Cardiff vs Newcastle: Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted-line ups

With promotion confirmed just 4 days ago, Newcastle United’s busy schedule continues tonight with a trip to face Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City.

Whilst Monday’s victory should settle the nerves following several edgy performances, the players must remain focused, with a win tonight being of vital importance if we are to stay in the title race.

As the table below shows, victory would put us just 1 point behind Brighton. Even with a United win tonight, Brighton could still be confirmed as title winners should they beat Bristol City on Saturday, but it would certainly pile the pressure on Hughton’s men to get the job done.

 

The opposition

Like Preston, Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City are sitting comfortably in mid-table, residing in 13th place.

Cardiff’s recent home form has been impressive of late however, with 4 wins and 2 draws in their last 6 at the Cardiff City stadium (see left).

Top scorer Kenneth Zohore is one to watch, with 11 goals this season, whilst Peter Whittingham has been their top creator this term, assisting 7 goals for the Bluebirds.

 

Team news

Newcastle will be without several first team players for tonight’s game.

Benitez confirmed yesterday that Jamaal Lascelles, Vurnon AnitaGrant Hanley and Jesus Gamez will all miss out after picking up minor knocks.

Matt Ritchie will also miss out after being handed a two-game ban by the FA for abusive language towards an official following Newcastle’s 1-1 draw to Leeds earlier in the month.

The game will come too soon for Dwight Gayle once again, with the striker hoping to return for United’s final game of the season.

For the hosts, Kenneth Zohore is set to return to the starting line up after being rested at Wigan over the weekend, whilst Sol Bamba remains out.

 

Predicted line-up

Newcastle United – (4-2-3-1) – Elliot – Yedlin, Mbemba, Clark, Dummett – Shelvey, Hayden – Atsu, Perez, Gouffran – Murphy

FOUR changes from Preston?

Lascelles OUT, Mbemba IN? With Lascelles and Hanley both ruled out of this one, I fully expect Mbemba to be given another chance in the side. Mbemba hasn’t featured in the previous 2 games but was impressive in his last appearance against Leeds. Should he start, it will be interesting to see how he plays alongside Ciaran Clark, with the pair undoubtedly being our most gifted, ball playing centre-backs.

Anita OUT, Yedlin IN?  Benitez confirmed Anita has been playing with a knock in recent weeks and his absence will almost certainly see the return of DeAndre Yedlin at right-back. Yedlin looked way off the pace in his comeback appearance at Ipswich so Benitez will be hoping for an improved display from the American tonight.

Ritchie OUT, Gouffran IN? Ritchie’s suspension is perhaps the biggest blow of all going into this one. Barring a surprise recall for Sammy Ameobi, I fully expect Benitez to recall Yoann Gouffran to the side.

Mitrovic OUT, Murphy IN? Mitrovic played the full 90 against Preston just 4 days ago and could be rested. Murphy struggled in general in the 3-1 defeat at Ipswich last week, but he knows where the back of the net is and could well be given the nod tonight.

 

Match prediction

I’m hoping Newcastle play with freedom after the relief of securing promotion on Monday, but i’m not convinced that’s Rafa’s style.

Whilst tonight’s game is pivotal for our slim title hopes, I am unsure if we may face a hangover from this week’s promotion celebrations – as Brighton did in their recent 2-0 defeat at Norwich following confirmation of their promotion.

Given their league position, Cardiff have little to play for, which could work for or against the Magpies.

After dismal away performances at Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday recently, i’m hoping for a vast improvement, but taking into consideration our injuries and Cardiff’s home form, I think this one could be a draw.

Prediction: Cardiff 1-1 Newcastle

Here’s hoping i’m wrong for the sake of our title hopes. Howay the lads!

