Newcastle v Wolves – Premier League match preview

St James' Park.

St James' Park.
Home comforts at SJP?
Wolves are the visitors to St James’ Park this week as they take on Newcastle, with both sides reeling from shipping five goals in their last league outing.

While Newcastle were getting thumped 5-0 by title-chasing Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, Wolves were getting a 5-1 hammering from their local rivals on their own patch – a match that saw the end of Mick McCarthy’s tenure as Wolves boss.

Needless to say there is an awful lot of making up to do from both sets of players although the ultimate goal for each side couldn’t be more different. Wolves are treading water in the bottom three whilst Newcastle are flirting with European qualification. It won’t be as easy as some fans believe either…

Newcastle United

Leon Best, Steven Taylor, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi and Nile Ranger are all out through injury. Steve Harper is unfit apparently although I can’t quite work out how? Surely he is used to watching from the sidelines?

The big news though is regarding Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye who will both return to the starting line up after participation in the African Cup of Nations and suspension for violent conduct respectively meaning that Alan Pardew can pick the strongest team possible for the first time since we beat Manchester United at the start of January. Ryan Taylor is also back in contention after recovering from bruising inflicted in the victory against Aston Villa a few weeks ago.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Sebastien Bassong, Michael Kightly and Karl Henry are all available after injury, or suspension in Henry’s case, although Emmanuel Frimpong will not take part after rupturing knee ligaments. He has been sent back to his parent club Arsenal to recover. Ronald Zubar played over an hour of a reserve team fixture in midweek although it’s expected that this game will come to soon for him as he works on his fitness.

Previously…

Newcastle go looking for their second league double of the season after their 2-1 victory at Molineux earlier on in the season, with goals from Demba Ba and Jonas Gutierrez inflicting the damage on the day. Indeed Jonas has quite the habit of scoring against Wolves as he also found the net the last time they came to St James’ Park in a 4-1 victory towards the back end of last season.

Wolves have never beaten us in a Premier League fixture, although to be fair there isn’t an awful lot of recent history between the two sides. From the five Premier League encounters between the two sides the points have been shared three times (all 1-1 scorelines) with us taking the three points on the other two occasions.

Current form

I know it can feel a little bit like the wheels have fallen off,but if you look at our last six games you will see that we’ve actually won four of them with two heavy defeats against Tottenham and Fulham wedged in there for good measure and to keep us on our toes!

Wolves will be happy to be away from Molineux by the looks of it as the contrast between their home form and away from is quite startling, especially in recent weeks. They are unbeaten in their last four away games managing draw at Arsenal, Tottenham and Bolton to go with the win they picked up at QPR.

Getting the game head on…

So how do we attack Wolves? The simple answer is relentlessly! They have not kept a clean sheet in 22 league games and you have to fancy our attack against what is a pretty slow and cumbersome defence.

For that reason I would find some way of playing Hatem Ben Arfa, who will just run and run at the Wolves defence and pull them out of shape leaving gaps for Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse to exploit.

We will have to watch the Wolves attack though as they can cause problems. They have hard working forwards such as Steven Fletcher, Kevin Doyle and Stephen Hunt who will not let our defence rest while Matt Jarvis is likely to give Danny Simpson a bit of a headache. If we leave Simpson to deal with Jarvis on his own we could be asking for trouble, so for that reason I would play someone with pace who will help him out, which basically means Gabriel Obertan on the right.

Or does it? Is there a way we can fit both Obertan and Ben Arfa in the same team? With Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye back we have our first choice central midfield ready for selection which will shore things up at the back allowing players like Ben Arfa an opportunity to concentrate solely on attack.

Conclusion

I hate being over confident about things as it can come back and bite you on the behind, but this is one game we really should be looking to win. We are the home team and we have virtually a full strength starting XI to choose from so the tools to do the job are there, it’s just whether we use them or not. It’s games like these where a flirt with Europe is earned or lost!

