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Newcastle vs West Brom – Match Preview

Newcastle need a win tonight against WBA at St. James’ Park.

That would give Newcastle 30 points from their first 17 league games, which is an excellent total for this time of the year.

Newcastle will be able to field almost their strongest team, but we do expect James Perch to start alongside Fab Coloccini in the middle of Newcastle’s defense, although if the game warrants it, we could even see Mike Williamson get a run-out in the last 15 minutes or so.

Yohan Cabaye is not available unfortunately,  as he will be serving a one match ban for picking up his 5th yellow card in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Swansea.

And young Haris Vuckic could get a start tonight, although Frenchman Mehdi Abeid is also available, and both 19 year-olds were substitutes last Saturday, which tells us they have been impressive in training.

Dan Gosling is also unavailable, and will serve the second match of his three game suspension for being sent off at Norwich.

This is the team we expect Alan Pardew to pick for the game:

Simpson Coloccini Perch Santon
Obertan Vuckic Tiote Gutierrez
Best Ba
Subs: Elliot Williamson Taylor (R)  Abeid Ameobi (Sa) Ameobi (Sh) Ben Arfa

Ben Arfa could get a start either on the right wing, or in place of Leon Best up front, and the impressive young Sammy Ameobi could get a start in place of Obertan out on the right wing.

And we suppose we could even see Mike Williamson start tonight but he is still a bit short of match practice, and we’d be surprised is he does get a start.

Ryan Taylor is expected to be fit again, but we expect him to be on the bench,  after 20 year-old Davide Santon has looked very good in the last couple of games, and now what Davide needs is a string of games in the first team.

The keys to the game seem fairly straight forward.

Newcastle need to be as strong at the back as they were on Saturday against Swansea, and hopefully can even  get a second clean sheet in a row.

That feat has been achieved only once this season, and happened to be the in the first two games  at home to Arsenal  (0-0) and away at Sunderand (1-0 win).

Up front we have to hope that Demba  Ba can get on the goals trail again, although he again looked sharp on Saturday and was very unlucky not to score.

Leon Best is also due a goal,  and has been stuck on three goals for the season for a long time now.

It would also help to get an early goal, especially after toiling for 90 minutes on Saturday, without being able to  score.

As expected former Middlesbrough James Morrison is definitely out of the game for WBA due to a hamstring problem, which forced him off late in the game at Blackburn.

Cameroon international Somen Tchoyi – who scored a hat-trick at Newcastle in the final game of last season – will miss his second successive game due to his wife recently delivering a baby.

So he’ll not score against Newcastle tonight – thank goodness for that.

We need a win tonight, it’s just as simple as that.

Howay The Lads!!

138 comments so far


    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #81

    Can we just take a step back re: Obertan please?

    He is only a kid and you can easily forget he is only 22 years old ..what were you like at 21+ Give him a break lads.

    In the words of the great Bobby Robson……………………..
    “Dont break the young lad’s hearts” .

  • ge08dey

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #82

    I for one agree with PlanB. W ith betterteam selections and substitutions against Norwich and Swansea we would have had more points.Pardew is not up to the job in MY opinion and I have thought that since his appointment.Newcastle is a massive club and deserve afar better manager than Pardew.The good start to the season was more down to look than anything Pardew did.

  • martoon

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #83

    GG – I think you are right – I used to love Supermac but he is living on past glories – though it pains me to write it.

  • Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #84

    ge08dey In MY opinion that’s a load of bull.

  • cyprus

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #85

    AP, please see sense and play HBA. You said he can do what no one else in the team can, right? So, let him get on, win us the game, and you get all the glory. ie. That you wanted to make him hungry and all that bxxlxhxt after the Swansea game!


    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #86

    What manager do we deserve? Just wondering

  • drongo

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #87

    Can everyone who has never once got anything wrong in their job please put their hand up…

    Thought so

    Plyers will miss tackles, not see a pass, spoon a shot. They get another chance straight away. Managers will also sometimes make the wrong choice – slightly get the shape wrong, or not spot a tactical opening.

