspended, and there is a doubt about Davide Santon, who has a thigh strain.
Everybody else is fit and ready to go, including Tim Krul and Yohan Cabaye, who missed the game against Cardiff City last Saturday through injury.
This could be the team that Alan starts today in a 4-3-3 formation, assuming Santon doesn’t make it:
Yanga-Mbiwa Williamson Taylor(S) Haidara
Tiote (c) Cabaye Anita
Sissoko Remy Gouffran
Subs: Elliot Dummett Ameobi (Sa) Ben Arfa Ameobi (Sh) Cisse Marveaux
Let is know what team you would start today.
If Santon is fit he will start at left back in place of Massadio.
This is a game we hope we can avoid losing, because that would be our 4th defeat on the trot, and if we do lose today we’ll have the doom and gloomers out in force again – anything but that – please.
And it’s not too surprising that not many fans think we can win this game – so it’s a good situation for the players to shock us big time on the upside.
Newcastle are not expected to get anything out of this game, let’s be honest, so we probably shouldn’t over-react too much if we do lose and the lads give a good account of themselves.
But then the next three games at West Ham, Norwich and at home to Sunderland are against relegation threatened sides, and we must win all those games.
Howay The Lads!!
What do you think?
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