Quite simply, Newcastle need a result. Time is ticking on and The Magpies are being sucked into a relegation battle. Three points at a ground where we traditionally struggle would be a welcome respite on the back of two straight defeats, although in fairness those defeats came against some very tough opposition.
The plus point for Newcastle is that Wigan will be without Chalres N’Zogbia after he got sent in their last match, but that news has been overshadowed by the fact that our very own Andy Carroll will miss the match after picking up a thigh strain. The Gateshead-born striker has been in London to have scans and to try and discove the extent of the injury, and preliminary reports suggest that Carroll could be missing for anywhere between a week or a month. Either way, it is a massive blow.
At least we should have Jose Enrique available after recovering from the slight hamstring strain that kept him out of the defeat against Tottenham, although as yet nothing is confirmed, either officially or via Jose’s Twitter account!
Kevin Nolan will also be back in black and white action after sitting out the last through suspension, and there is a welcome return to first-team squad action for Dan Gosling who will travel with the squad, although I fear that will be nothing more than a motivational move to get Gosling back in to the swing of travelling and such.
Shola Ameobi is also back in contention after recovering from injury, and that will probably mean that he will start the game and be replaced by Nile Ranger at some point. Steve Harper looks to be getting the nod to start between the sticks at the expense of Tim Krul, which is a little bit harsh, but understandable given our need for experience at the moment.
So after taking all of that into consideration I would expect us to be linig up with a team consisting of:
Newcastle: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Wayne Routledge, Cheik Tiote, Joey Barton, Jonas Gutierrez, Kevin Nolan, Shola Ameobi.
I will of course be at the match, although I’m still not 100% sure with how I am getting there. Still, get there I will. Hopefully the team can match my, and several thousand others, effort and bring us home three points.
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