    Thats life. The tricky bit is accepting it and improving from it.

  • beddersmag

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #88

    Hba at the top of a diamond might be a good call at home against weak opposition like. Dont see him doing enough to start ahead of ba and best but if tiote can just sit and obertan and jonas are disciplined it could work. He needs to take the chance if he gets it though as it is a risk. He is taking an age to get up to speed and should play in reserves. I want him to be the star many of you claim he is, but the game isnt played on reputation. I think pardew deserves respect not only for keeping him as a sub which is all his form has warranted; but also for keeping him in check so far, as he must be getting sick of being sub.

  • Shot Bru

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #89

    ge08day….Pardew has done well since coming in….especially in the transfer market buying and selling…he’s brought through more young players than any other manager before him in recent years…..he is working within strict budget guidelines and we are 7th in the league at Xmas….who would do a better job under the circumstances?

  • ge08dey

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #90

    Ruddy would you have played Raylor and Oberton in as many games, played Simpson and Perch central defenders against Norwich who we all knew were strong and good in the air when attacking.I would have also played HBA against Swansea to unpick their organised defence,in the end Swansea nearly won it .Keeping Santon out of the team for so long,when actually hes probably our best fullback…The list goes on.


    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #91

    Tnx for the link mate 🙂 @indian my frnd works n a cyber caffe so il b wit him at nite 🙂

  • beddersmag

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #92

    Agree with shot bru. Carr seems to get all the credit for the good signings we make but pardew will have final say, and appointed him i assume? dont mind admitting he wasnt my choice and his cheesy face alone used to annoy me, but since he came he has been a breath of fresh air- and in the majority of games we are better second half. Which tells you he can think on his feet and change tactics to suit the game. Well done pards 9/10 so far

  • ge08dey

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #93

    Shot Bru as far as im aware Pardew brought Oberton to the club and is interested in Ridgewell and Collins not the players we should be getting.I think G.Carr had somethink to do with getting most or all the other players we signed.

  • G

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #94

    west-ldn magpie – I agree, we should play a 4-4-3 formation, however, I suspect the ref wont allow it.

  • beddersmag

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #95


    i actually WOULD have kept a winning team yes. Agree with you on hba should have come on v swansea (especially before sammy and vukic)but the santon thing is a glass half full comment. Another way of looking at it is that he protected the player allowing him to get up to speed rather than chuck him straight in at the deep end where confidence can be knocked- he admitted himself the physical nature of the league was a shock and may be why he is playing so well now. I actually see that as a pardew strength. Players have been rushed in the past and it has rarely worked out well….

  • shearerno9

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #96


    you make a fair point… I mean if somebody has a bad performance take them out of the team, sack them and play a whole host of untested under 21’s

    how can pardew not see that??? Ill be glad when were shot of him… Bring back geremi and the likes

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #97

    Um has it been said anywhere that HBA wont start tonight ir are we all jumping the gun a bit???

  • Offkey

    Dec 21, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #98

    By the way some of you are talking I’m starting to believe Steve Kean is our manager and we are hovering in or around the relegation zone.

    But in the real world, we are doing brilliantly………..

  • Jonny

    Dec 21, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #99

    Agree with Ed,





    Would love to see Ben Arfa of Ba like most people here though but can’t see him starting him. Would like to see Benny, Abeid and Shola off the bench please Alan.

  • GeordieGerman

    Dec 21, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #101

    ge08dey, get rid of Pardew. Bring Bruce in… !

  • Geordie-Jake

    Dec 21, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #102

    tiote will eat cashley if he makes him leave cos he’s an animal

  • scottoon

    Dec 21, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #103

    I like the idea of HBA in the hole behind Ba rather than Best today. Ba’s last few goals have come from service through the middle (Shola and Yohan) and he is not going to get that from Best who will be playing with his back to goal and getting the ball out wide. HBA gives us another dimension in attack that we will be missing with Cabaye away today.