However Wolves will have a say on how things go. They will want to bounce back after losing 5-1 to West Brom and will be a tough nut to crack. I reckon the first goal will be the important one in this game…

Howay the lads!

Date: Saturday 25th February
Time: 3pm
Venue: St James’ Park

67 thoughts on “Newcastle v Wolves – Premier League match preview

  1. I think it’s not a question for Pardew who plays on the right, if Raylor is fit he will play on the right, end of the story. All the week we can understand in his interviews that he wants to put the same team that plays against Man U except Cisse who replaces Ameobi.
    But I agree with you i would love to see Benny in the team, i don’t know which position he will fit best but somewhere just to see a some show and entertainment football in the pitch.

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  2. This will be a decisive game when looked back at end of season. If we can win convincingly then we will look like a team who had a few strange results due to player losses (quite a few of those at the top this year) but who are back on track and powering to the end of the season strongly. Lose with what is arguably our strongest attacking team to date and the mackems will be hyped to ruin our season altogether.

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  3. I think Benny and Obertain will share the RW spot, with one coming on for the other after an hour to rip tired legs to shreds.

    Talking of ripping legs – what’s the betting that thug Henri crocks one of our players? Can’t stand the git.

    One more thing – and I know I always say this – we’re not full-strength without Saylor. Just thought I’d mention it. πŸ™‚

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  4. I wondered how long it would take after the “haven’t played anyone yet” chorus had died. Well there it is. Dominic Field of the Guardian has the answer today – it’s more a reflection of the weakness of the top sides who are currently in transition. Ah well – and there was I thinking we were getting better …… πŸ˜•

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  5. Dont think we will bombard them. it doesnt suit our way of playing attacking too much. I reckon it will be a controlled 2-0 victory where we score the few chances we have, its the way its been all season against average prem teams all season. Think back, have we thrashed anyone this season?

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  6. My gut instinct is telling me to be cautious – they’re the wounded animal, with some good attacking players and some decent form away from home.

    My heart is saying, “Bollocks. Look at our squad! We’ll rip ’em a new hoop! 5-0!! 5-0!!”

    I like my heart. It talks enjoyable shite at times, and keeps the voices in my head company. :mrgreen:

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  7. Whumpie- stick to your heart mate. This is a no excuses type match for us. If we want to be an elite club with ambition, we can’t slip up on these types of matches when at full stregth

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  8. Haha how could i forget that one 😳 Having said that it was a close game. My point was we never over perform against the teams we should beat, we just seem to do enough, nothing more. Then again no fan will want this, we all want a 5-0 thrashing.

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  9. Ice: This from .com:

    Ref: Peter Walton – a third outing this season in charge of the Magpies, following on from a season-opening 0-0 draw with Arsenal at Gallowgate and our festive 0-2 success away to Bolton.

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  10. This is a very winable game but the lads have to put in a shift and our quality should see us get the win. Gonna go 3-0 to us. Cissie to grab a brace and Ba to round it off!

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  11. I agree with Tsunkl, tomorrow is about going out there and making a real statement of intent, to show everyone that we deserve to be where we are and that the spurs games was simply down to spurs being better than a heavily weakened Newcastle team.
    Liverpool will have taken alot of heart from their win against Brighton and if they win the Carling Cup I think they will be hell bent on 4th spot and will know that with Chelski and Arsenal in such poor form they won’t get a better chance to get it.
    We have to win tomorrow to let them all know that actually, were after it as well!!!!

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  12. hello again this is our team for saturday i know this becase im a pardews bro
    😎

    ——————————krul———————————
    simmo—————-colo——–willo——————-sazza
    raylor—————goodbaye——cheek—————-spiderman
    ———————————HBA———————————-
    ——————————djibril————————————

    baby ba sustained a small knock today

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  13. Ice no mate it was today, he was just in got a bath his dinner, then away to the club, then when I pick him up we’ve to go out, so it will prob be tomorrow before he is online mate.