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

63 thoughts on “Cardiff vs Newcastle: Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted-line ups

  1. Good pre-match write up, as usual, Olly. I think you will be right about the team as well. I have a bee in my bonnet about Joey Barton so I didn’t mean anything by what I said. I also have a bee in my bonnet about Lee Ryder, “5 things I learnt” and crutch phrases like “for me”. Maybe I will get over it 🙂

    How come Elliot is now number one ‘keeper again? That would be my choice but it doesn’t usually happen that the incumbent, Darlow, gets bumped unless they are a bit useless, like Sels. I think Rafa must have identified that Darlow was the problem for the defense?

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  2. Good preview Olly, thanks.
    Yes they should definitely be playing with more freedom tonight now the pressure is off and we do normally play better away from SJP this season. There is no doubt that Ritchie not playing will significantly affect our game, the lack of decent crosses and a quality penalty taker missing is bound to have an impact.
    I had a feeling Anita was carrying a knock last couple of games, he wasn’t his usual self and looked off the pace last week in particular. Fair play to the lad for playing through the pain, there’s plenty that won’t as we well know.
    Don’t see why Mitro shouldn’t start though Olly, it’s just 2 more games and he needs to be given the chance to impress a bit more, you can always bring on Murphy for last 20 say.
    As for Elliot, I’m glad he’s back, feel safer with him in goal somehow and he’s more vocal than Darlow, but I do like Darlow and do think he will continue to progress .
    A tight win tonight to put a wee bit of pressure on Hoots boys.
    Don’t see why he wouldn’t

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  3. Seems Rafa wants to bring Santon back. He liked him when he was at Inter, he knows the club and the PL, Geordie wife and the lad makes a decent wing back. He’d also be reasonably cheap. Sounds good to me.

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  4. georgio:
    Seems Rafa wants to bring Santon back. He liked him when he was at Inter, he knows the club and the PL, Geordie wife and the lad makes a decent wing back. He’d also be reasonably cheap. Sounds good to me.

    so your a cheap skate then mate 😆 😆

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  5. Eric I think Kinnear was a better director of football than Dennis Wise. No manager resigned and it saved Ashley million’s of pounds on signing players which was probably his intention in the first place. Even Troy once said, if Kinnear hadn’t had his heart attack he would have kept the club in the premiership mate.

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  6. Ice our owner’s the real cheap skate mate. I’d be surprised if we sign anyone expensive in the summer without selling someone first.

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  7. Some of Carr’s signing’s have been a total waste of money. Saviet be luck to get back 4.5 million on him. De Jong 6 million and never fit. Marveaux 50k a week and couldn’t make the first team. Riviere 6 million and scored one goal of a lucky deflection. Carbella and Thauvin another 20 million down the drain. Of course the team relegated and Carr’s still here. He done more damage to the team than Kinnear ever did.

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  8. We really don’t need this game so how about Mitro and Murphy bullying the opposition? Shelvey loves being the “quarterback” so why not give him 2 to aim for? Go full on Sam Allardyce and see what happens as an experiment for next year?

    That’s enough tactics Eric, get back to talking about Arrogant Alan, Ugly John and “wrong 115% of the time Troy”.

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  9. Stem:
    Eric I think Kinnear was a better director of football than Dennis Wise.No manager resigned and it saved Ashley million’s of pounds on signing players which was probably his intention in the first place.Even Troy once said, if Kinnear hadn’t had his heart attack he would have kept the club in the premiership mate.

    Stem: you are having a discussion about who is the tallest midget mate. Almost literally in Dennis Wise’s case. And, of course, that was totally hypothetical about what Troy said because Kinnear DID have the heart attach and Troy IS wrong 115% of the time.

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  10. I take part of what I said back. Troy is “Mr. 114% wrong” because he did want to dump McClaren after 9 games. I agreed with him and then changed my mind as I thought he should be given a bit more time.

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  11. Eric, Troy did say if Pardew wasn’t sacked he would have kept Palace up that’s comedy gold. Although he hasn’t been on much since then. He only seem’s to comment if Pardew won a game with Palace

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  12. And this new investigation might get funny as long as we don’t get deducted points. Will never ‘appen. ‘Arry-the-Bung got away with setting up a false bank account for his dog Milly and still gets jobs and lucrative gigs for the papers. And Sir Jamie of Redknapp gets jobs as well despite his ridiculously tight trousers.

