Newcastle v Wolves – Premier League match preview.

St James' Park.

St James' Park.
Battle of the basement!
The Premier League returns after a two week break this weekend, although for NUFC it could probably stay away for another two weeks as the injury crisis continues to get worse.

It’s not only injuries that Newcastle will have to deal with tomorrow though. Suspension plays a small part, as does recent form as well as the inability to win a home game at three o’clock. All of these factors come into play as we prepare to face an in-form Wolves side who have only lost one game in the last seven.

This is a relegation six-pointer, make no mistake about that. Sam the Eagle will have his team suitably pumped up for the encounter, but then again Wolves are pumped up for most encounters. They are a hard-working side who fight for everything and display a (cliche alert) never say die attitude, but they do have their own injury problems to deal with.
Mick the eagle.


Top scorer Kevin Doyle will be out for at least six weeks after he picked up an injury on international duty. Ronald Zubar and David Edwards are also ruled out whilst Stephen Hunt and AdlΓ¨ne Guedioura are both rated as doubtful for the St James’ Park encounter.

Wolves have not won a league game at Newcastle since 1959, but history goes out of the window tomorrow. As has been mentioned, Wolves are in a decent run at the moment despite having the worst away record in the league. They have only picked up eight points on the road this term, and that figure was boosted dramatically by their last match in which they won 1-0 at Aston Villa. For that match they lined up with a team consisting of;

Wolves: Wayne Hennessey, Kevin Foley, Richard Stearman, Christophe Berra, George Elokobi, Adam Hammill, Karl Henry, Nenad Milijas, Jamie O’Hara, Matt Jarvis, Kevin Doyle.

Moving on to the home side…..

Newcastle have well documented injury problems, and this two week break was supposed to help us get some players back to fitness. It hasn’t worked out like that though and instead we have an injury list that has grown with the news that Leon Best could well be out for the rest of the season.

It doesn’t end there though as it looks as though we’ll still have to wait to see Stephen Ireland make his Newcastle debut, although the news that Ireland is only on a pay-as-you-play deal has slightly softened the blow and calmed the rage. Jose Enrique is only rated as 50/50 for the match as well when it was thought that a two week respite may have allowed his hamstring strain to clear up.

Then add in our long-term casualties such as Hatem Ben Arfa, Alan Smith and Dan Gosing and our suspended duo of Cheik Tiote and Ryan Taylor (the latter is good news by the way) and you can see that we have somewhat of a selection problem.

In a rare moment of good news for Newcastle United fans, Joey Barton and Jonas Gutierrez have both come through the two week lay-off without aggravating their respective injuries whilst Shane Ferguson, who impressed at The Britannia, is on standby to make his full Premier League debut.

It’s up front where we are struggling at the minute, so that is going to be the main area to address as we prepare to do battle. Top scorer Kevin Nolan is not our top scorer for no reason. He knows where the back of the net is so the key for me will be making sure he can get into the positions where he can inflict his damage. If that means playing him slightly more advanced then it must be done as, in my opinion, he is probably just about the best finisher at the club.

For that reason I would start with a 4-4-2, but I would instruct Nolan to play slightly more advanced. Guthrie is going to start by the looks of it whilst Barton will be on the right wing again so I’d instruct them to to tuck in when Nolan pushes forward. I’d play a team (assuming Jose doesn’t make it) of;

Newcastle: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Shane Ferguson, Joey Barton, Danny Guthrie, Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Shefki Kuqi, Nile Ranger.

I realise that the front pair is a bit of a wild card, but it’s pace and power combined with work rate from the pair. The can also hold the ball up and allow people to get forward in support, namely Kevin Nolan, who can then add an additional threat. It’s crazy, but it might just work….

The last three Premier League meetings between the two sides have all ended up with a 1-1 scoreline.

Newcastle have won one game in ten and have drawn five of the last nine league matches.

Officiating the match will be Mike Dean who last took charge of a match at St James’ Park back in January when Newcastle beat West Ham 5-0. Hopefully he can bring us more good fortune.

This match needs no build up. A win for the away side would suck us straight into the relegation mire whilst a win for Newcastle would take us another step towards Premier League safety and would settle down a lot nerves that are jangling at the moment. A draw would be neither here nor there really, but it would be better for us than it would be for Wolves I’m sure.

One more thing. Don’t forget that you can keep up with everything regarding the match here at NUFC Blog including pre-match build up, a juicy article to talk about the match itself as well as post-match reaction an analysis.

Howay the lads!

141 thoughts on “Newcastle v Wolves – Premier League match preview.

  1. Maverick – If you;re still about. The celebrity thing was because of your darts. I clicked on your name and had a mooch around your site. Impressive πŸ™‚

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  2. this forcoming game is as dodgy as david cameron,i reckon it will end up a 0-0 or a 1-1.i think we’ve put too much pressure on ourselves to win this game,i think we can draw this game,get beaten by blackpool and liverpool,and still finish 14th on 43 points,courtesey of the bbc predictor πŸ˜€
    i jst dont think it’s as must win as some people think,although ideally you want the 3 points,but a draw wont be a disaster given the injury crisis.

