Newcastle United will attempt to record a fourth successive victory tomorrow afternoon as West Bromwich Albion visit St James’ Park.
So far it’s been a perfect November which has rained nothing but wins for Alan Pardew who must take some of the credit for this recent run given that he is quick to have the flak aimed in his direction when things go wrong.
A fourth league win on the spin would be our best sequence of results since that late season charge in March/April 2012 which saw us qualify for Europe at the end of that campaign. Coincidentally three points against Steve Clarke’s Baggies would likely see us climb the table and occupy a European space come the end of the evening depending on results elsewhere of course.
Mathieu Debuchy is available once more after missing the victory against Norwich weekend due to suspension. Moussa Sissoko and Yohan Cabaye are just one yellow card each away from joining Debuchy on the naughty step for one game as a result of the five yellow card “totting up” process.
Mike Williamson will continue in defence but the question mark will be over who partners him. For me Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has done nothing wrong and should retain his place but his shift out to the right of defence to deputise for Debuchy last weekend makes it likely that Captain Colo will resume his role in the centre of defence.
Jonas Gutierrez is back in training and Paul Dummett should be contention for a place on the bench whilst Haris Vuckic and James Tavernier have both once again headed out on loan with both players making the switch to League One outfit Rotherham United.
Steve Clarke has been very ague in the build up to the match and has admitted that he has lots of niggling injury problems but remained coy on which players were affected and whether they are affected badly enough to miss the trip to Tyneside.
What we do know however is that Scott Sinclair, Billy Jones and Liam Ridgewell have been sidelined in recent weeks. All of them are nearing comebacks for Albion but none are expected to be fit enough to start tomorrow.
Previously there have been lots of goals between the two sides! Seriously…
There is a perception that West Brom have been a bogey side for us in recent years but previous encounters don’t back that notion up. Last season we drew 1-1 at The Hawthorns after beating the 2-1 at St James’ Park. The season before that they beat us 3-2 at St James’ Park before we took all three points in a 3-1 victory in the Black Country.
At St James’ Park there have been 59 matches played with United winning 29 times compared to 17 victories for West Brom with 13 draws played out between the two sides.
Overall West Brom just shade the head-to-head having won 43 of the previous encounters compared to United’s 42 wins. Add another 32 draws between the two clubs into the equation and that should total 117 matches in all competitions between the two sides.
Match stats and facts…
The Baggies have won just one of seven Premier League games away to Newcastle.
Lyon are the only side from the top five European leagues to have scored more goals courtesy of French players.
Victor Anichebe has scored more Premier League goals against Newcastle United than against any other team.
Albion have drawn four of their last six league games but only lost once in the last nine games.
Well I’m still waiting for us to crash and burn if I’m honest with you. That’s not to say that I want us to lose, far from it in fact and I’d be delighted if this run continues. However it’s going to end sometime and with things going so well wouldn’t it just be very Newcastle for something to go drastically wrong in this one?
Having said that we do look pretty neat. We’ve been fairly solid in defence, have played some decent stuff and right now I always fancy us to score a goal or two with players like Loic Remy, Yoan Gouffran and even Shola Ameobi in good form. Let’s hope that continues against West Brom.
Howay the lads!
Date: Saturday, 30th November, 2013
Venue: St James’ Park
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