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  13. Stem: it is always possible to employ somebody worse. It doesn’t make the current manager any better.

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  14. Eric Sykes:
    And this new investigation might get funny as long as we don’t get deducted points. Will never ‘appen. ‘Arry-the-Bung got away with setting up a false bank account for his dog Milly and still gets jobs and lucrative gigs for the papers. And Sir Jamie of Redknapp gets jobs as well despite his ridiculously tight trousers.

    I quite like his tight trousers 😉 😀

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  15. The majority of this summer’s signing will be cheap, even if Ashley gives Rafa $100M, as we have so many positions to strengthen. I read a rumor that Rafa wants to bring back Sissoko. Not sure what you guys think but I kind of believe it. First of all, the price will drop, maybe a lot from our selling price. Also for some reason, Rafa truly believes Sissoko is a good player, and he has never been seriously injured, right? He still has the potential. But the most important news I have been waiting since our promotion is Rafa’s decision about his future.

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  16. Match tonight is at 3.45 am for me… ?? not sure that I can either stay up the late or get up that early… ??

    I like the team that Olly put up though and it’s a good bet I think. Hoping for the win to put some pressure on Brighton for a change.

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  17. Oh, and I don’t want Sissoko anywhere near our club ever again, even if we get him for 500k. Even if Spurs paid us again I wouldn’t take him… scumbag.

    Santon I would have back though. I thought he was canny.

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  18. I don’t think we have to worry about ever seeing Sissoko again, for one reason – there is absolutely no way Daniel Levy would take the kind of financial hit it would take for us to buy him back. The price would have to be at least as low as half of what we paid for him, and Levy doesn’t do that. It must be killing him to know that we skinned him on the Sissoko deal, so the last thing he wants to do is admit it to the rest of the world by selling for a cut-rate price.

    The only thing that worries me a bit is the weird structure of the deal that sent him to Spurs. It’s possible we could just “cancel” the remaining payments and take him back. I could see Ashley saying “well, we haven’t actually gotten the last £25m yet, so we can’t afford a player actually worth that much.” Granted, this is all based on my hazy memory of conflicting reports on the Sissoko deal, so who knows how the finances are set up.

    And echoing what others have said, I’d definitely have Santon back. I wasn’t ever totally clear on why he left.

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  19. kimtoon:
    I will flip if that sissoko rumour is true, guy is heartless and well…a bit crap.

    A bit crap your being kind mate,he’s totally crap lol

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  20. Good thread Olly

    If my memory serves me right Pardew fell out with Santon over what I don’t know,but I remember his girlfriend saying he didn’t want to leave and was being forced out by Pardew Santon made her take it off her media page as it was causeing him bother at the club

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  21. Hacky Jack back in for Shelvey so my quarterback theory is out and Icedog will be having conniption fits.

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  22. Forgot to stick the pin in the doll today dam,it’s been working well lately too,God I hope he does back to scumm land next yr he will help to take them down to div 1 no bother

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  23. Icedog:
    Good thread Olly

    If my memory serves me right Pardew fell out with Santon over what I don’t know,but I remember his girlfriend saying he didn’t want to leave and was being forced out byPardew Santon made her take it off her media page as it was causeinghim bother at the club

    Yes mate, t hat’s exactly what happened .

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  24. What are the away fans singing? I’ve never heard that one before.

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  25. Very good free kick there, but Atsu’s final ball often leaves much to be desired.

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  26. So we need favors from Villa and Bristol City to win this here league, right?

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  27. What I am thinking about the Mackems is that they deserve some ridicule. They send a plane over SJP with what they think is an ironic message but it just shows them up and shows their envy of Newcastle.

