After hanging on by the skin of our teeth to win at Molineux on Saturday, I thought it would be fitting to do a quick preview of our next three fixtures and see what we can realistically hope to achieve from them.
Newcastle’s incredible, and admittedly unexpected start to the season has taken many of us by surprise. As Toonsy wrote, Alan Pardew was unfortunate to miss out on the Manager of the Month award, and the first of our next three games sees us facing the man who pipped him to the post. We welcome Tottenham Hotspur to St James’ Park in the first of a two game stint at home, followed by Wigan, before we head off on the road again to Blackburn in our, seemingly, never-ending quest for Silverware.
Here’s the look ahead:
Sunday 16th October – Tottenham (h)
Spurs have had a difficult start to the season in terms of fixtures, but they came up with a big result against Liverpool two weeks ago and with an even bigger one yesterday when they beat Arsenal after they had previously been thumped by Manchester United and Manchester City. The North-Londoners proved midweek that they can’t be underestimated, coming back from a goal down against Shamrock Rovers to win 3-1. It will be a tough game, even though we’re at home, but Hatem Ben Arfa should return to the starting XI and maybe Davide Santon will be handed his debut.
Saturday 22nd October – Wigan (h)
Another game at home, and a great opportunity for three points. Wigan have been nothing short of terrible this season and have suffered five consecutive defeats. They have only amassed 5 points so far and sit 18th in the League. They also have the fourth worst goal difference in the Premier League and if we keep our players fit and in form, they’re ours for the taking.
Wednesday 26th October – Blackburn (a) Carling Cup
We were, admittedly, very lucky to win in extra time against Nottingham Forest last month. However, our victory against a very poor Blackburn side the weekend before last should be enough to dispel any doubt that we won’t win this fixture. They have conceded 12 goals in their last four matches, but managed to win two of those games – the Carling Cup fixture against Leyton Orient and the controversial victory against Arsenal, but their poor form sees them in the relegation zone occupying 19th place in the table. I can safely see us progressing to the 5th Round, only to inevitably meet one of the bigger teams as luck normally has it.
In summary, I can see us taking 4 points from our League games and our name in the hat for the 5th Round of the Carling Cup. We’ll find out in four weeks, and then I’ll look ahead to our next three games against Stoke, Everton and Manchester City.
Anyone else as optimistic as I am?