  • GeordieGerman

    Dec 21, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #104

    I hope they start HBA today so people can stop squabbling and make the decision, good or bad.

  • bills-son

    Dec 21, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    Comment #105

    No way is Sammy ready for the first team.

  • CaptainGeordie

    Dec 21, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #106

    Indian Magpie // Dec 21, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    pardew was an ordinary player, he likes the likes of perch etc

    Regaurding your comments made towards Alan Pardew as being an ‘Ordinary player’ is a uneducated statement, I do recall Alan Pardew played for 3 top class London clubs in his playing career. Alan Pardew made over 505 appearances and scoring 44 goals.Something you and I will never do.

  • CaptainGeordie

    Dec 21, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #107

    I would love to see Shola start tonight,he has been on form. His link up play with Ba was world class against Norwich, even thou we lost.I think he is starting to prove alot of doubters wrong on this blog and any newcastle united fan in general, I think it is lovely to see A geordie lad being successfully at his beloved club.Howay the lads.

  • Whos_SuperMac

    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #108

    1st post, Hi all,
    Tonight it’s about Vukic for me, hope he gets a start. West Brom like to play, so there might just be the space on the park players like Vukic needs. We’ve been missing that bit of craft to open up teams since HBA been of the boil.

  • Tommyy

    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #109

    CaptainGeordie – Frankly, Pardew was an average player, decent but not brilliant and by no means poor either. Pretty much what Indian Magpie has said, not sure what the point of your response to that was really?
    Also Shola proving doubters wrong? No, no he hasn’t. He’s come off the bench for a good couple of cameo’s, and linked up well with Ba vs Norwich. No more, no less. That, in I think anyone’s opinion, does not warrant a starting spot nor does it prove any doubters wrong. If he was forcing his way into the first team by scoring regularly and showing some energy and life in his performances, then I would agree with you. That’s not to say he has been poor, because he hasn’t he’s been effective at times. On the whole though, he hasn’t been anything more than decent/good.

  • magpiebop

    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #110

    4-1-3-2 vs WBA

    Subs- Elliot, RTaylor, Simpson, Obertan, Ben Arfa, Best, Ameobi.

  • Obafan

    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #111

    HBA should always play tonight. He should always have played against Swansea too. Those who say he was not that good the few games he played, I can name a few others who have been worse than HBA and are still in the team or were given lots of chances.

    Raylor should have been out of the team for Santon weeks ago!!! And don’t start by stating we don’t see the training, cause Santon was world class last weekend.
    My team would be:

    Simmo – Perch – Collo – Davide
    Obertan – Tiote – HBA – Guti
    Demba Ba – Shola

  • Troleibusiukas_LTU

    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #112

    What about this?




    —Vuk?i?—Ben Arfa——-Jonas


  • ge08dey

    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #113

    ShearerNo9 can’t remember saying anything about sacking players after one bad game or bringing in a host of untried U21s if the latter is true it shows what a squad we’ve been left with. Agree with your Geremi point though he was a complete waste of space.

  • Troleibusiukas_LTU

    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #114

    What about this?




    —Jonas—Ben Arfa——Vukcic


  • fgb224lbs

    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #115

    Why the hell did i write norwich earlier? Silly brain sorry Indian

  • soundoid

    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #116

    It’s been like ground hog day on here for the last few days.

  • shirtonapole tinooo

    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #117

    unless i can´t read, this is ed´s opinion on who he thinks pardew will start tonight.

    so i don´t quite understand why some people are calling pardew an “idiot” (or words to that effect) when the official lineup doesn´t come out until an hour before the match…..

    or maybe i´m being stupid 😉

  • ge08dey

    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #118

    Trole,,,,,,,LTU good team with the players available although Iwould play Best alongside BA due to WBA being pretty tough at the back.

  • SwedishMagpie

    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #119

    ————–ben arfa————-

  • shirtonapole tinooo

    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #120

    also although hba seems to be a really skilfull player from what i´ve seen, he´s def not a 20 goal a season striker (stats) so i don´t see why he´s that important to a team like we are at the moment.


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