Newcastle v Bolton – Premier League match preview

Welcome to St James' Park
Game number 33 of the season will see Bolton Wanderers make the trip to St James’ Park.

The match comes just three days after the Magpies travelled to Swansea where they picked up a 2-0 victory to record four straight Premier League wins for the first time since 2006.

On paper this one should be a home banker, but here at Newcastle we don’t do home bankers and tend to be more familiar with the term “coupon busters” in games where we are strong favourites for, as we are this time around against a team who sit in 16th position in the table, just one point above the dreaded drop zone.

In contrast Newcastle are flying at the moment and have won games through very different approaches in recent weeks. We saw determination and grit against Norwich, attacking pride and power against West Brom, solid defensive work against Liverpool and clinical finishing against Swansea. But for a last gasp Juan Mata goal at Stamford Bridge yesterday we’d be sitting in 5th, but even though it wasn’t to be we are doing the right things by winning our own games and keeping the pressure on those above us as the season reaches its climax.

Newcastle United

There is worrying news from Cheik Tiote, who seems to have ruled himself out of this one after coming off against Swansea with a hamstring complaint. In a way it makes sense considering we have a 12 day break from the Premier League after this match. Yohan Cabaye (thigh) and Demba Ba (ankle) were also hauled off in that match but there are expected to be no issues with them and they should be good to start. Also out are Steven Taylor, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi and Peter Lovenkrands, Danny Guthrie and Haris Vuckic, while Gabriel Obertan remains missing for no apparent reason.

The good news though is that Fabricio Coloccini should be fit to play again, although Alan Pardew has hinted that he may choose to rest his Captain for this one – a decision no doubt made easier by the rather surprising yet no less satisfying James Perch/Mike Williamson combination at the back.Once again this may also have something to with not rushing players considering there is a 12 day break comping up.

Bolton Wanderers

Fabrice Muamba is abviously out, although the good news is that the midfielder is recovering well from his trouble. Stuart Holden has a knee injury and Chung-Yong Lee has a broken leg, so neither of them will be lining up for the Trotters.


The last meeting between the two sides ended 2-0 to Newcastle, with goals from Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa doing the damage. The last match at St James’ Park however ended in a 1-1 draw, with a goal from Kevin Nolan being cancelled out by the on loan Daniel Sturridge before Ryan Taylor saw red for a rather ridiculous challenge from Ryan Taylor. It’s a game I remember well as I took Mrs Toonsy (a Portsmouth fan, well, ex Portsmouth fan…) to the match for her birthday… Smooth mover me like!

Generally we’ve done well at home against Bolton in this era of Premier League football. Of 11 meetings at SJP we’ve won seven, drawn three and lost just once, back in 2006.

Tactics and team selection

As the home side we will be expected to go at Bolton, which means another game playing the 4-3-3 that has served us so well in recent weeks. The only real issue is how to replace Cheik Tiote should he really miss the match. Do we then play Colo at the back and move Perch into midfield? Or do we leave the defence well alone and drat in someone like Dan Gosling, who did well at Swansea, and give him a chance to impress? To me that is the only real question mark over the team selection as our players have had a day longer to rest and prepare for the match.

Up front you simply have to play the troublesome trio of Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse. People didn’t really respond well to seeing Demba Ba not celebrate our second on Good Friday, but I feel that a lot has been made out of nothing regarding that articular episode, and subsequent “Tweets” from the Senegalese forward seem to back me up on that.

In Papiss Cisse we have the form striker in the league right now, but the brutal truth is that wouldn’t back against any of the front three to cause damage on any given day. Other teams must hate playing us now we have all three of them in the team at the same time. They are hard to track, swap positions all the time and will track back and help the team defend. In short, they are fantastic assets for us.

Match stats and facts

Only three teams have stopped Newcastle from scoring on home turf this season – Chelsea, Swansea and Arsenal.

Papiss Cisse has scored two goals in each of his last three games, and nine goals in eight games in total since his move from Freiburg.

Newcastle need eight more points from the last six games to better our total from the first half of the season.

Final thought

I alluded to this earlier, but the only thing we can really do is keep winning our games and see what happens at the end of it. I’d say that 6th place is pretty much guaranteed now, and if we get pipped to 5th or 4th or whatever it has still been a fantastic season for us.

It’s games like these which we need to win though to keep us in the hunt a bit longer. The problem is that Bolton are scrapping for their lives right now and will want to make amends for a disappointing home defeat to Fulham yesterday. Will we continue our scintillating recent form? Or will we take this game for granted and gift Bolton some points?

Howay the lads!