    I don’t want to go on a rant here, but… 🙂

    I mean, doing a piss take of Auf Wiedersehen Pet when nothing has ever been said about Sunderland in the history of the world is a bit strong. Their heroes are Jim Montgomery and Peytar Reid FFS. Tell me one thing about Sunderland that is interesting? The beach south of the Tyne is nice, that’s about it. Cold, though 🙂

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  28. Yep, My local club need the win to be sure of not going down so hoping they give it a right good go tomorrow.

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  29. Them Mackems are really in trouble with a sh!t and overpaid squad and disinterested owner. Now the whole country has adopted a term to refer to them that was always meant in a derogatory way. YCMIU, SMBs.

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  30. Well I missed the game, didn’t wake up in time… ? But just woke to this great result. That’s a record 14 wins away now for us in one season. That slim chance of the title is still possible and both Brighton’s games are tough. We have a chance. It’s slim but it’s there. ??. Did we play well? I read that Cardiff had two disallowed goals, was the ref right or wrong in our favour for a change? ?

    Well, onwards and upwards lads and lasses. ??

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  31. Dubai Toon:
    . Did we play well? I read that Cardiff had two disallowed goals, was the ref right or wrong in our favour for a change? ?

    Well, onwards and upwards lads and lasses. ??

    Only saw the highlights so don’t know how we played, but both goals were correct disallowed I believe
    For the first one the scorer leaned on Clarke and the 2nd the guy was offside for atleast couple of passes

    Cardiff had several good open chances tho

    Two great goals from atsu and hayden

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  32. So relieved that we have promotion in the bag, step 1 accomplished, well done Rafa and the squad.
    Easy win yesterday against Cardiff, without Shelvey and Ritchie, well done.
    Robe Elliot in for Darlow and wearing the captains armband, good move by Rafa, takes Darlow a bit out of the headlights and gives him a chance to take a breath after a demanding season. Ditto Lascelles.

    Santon back, yes please, he’ll fill in nicely at our problem left back position, right back too. Expect Rafa ansand Ashley to agree on a sensible and staged recovery, 4 or 5 new players in to stabilise in the Prem, then kick on from there.

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  33. Good write up Olly, you’re keeping the blog ticking over. Keep up the good work.

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  34. Dubai Toon:
    Well I missed the game, didn’t wake up in time… But just woke to this great result. That’s a record 14 wins away now for us in one season.That slim chance of the title is still possible and both Brighton’s games are tough. We have a chance. It’s slim but it’s there. . Did we play well? I read that Cardiff had two disallowed goals, was the ref right or wrong in our favour for a change?

    Well, onwards and upwards lads and lasses.

    The two disallowed goals correct as Glosmag said mate, but they missed two sitters too. We were better second half than first and had one stone waller turned down as is the norm for us this season 🙄 but our two goals were well taken in particular Atsu, beautiful goal. Mitro came on towards end of second half and yet again fluffed a couple of good chances. What would go in off the arse of another player completely seems to allude him. 🙁

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  35. DJ: Olly’s stuff is exceptional. Always interesting and informative. These new lads, Olly, Simon and Jake have taken the writing on here to a consistently high level.

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  36. Fans going overboard regarding Atsu free kick last night which I agree was excellent. Fans saying we must sign him. Rafa’s observations were more cautious. Remember Fabrice Pancrate? He scored one of the best goals I have seen at St. James Park but he never did anything else. I believe we can do better than Atsu but I would not object to having him as a squad player depending on cost. Hayden has made a tremendous difference since coming back. Shows how much we have missed him.

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  37. Groucho: one swallow and summers regarding Atsu. We have a few PL ready players:

    Elliot, Krul
    Anita, Clark, Dummett (MBemba?)
    Shelvey, Hayden
    Ritchie, Gayle (Mitro?)

    That’s about it. But that, with 2 or 3 additions, and no injuries would get us 17th place.

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  38. Agree on Atsu, I said last night , if he could be that good on a regular basis then I would keep him. Other than that he has been decidedly average for me this season; fair do’s on that goal though, very good.

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