One thing Chris Hughton will be telling the Newcastle side before tomorrow’s game with Fulham, is that it should be payback time.
That’s because in our final home game of our relegation season on 16th May, the Saturday after walloping Middlesbrough 3-1 at home on the previous Monday night, we were surprisingly beaten 1-0 by Fulham. Both those games had sell-out crowds in attendance at St. James’ Park.
And as it turns out, if we had only drawn that game, we would have survived relegation that season, and Hull City, who are now back in the Championship, would have been the club relegated.
And we lost our 4th home game of the season on Wednesday night, and we just have to improve our home form and start pickling up points, especially against bottom half of the table teams like Fulham tomorrow.
Our downfall on Wednesday was in defense, where we gave away two cheap goals, and we cannot afford to do that tomorrow against Fulham, who could well be coming to St. James’ Park to get a draw tomorrow.
Mark Hughes’ teams are usually hard to beat, and they therefore tend to get quite a number of draws, and that’s what they will call a success tomorrow, if they can come away with a point.
Not so with the Newcastle side, who will be going all out for all three points with Chris Hughton again playing an attacking 4-4-2 formation.
With Shola Ameobi likely to miss out he will play either Lovenkrands or Nile Ranger alongside big Andy Carroll, and we suspect Nile could get his very first Premier League start of his career tomorrow.
As we know Joey Barton is not available, and it looks like Ryan Taylor is injured, so it looks like it’s between Wayne Routledge and Danny Guthrie for the right wing spot, and we maybe Guthrie will get the nod tomorrow afternoon.
With the defense not looking too tight on Wednesday and both Sol Campbell and Steven Taylor now fully fut and waring on the sidelines, it could be that one of them will replace one of the two center-backs, and that’s especially true since this will be the 3rd game for Coloccini and Williamson in just 6 days.
If Chris doesn’t use his squad tomorrow – he never will and our guess is that Sol Campbell will get the start in front of Mike Williamson, who will get a rest.
That’s even though Mike had had a fine season so far, and is proving quickly he is a Premier League class player that Newcastle picked up for a measly £1M last January – what a buy!
So this is the side we expect Chris to field tomorrow afternoon:
Simpson Campbell Coloccini Enrique
Guthrie Nolan (c) Tiote Gutierrez
Subs: Soderberg Taylor (S) Williamson Vuckic Lovenkrands Routledge Smith
The reason that Sol could get his first Premier League start for Newcastle tomorrow, is that his experience could be a big boon to the side, and will help to cut out any mistakes.
But since there are many different players Chris can bring in tomorrow, let us know what your team would be.
The keys to the game are that the defense has to be strong and no soft goals given away, and that Newcastle can somehow solve a defensive formation, which will be very similar to – if not identical to – what Sam Allardyce had Blackburn play on Wednesday night.
Fulham haven’t won away from home in the Premier League all season – oh no!
They have 3 defeats and 3 draws from their 6 games on the road, and we have to hope that will be 4 defeats by tomorrow afternoon at 5:00 pm.
But these are the games we have to start to play well in – because we’ll get a lot more points if we play well against the bottom half of the table teams and keep our poor form for the better teams – than the other way round – which is almost what we’ve done this season so far.
The lads must be ready to play from the very first whistle tomorrow afternoon, and if they cannot get motivated they should all just pretend they are playing Sunderland again – and that should do the trick.
Howay The Lads!!