Tonight Newcastle look to preserve their unbeaten run away from home against QPR. This game was just going to be a bottom half affair, with important points riding on it, but the whole Joey Barton affair has added a bit of spice to the game which is televised on Sky.
The international break and the fact we’re playing on a Monday night has left me craving football as I’m sure it has most have you. The break came at a bad time for us, we were playing some good stuff and gaining points hopefully we can continue in that vein at Loftus Road tonight.
Newcastle have had a brilliant start to the season picking up 7 points from 9 and a win here could take us into the top 4. By all means it’s not an easy game but a lot of fans will be expecting points from this game from one of the promoted teams, even though we’re away from home.
QPR have really had a mixed bag in their start to the season, after seeing them get beat 4-0 by Bolton at home in the first game many expected them to be cannon fodder in this league. But they bounced straight back with an away win at Everton, but their last game saw them defeated by Wigan, so hopefully the poor QPR side turns up.
QPR have been heavily strengthened in the last few days of the transfer window bringing in a number of players, such as Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joey Barton and Anton Ferdinand. On the other hand we did sign Davide Santon and Rob Elliot in the last few days of the window, Rob Elliot will probably take his spot up on the bench, and I expect Santon to join him on there.
Newcastle have Steve Harper available, as well as Davide Santon who has signed since our last outing, so I expect that Santon will be involved at some time, with Harper or Elliot providing bench cover. The game has come too soon for Hatem Ben Arfa who’s aiming to return for the Nottingham Forest game, but quotes from Danny Guthrie suggested he was fit to make the bench.
Joey Barton is set to make his debut for QPR against the team he played for no longer than a month ago. While Shaun Wright-Phillips and Luke Young are also set to play a part. QPR also have Clint Hill back from a 3 match ban and DJ Campbell has recovered from a virus.
If I remember rightly the last two times we’ve played QPR we have won and drew, we won at their ground after a Lovenkrands winner and Harewood nicked us a point at St James Park. The stats show that between the two clubs in the league there has never been a goalless draw, hopefully there won’t be one tonight.
At the start of the season I thought this game would be a must win after our difficult opening fixtures, but we’ve started brilliantly and a win here would be excellent for team spirit and Pardew’s own morale after a tricky week or so.
Hopefully Leon Best and Demba Ba can show people that we’ll be alright on the striker front, and not suffer a transfer window hangover like we did in February against Fulham when we were woefully short of creativity and goal scoring threat that night on Sky, which made fans fear our safety in the Premier League.
Something else which will be interesting is the reception that Ex-Newcastle Joey Barton gets. I’d expect him to get a fairly good one, as he was very much a fans favourite before being treat poorly by the board, but you know, fans change their opinions pretty quickly.
I also hope Joey acknowledges the Newcastle fans if he gets a good reception, and enters the pitch and has an absolute shocker resulting in us winning, we can hope. 😉
QPR: Paddy Kenny, Luke Young, Anton Ferdinand, Danny Gabbidon, Armand Traore, Shaun Derry, Joey Barton, Alejandro Faurlin, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Adel Taarabt, Jay Bothroyd
Subs: Murphy, Fitz Hall, DJ Campbell, Akos Buzsaky, Matt Connolly, Tommy Smith, Jason Puncheon
Newcastle: Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Taylor; Gabriel Obertan, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez; Leon Best, Shola Ameobi
Subs: Rob Elliot, Davide Santon, Danny Guthrie, Sylvain Marveaux, Peter Lovenkrands, Sammy Ameobi, Demba Ba
Howay the lads!