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  14. Toonsy…you got me sussed big man…. πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    Been in darkest Africa for 3 weeks gargling SA red wine… πŸ™„ πŸ™„

    Where’s Wolfie at, has he departed elsewhere ?

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  15. Dave – Shamrock has a lot going on at the moment so he asked if I could do this one, and maybe another couple until he gets sorted πŸ™‚

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  16. At least we can stop with people saying we should sign Christopher Samba now he has gone to Russia for Β£12m.

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  17. Β£12 mill for samba is good business for rovers there. especially as he will be unsettling the team. I thought 7-8mil would have been a fair price. Done deal though.

    And Arshavin to Zenit on loan

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  18. always thought Arshavin was a real top players before he came to the PL,looks like the lad couldnt handle the PL plus he hasnt settled,shame like another good player bites the dust,wont be the last like 😐

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  19. Arshavin was ruined by Wenger losing the plot. Look at how deadly he was when he first signed, he bum abused Liverpool all on his own, remember the 4 goals.

    He then suffered as Wenger lost the plot and made him an exclusive winger instead of the “Russian Messi” style he had. That and I think he left it a bit too late to move from Russia. He was already 28 or 29 or something when he signed for Arsenal.

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  20. lets hope benny gets a fair crack-of-the-whip,think there has to be a bit of give and take on both sides here hope that happens

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  21. Our wingers are not doing the business. On that basis, its guthrie on the right and raylor on the left for me.

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  22. it takes a certain type of person to settle in london with or without money,been there a lot over the years not my cup of tea most everyone i spoke to wanted to leave 😯

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  23. I say all guns blazing tomoz
    ——————Shola——————————
    -Obertan-guthrie-tiote-santon
    -HBA-cabaye-gosling-guti(cus we love em’)
    —————-Ba—-Cisse——-
    EPIC!! :mrgreen:

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  24. reet whats happening any craic
    Ice if your about the wee Lad is fuming they got beat 5-0 you would think it was the end of the world, it took me ages talking him round that it was allright to get chinned that even we got chinned the same πŸ˜•

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  25. DAVE ime aways aboot when your on mate lol,shame about the wee fellow aye it is the end of the world they build there self up so much,been on the end of a thumping myself (wasnt my fault like lol) i will send him a e-mail owr the week-end mate and try to help him,by the way pup came oot top of the acadamy ime chuffed like πŸ˜€

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  26. Oh Ice he did tell me that he had a good chance to score but when he ran to get to the ball he slipped because his boots with moulded studs are no good for mushy pitches πŸ˜† could he get a new pr with studs πŸ˜€ what a chancer

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  27. DAVE new boots! think ive heard that somewhere in the past with pup lol
    but thanks for the heads up πŸ˜‰ so next e-mail you will know its for him,
    ime off laters

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  28. Hi Jill hows you doing, all good I hope longtime no see πŸ˜‰
    Jill if you check tomorrow just before the game there is normally a few links, I cant remember what you call them now as there is a few new ones popped up.

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  29. sucks, im going down south next week for a week and will be in newcastle next weekend, the one time im there during a home game but its the sunderland game, so is sold out πŸ˜₯

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  30. you guys hear tiote was taunting kalou and drogba boasting how we’ll finish forth and chelsea will finish seventh. what a lad :mrgreen:

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  31. TAE
    cus one of the papers are, and we all know how shit they are with regards to us and transfers, though they predict scumpool are interested which i do beleive, as KD is an idiot however there is of course the obvious problem 😯 πŸ™„ πŸ˜•

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  32. Thanks so much R, Big Dave and Dubtoon πŸ˜€
    Big Dave, I’m doing great thanks, how about you? I read the posts on here most days but don’t usually feel the need to comment as other wonderful posters (like yourself) have generally already covered anything I want to say! πŸ˜‰

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  33. TAE It seems that as I said Fergie can’t stand players messing about, and if they do he isn’t to slow telling them to sling their hook, just like he done with Ravel.
    So was there a point in posting that story ?
    Jill all good girl and dont be a stranger πŸ˜‰

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