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  3. I really don’t like our chances tomorrow. If I were the manager (and for the sake of the toon I’m glad I’m not) I’d play a 532 with it mostly being a 352 as I don’t expect wolves to put too much pressure on us and just look for long balls.
    ———-Harper————
    —-saylor–willo–Colo—-
    Simpson————–Jonas
    —Joey–Guthrie–Nolan–
    ——Shola——ranger—–
    The three in the back can handle the long balls. Jonas and Simpson can proved width with the three in middlefeild holding and winning possession and picking their forward runs. Ranger and Shola can hold possession well up top to allow the mids to join the attack and also give us a presence in the air.

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  4. Alright Dave. Just waiting for the wench to get home so we can pop out quickly before I go to work the neet. All good fun like πŸ˜•

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  5. Yeah i’m still about, lol it was a fleeting 15 mins of fame!! Extinguished by Alan Warriner!! do try to get back to Bolton, and have the playoff at Hull on 9th April to get back again.

    I’ve neglected the site lately because haven’t being doing much in the way of Darts but will be updating soon as we’re gonna have a crack at the Guiness World Record for an 8 man team completing 1,000,001 Start and finish on a double in least amount of Darts, current record is held by an Irish tam set last summer averaging 84.04 per visit to the board over a 48 hour period! I reckon we’re 50-50 to break it. Will be raising money for the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust who have been helping a friend of ours after he suffered a Brain Heamorrage while on holiday in Turkey, every single penny raised will go to them, any set up costs for this are being put up by the players and the venue Rileys in Scunthorpe.

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  6. I don’t like 3 in the back either but it was effective against stoke until they figured out aol is utter crap…
    My thinking is with three in the back you have an extra presence in the air for set pieces and long balls and that may take away that option for them along with putting more bodies in mid field to stop what I believe are their two best players.
    A 4411 helps clog the midfield but all they needs is for one of there long balls to come off and I’d rather have 3 lads defending it rather than 2 especially with Willo’s lack of pace.

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  7. I never ever ever thought I would say this but I hope Guthrie starts before Lovenkrands. Push Nolan up the pitch. Lovenkrands is the worst striker since the days of George “Mavis” Riley. Now he was a player. Not

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  8. DAVE we are fairly going to miss tiote,you know our luck,that ohara we looked at, hope guthrie has the pace to hold him,unless he puts your m8 inside which is a bad move for guthrie on the wing

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  9. With both teams missing their prefered firepower this could turn into a battle of attrition and Im hoping our big guns like Barton and Nolan are really gonna step up for us. We always seem to get better in games usually so for that reason I think it is important that we don’t go behind to a goal in the first 30 mins or so of the game. It would also have the effect of killing the atmosphere and creating even more gloom. I would like to see our defenders take less risks at the back as well, whoever it is. Harper and Enrique if he is playing need to understand how important it is that there are no silly errors in this game because it is getting backs to the wall time and we need to stop conceding needless goals IMO. Probably most of the goals we conceded at Stoke were down to poor defending and errors rather than anything genuinely created by Stoke.

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  10. Toby let’s not forget what loven did for us last year. He was very important to us getting promoted. He’s been terrible this year and I’d like to see us bring in a better replacement and have him move on but I’ll always be thankful for his performance last year as all toon fans should. Take away his goals and we’re still trying to get out of the fizzy right now.

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  11. DAVE that would be perfect for me too,great minds think a like πŸ˜‰ ,
    pity the snide wont like πŸ˜₯

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  12. I would play…..

    —————–Harper—————-
    Simpson–Willo—-Collo–Enrique
    Barton—–Guthrie–Nolan–Jonas
    ———-Ameobi–Ranger———-

    Im leaning towards starting Ranger actually and replacing him with Ireland in a deeper role in the second half. If nothing else he will give us some pace in the side and keep their back lines wary of the counter. Shola has been poor since his return but it will have to be those two because I think they could complement each others styles, I would prefer two upfront at home and I really don’t rate Lovenkrands at this level.

    Barton has to stay out wide with Skipper and Guthrie in his favoured and sometimes quite productive central role, to suggest playing Guthrie wide is just preposterous IMO.

    Hopefully Enrique will have recoved but if he hasn’t I really wouldn’t fancy playing Ferguson at LB, he just isn’t ready. I would prefer bringing in S.Taylor to play at CB with Williamson (in their proper position) and move Collo to LB where I think he just has so much class he could play there easily (and gets pulled out there all the time anyway).