Date: Monday, 9th April, 2012

Time: 3:00pm

Venue: St James’ Park

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

101 thoughts on “Newcastle v Bolton – Premier League match preview

  1. I can see this being a tough one, I reckon we’ll look tired. Hopefully our quality in attack will prove the difference but I’m not expecting a pretty one


  2. Those Two points would have been useful. 😥


  3. Ice, I think it’s different with the 4-3-3 formation for a number of reasons. Wolves played a midfield five and that start to tell against our four and start outnumbering us, Ben Arfa starts now and is great form and Cisse is better settled now.

    On team news, if Cabaye makes it then that’s great news because we would be sevearly weakened. I would personally give Abeid a chance but it will probably be;

    Simpson Williamson Perch Santon
    R.Taylor Jonas
    Ben Arfa Cisse Ba.


  4. DAN ime sure bolton will try to counter that,the first 20min might tell us how the game will spin out imo


  5. Whey I usually have us down to win by the odd goal in the predictor league but this time I have gone for a big win 😯 I can feel it in my water :mrgreen:


  6. Good write up Toonsy.
    If Collo looks like he will be fit I would definitely play him, and push Perch into defensive mid. You can imagine the earbashing Pardew will get if he plays a supposedly weakened team and we don’t win, and it would be brilliant if we could maintain the momentum going into the 12 day break on a high with a win.

    I would imagine Pardew will give it the safety first approach start as usual, cos he knows when we have the three flair players in the team we can score a goal from nothing, and Pardew will rightly show Bolton the respect they deserve.


  7. Richietoon, the critical issue is what Mark Lawrenson predicts, we all know he’s the main man… 😳 😳


  8. This team will be near enough the starting 11 with so many injurys



    A 4-0 win , we have too much up front for them to handle and the lads seem hell bent on Europe .


  9. On a separate note, did anyone watch motd last night, they spent about 15 mins showing and talking about Liverpool as if they were still a top 4 club, it was a poor mid table team playing villa – a team in the bottom 6
    Terrible bias as ever, time to sack the Liverpool old guard and get in people who know what they’re talking about
    Gary Neville would be a good start


  10. SteveP when I compare how the Germans portray the Bundesliga, every Sunday they have a 3 hour in depth review of all of the games, a group of journalists, including the managers and ex-pro’s review contentious refereeing decisions etc etc. It’s absolutely brilliant.
    On the BBC you get some outdated ex-Liverpool player blathering nonsense, I have to shake my head…Jobs for the boys, Shearer included I’m afraid..

    By all accounts Gary Neville is a great pundit and says it how it is. We need more of these younger professionals on TV…


  11. If colo is fine then the team basically picks itself with Perch slotting in in place of Tiote and the rest of the team being the same as against Swansea.

    If Colo isn’t 100% then I wouldn’t risk him and I’d just play Gosling instead. If Cabby is tired maybe let him sit back and do less running? As Jonas and Gosling should be ready to do plenty more running 😉

    We shouldn’t be too knackered either as the Swansea game wasn’t that exerting for us as we didn’t play high pressing…Bolton should be just as knackered if not more so as they placed more recently…


  12. So Manure got a penalty for a player offside…hope we start getting these decisions when we break the top 4 😆


  13. Fergie still about the ‘Newcastle penalty’ (one against this season?) Shut up please Ferguson you get almost every decision your way at home.


  14. MM- I don’t think he’s anywhere near the quality of most of our squad but I really don’t think he’s had much game time at all. Fair enough, he hasn’t helped himself at times but with over a year out he’s going to be rusty. Think he could be a decent squad player given the chance.


  15. Newkie, I agree with you. We need to give the lad more chance perhaps, but he seems somewhat off the pace of the game when he has appeared. Feel we should perservere with him though..


  16. Rusty or not, he is quite lacking in the pace department (slow in fact) so he is put into midfield as a player that drifts about and passes the ball but he is in danger of the game passing him by at this level. He hasn’t had enough game time to get to anywhere near a decent standard either. His redeeming features are probably his positioning, passing and technique but he is quite a slow player.


  17. Munich@15 -Gary neville is looking like a great signing by sky sports .Knows his stuff and doesn’t seem biased at all .Funny I hated him as a player ! 😉


  18. kimtoon

    I can remember seeing him not so long ago in a reserve game at SJP and the rest were kids and second string so I knew he mustn’t be ‘big headed’ or anything. Ironically he does have a huge head on a little body though 🙂


  19. I think he is just dropped from the first team big dave. He had a really poor game and then was dropped to the bench at Sunderland and presumably he’s still on the bench, don’t know if he is ‘injured’. 😉


  20. Big D, I was reading an article in mid week that the legendary Joey Barton captain of QPR was subbed in a recent game and was booed off by his own supporters. To which he issued the usual JB rallying cry we need to pull together, I need to win over the fans etc etc. Not sure if he’s injured, but he’s nowhere near the squad for today’s game.


