Newcastle head to the Black Country this Sunday for yet another game that will be broadcast live on Sky TV.
However if a spot in front of the box isn’t good enough for you then you may be interested to know that tickets are still available for the game from the West Bromwich Albion ticket office so you can still make it if you fancy it.
Anyway, Newcastle will be looking for revenge tomorrow after Roy Hodgson’s Baggies took all three points in a 3-2 victory at St James’ Park earlier on in the season. Demba Ba scored both of our goals only to see efforts from Peter Odemwingie, Gareth McAuley and Paul Scharner secure the points on the night.
Leon Best, Sammy Ameobi, Sylvain Marveaux, Peter Lovenkrands and Steven Taylor remain out, while Steve Harper and Shane Ferguson are back in training and could be recalled to the bench. Question marks remain over Cheik Tiote, Ryan Taylor and Gabriel Obertan, all of whom missed the victory over Norwich last week. The most important one is Cheik Tiote, who has been training although reports in the press today seem to suggest that he will miss the match with a hip injury.
West Bromwich Albion
Zoltan Gera and Steven Reid are still sidelined with long-term injuries, but Jonas Olsson is available after suspension and Peter Odemwingie is back in training after recovering from a calf problem.
Once upon a time we had a really good record against the Baggies, but that isn’t the case anymore. The levelling in fortunes can be attributed to one thing – relegation.
Prior to the drop we did well against West Brom, even on our travels. Please bear in mind that I’m purely talking Premier League era here, although in general we were always good for a result at the Hawthorns. Prior to relegation we won two and drew two of our four trips to the Black Country. Post relegation and we’ve lost two and drawn one on our travels.
What to watch and how to win
Well the obvious thing to watch with West Brom is pace. It’s how they hurt us St James’ Park and Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie had a field day. However the onus is on them this time around, not us, and we’ll likely be sitting a bit deeper, or at least I’d hope so as our defence is not exactly quick.
The other thing to watch is their height, which combined with the delivery of Chris Brunt will cause us problems. Paul Scharner, Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley can all do some damage in the air while Chris Brunt will cause problem from any set piece.
However they can be got at. Their defence is also not the quickest and can be exploited in much the same way that ours can. For me the outcome of the game will depend on which striking pair play the best and exploit the weakness of the opposition the most. Sounds easy doesn’t it?
Facts and stats
Peter Odemwingie has scored three goals in his last two games against Newcastle. One more tomorrow and he’ll become the first Baggies player to reach 25 Premier League goals.
Newcastle have failed to win a game this season after conceding the first goal.
Games between the two sides are generally high scoring. Since the start of the Premier League there have been an average of 3.33 goals per game between the two sides although this average rises to five goals per game if you look purely at our post-promotion results.
Final thoughts and expectations
I’m actually not expecting anything from this game and would be over the moon with a draw. Just call it a gut feeling based on our last few performances if you like.
However we have the tools to hurt the Baggies providing all of those tools turn up and play to the best of their ability.
Which Newcastle will turn up though?
Howay the lads!
P.S – Don’t forget to change your clocks overnight and put them forward one hour!
Date: Sunday, 25th March, 2012
Time: 4pm – Live on Sky