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  13. Big Dave

    No Ireland for you.
    He might be a dick if you believe all in the media but still has been a quality player

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  14. JG I wish Lovens could have found his shooting boots again because as you say he was one of the reasons we got out of the fizzy 1st go, and I for 1 will always be grateful to him for that, and the fact that he stuck with us when his Father died that to me showed me everything I needed to know about him.

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  15. Big Dave that is another ides

    ————Harper———–
    Simps-Willo-Collo-Enrique
    Jonas–Guth-Barton-Fergie
    ———–Nolan—————
    ————Ameobi———–

    I think Nolan is much more effective further up.
    There really isn’t much to choose from tbh, Pardew options are pretty limited.

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  16. Big D

    I thinik he might come on in the second half but he’s not fully match fit, I would prefer Guthrie to start.

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  17. Don’t you have to play to get suspended? When and how did he get suspended? He’s so good at collecting yellows that he racks em up in training as well lol? :mrgreen:

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  18. if ireland is fit he wont start imo,from the bench he might get 20min,think a lot is down “if”jose is fit as to how the team will line up down the left side

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  19. I say we all put our pence in and get neymar in the summer. All our problems against these crap antifootballing sides would be solved 😎

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  20. JG if we had Benny fir he would run rings around some of these sides. Although they’d probably kick him to bits like. πŸ™

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  21. pardew has said on official site that guthrie defo starts. Nolan must be in a forward role with shoala. that is how I read it

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  22. DJG good point… How about we get neymar, jovatic, and agbonglahor and cover all our bets πŸ˜‰

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  23. I can understand where the likes of Wenger come from at times like. You can bring the most skillful flair players in the world to the premier league and there will always be a selection of teams that just want to kick them all over. People say that it is a contact sport and you can’t tackle anymore and blah de blah but…….do we really want to see some thug like Karl Henry kicking a genuinely talented player off the ball until they are too frighten to make a run.

    IMO Contact sport yes, violent sport no.

    The contact should be where you happen to touch somebody whilst in persuit of the ball, not whilst trying to kick a player as hard as you can aslong as the ball is there to justify it.

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  24. I fear Kuqi getting a start ahead of Ranger tomorrow πŸ˜₯ …

    Pity about Best, hope he’s not cattled for the season… πŸ˜₯

    I can really see HBA being brought back in before long…

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  25. Despite the fact that Wolves, and Karl Henry in particular, kicked lumps out of JB early in the season, Joey kept his calm admirably, when he could also easily have been sent off…

    Looking for revenge tomorrow will get us no-where, and they’ll most probably try the rough house tactics tomorrow too, they’re fighting for there survival after all. We need a really disciplined performance tomorrow, we only need one goal to get the three points… Hope Pardew get’s his tactics and team selection right…

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  26. MM hows you m8,aye i agree will be a high tempo game,tactics will have to be spot on,luckly webb isnt the ref πŸ™‚

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  27. Big D…Ice…how ya doing Chapitos…had a canny week ?…

    Alls well here in Jaaarmany….bit worried about the morra though but, fancy us for a point no problem, but we should be getting all three so we can all rest a bit easier….

    It would be nice if our Christmas came early, and young Nile Ranger cracked in a couple to win us the game…would be spot on that like…

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  28. MM alls good mate πŸ˜‰ and at the risk of going on and on I have said umpteen times when Ranger scores we will have a cracking player on our hands, and I think it will help him in more ways than just his game πŸ˜‰ . I could be wrong but I think he would have the potental of replacing Judas no problem

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  29. Big D…I agree 100% with you mate. I like Ranger, he just needs to get a break and he’ll be alright. People forget he’s just a bairn, hopefully he’ll also grow out of his daftness once he scores a couple of goals and he starts to mature…the coin drops…got to give the lad a chance imo… starting tomorrow, 2 goals from Ranger in the first 15….get a fiver on him Moreno…wherever you are !!

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  30. I hope Richietoon is allowed bag on the blog once the big move is sorted…not long now…!!

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  31. At the game at Wolves I left the game thinking wait till we get them at SJP.How things have changed we will be lucky with a draw especially with Loven and Shola up front
    Loven is past it and Shola never had it πŸ™„

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  32. toonsy…the night shifts’ll soon be a thing of the past mate…hang on in there… πŸ™

    ice… πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    I can hear the call of the beer garden…..hhmmmmmm

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  33. If we can’t beat Wolves tomorrow I think it ensures we are in for a fight until the end of the season, just look at the teams we have failed to beat at home this season. Our home form must be one of the worst in the league.

    It needs to change tomorrow, i’d take a point like but we need three.

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  34. AndrewNUFC, we should get all three, but with a reduced forward line we’ll probably have to settle for one point and a nerve wracking end to the season… πŸ˜₯

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  35. Big D…I resemble that remark ! πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    Off for a pint…later alligators ! πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

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  36. We have a rubbish home record and they have a rubbish away record – has draw written all over it. We need players like Nolan and Joey to step up tomorrow.

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