  21. Dave , Barton out because he’s on a lot of cards apparently and they want him for weds night or something like that.


  22. Kimtoon, I agree as a player Gary Neville was a player I didn’t like, probably cos he was so good and played for Manure, but as a pundit he seems to get a lot of respect, though to be honest being based here in Germany haven’t seen or heard much from him on TV.


  23. DJG@39 -Yes and Barton for his total lack of respect shown toward him after the sacking deserves the trapdoor in all .


  24. MM-Exactly, people are too quick to judge imo. Two months ago a fair number were calling/saying Benny would be sold. Where would we be without him now….He was doing well in pre season but more first team game time is in order-would be nice to get Europa for players such as him, another area to show his ability.

    DJG-Slow but he does have stamina on his side, bit like Raylor. Pace should be something he works on though, he was fairly fast at Everton, maybe he picked up some of STaylors bad habbits :mrgreen:

    Kimtoon-exactly, not a big fan of QPR like but i’m not so sure these things ever “even each other out” for the big boys.


  25. MM he did get a lot of stick and he was getting plenty on twitter aswell, but I don’t think thats why he’s not on twitter I have a feeling Sparky has told him to concentrate on his footie 😀


  26. Manure coasting to the title as usual .Poor Citeh spent £210m in two years and where has it got them.I suppose with big money signings and wages and egos to match it’s always gonna be an uphill battle like . 🙄 😉


  27. Big D, I know you are a big fan of JB’s mate, but I think he is a basket case that we are well rid of.. 🙁


  28. Sums it up perfectly…we are the mags, we are the mags, we are, we are…..

    Newcastle united are really looking the business. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you get rid of all the vastly overpaid, useless gob****es in your squad, and replace them with well scouted, hungry players on vastly lower wages.

    I’m amazed at the transformation that has happened in newcastle over the last couple of years. They were a comedy club, a potential giant, drowning in a sea of economic incompetence, choked by a series of failed signings, who were all too expensive for the club in the first place. It was years of losses, culminating in relegation, despite being in the deloitte and touche list of the 20 biggest clubs in europe.

    Now they are a serious club, run on serious lines, playing serious football, and getting some serious results. They used the last two years to get rid of all the older useless high earners, and now they”ve been transformed into a profitable club. it all hinges on the remarkably simple insight, that there are a hell of a lot of good footballers out there in the world. Outside of the very biggest clubs in every league, there are plenty of very talented players who think that £40,000 a week and the chance to play in the premiership is a ticket to heaven. In short, Why pay joey barton £60,000 a week when there is a 25 year old french international like cabaye prepared to accept £40k?

    Because they are profitable, they are under no pressure to sell any player in the summer (except for ba whose contract is riddled with all sorts of clauses, which could see him leave for £3.5 million to newcastle, and £3.5 million to ba) They can offer improved contracts to the players who were a success to keep them at the club, or they can cash in on one or two of their players, and get a really top price for them, before gradually reinvesting the money.

    Either way, they will have a fairly substantial pot of cash to spend on strengthening their defence, and their squad in general, so they don’t suddenly start losing games if they have one or two key injuries. Success on the pitch will see them do better from commercial contracts, which quite frankly could be doing a lot better. Another area where newcastle have room substantial room for improvement is in ticket revenue. This season and last they only had one home game in the cups, giving them a total of 20 home games. Getting into the group stage of the europa league would guarantee them 4 home games, and further progress in that competition would add to that, and a favorable draw in the cups could boost that even further. at about a £1million a home game, that starts to quickly add up.

    A strong season from newcastle next year could see them quickly growing to the point where they could afford to have a real stab at getting into the champions league, without risking the clubs financial future. the future looks very bright for them. They’re a great advertisement for getting control of your finances, and trying to do things in a sensible, sustainable way.


  29. Koscelny or however you spell it out for the next two games with suspension…good news for us like, just need city to grab this 😉


  30. City have bottled it big style. And what a complete waste of oxygen that Balotelli is.

    The only good thing is they’re gonna be completely humiliated by the time Manure have finished with them on the 30th. We should have a very good chance when we play them 6 days later.

    It looks like Spurs are our best chance for 4th.


  31. We just gotta keep on winning our games and see what happens at the end of the season. Spurs are well within our grasp though, perhaps Arsenal too. Another last minute winner for Arsene Whinger


  32. Goodbye Mancini… “you are gonna get sack tmr morning”. 😉

    What a pathetic performance from ManC.LOL. Mancini blind faith for a disruptive player gonna cause his job as well.

    Time and time again,balotelli get sent off. ❗


  33. kimtoon, take Chelsea and Citeh’s millions, plus SAF out of the equation, and we might have a chance to win the league. 😆


  34. Kimtoon-Aye hopefully :mrgreen: be a great way to finish the last home game of the season, Benny screamer 😀


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