What a difference a week makes eh? I might just be talking about myself right here, but I can see a slight ray of light through the dark clouds of relegation.
That slither of light was provided by Swansea in midweek, who thankfully beat Wigan on their own turn ensuring that we don’t enter this match against QPR in the bottom three of the Premier League table.
In fact the result for Swansea has given us another chance to get ourselves out of this mess and could potentially see us safe on Tuesday evening providing to things happen. The first thing that needs to happen is that we need to pick up at least a point at Loftus Road tomorrow, although ideally we’d pick up three. The second thing is that Wigan must lose at Arsenal on Tuesday (or achieve no more than a draw if we win at QPR) which would be enough to see us safe heading into the final league game of the season and would see super Roberto Martinez – managerial mastermind in the eyes of some – relegate Wigan with a record that isn’t even comparable to that of Steve Bruce!
Chris Samba is doubtful for the visit of the Magpies as he battles with a knee injury. Shaun Wright-Phillips (ankle) and Andrew Johnson (knee) will both miss the match and what is left of the season as both have undergone surgery on their respective injuries. Tal Ben Haim has already left the club and has signed for MLS side Toronto FC while goalkeeper Julio Cesar won’t be considered for selection.
Mathieu Debuchy is available once more after sitting out the 0-0 draw with West Ham last weekend due to suspension. Tim Krul, Shola Ameobi and Moussa Sissoko have been ruled out for the rest of the season and will join Ryan Taylor and Haris Vuckic on the treatment table. Sylvain Marveaux and Davide Santon are training again although their readiness for match action remains unknown while Sammy Ameobi and Shane Ferguson are available again after returning from loan spells at Middlesbrough and Birmingham respectively.
United go looking for a first league double of the season following on from the 1-0 victory recorded at St James’ Park back in December. The goalscorer that day – Shola Ameobi.
Newcastle last tasted defeat at Loftus Road back in 1995. The scoreline was 3-0 that day and whilst 1995 sounds a long time ago there has only been three matches in West London since then with United recording two victories (one in the Championship) and one draw.
Home and away and in all competitions our record against each other is remarkably similar. There have been 41 games contested between the two sides with United winning 18, QPR winning 16 with 7 draws making up the numbers.
Match stats and facts:
QPR have the worst home record in the division having won just two games in front of their own fans all season long.
United have the third-worst away record in the division and have won just once on the road all season.
QPR have failed to score on 15 occasions this term and have not scored in their last four league games.
United have kept only two clean sheets away from home all season. Last week at West Ham was one with the other coming against Norwich in January.
If Newcastle fail to win tomorrow it will be our worst season away from home in terms of wins. Even in our relegation season we managed to win two games away from home.
On the face of it United have everything to play for whilst QPR have nothing, but that isn’t strictly true. Their pride will be hurting and they will be wanting to sign off the season with a win in front of their own fans. They owe us no favours.
We have the capability and quality to win this game no doubt, but we’ve had that in other games also and have crumbled before. The pressure is most definitely on us and we must get a result, whether it be through nice football or dog ugly long-ball stuff I don’t care as long as we get the points on the board. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we’re hardly in a position where we can be picky about the type of football we play, are we?
P.S: I’m getting a bit fed up of the snide remarks people seem to be aiming towards each other and the amount of general bickering right now. Fed up to the point of considering whether it’s actually worth keeping this open bearing in mind I set it up with the aim of encouraging RESPECTFUL debate between ADULTS who support NUFC. I know a lot of people are annoyed with things right now, but come on, it doesn’t mean that people have to act like peckers does it now? Calm it down please, make your point, respect others, and all will be good.
Howay the lads!
Date: Sunday, 12th May, 2013
Venue: Loftus Road