It’s probably not escaped your mind, but if it has let me remind you that Newcastle United can field pretty much their strongest side against Wolves on Saturday.
That is the first time such a luxury has been afforded to Alan Pardew since the turn of the year, with the last game all of our “big hitters” were available for being the 3-0 thumping of Manchester United.
Since then we’ve played five league games, winning three, and two FA Cup games, winning one and losing the other against Brighton. If you take the cup results out of it then it’s not actually been a bad points return considering we’ve had a mashed up team with none of our first choice strikers or central midfield available for at least three of those games.
That will change when Wolves come to town on Saturday. The rudderless Wolverhampton outfit are currently without a manager after the sacking of Mick McMackem, which is a shame for us as he is still yet to beat Newcastle as a manager! Various successors have been linked but as yet there has been no new appointment at Molineux, but even if there is between now and Saturday they will have to contend with a very different animal in Newcastle United.
Returning we have Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye who will give us some much needed bite in midfield. Danny Guthrie and James Perch just aren’t in the same class as a partnership unfortunately. On top of that we’ve had a rest and a couple of weeks training together after the White Hart Lane debacle which will stand us in good stead, especially with Papiss Demba Cisse becoming more accustomed to life at his new club.
In short, Newcastle expects. Whilst most fans know there is no such thing as an easy game as far as we’re concerned, a fixture against a team sat in the bottom three, without a manager, with a virtual full strength team to chose from in front of a packed out
Sports Direct Arena St James’ Park is one we must surely be looking for three points from.
Do that and we could be sitting as high as 4th (depending on results) heading into the Tyne-Wear derby!