On an unusually busy deadline day for NUFC, we’ve still found time to talk to a Burnley fan, as ‘The Opposition Opinion’ returns for tonight’s huge game at St James’ Park.
Here we’re looking to bring you a view from the other side before each and every game this season, interviewing an opposing fan to gain their opinions on NUFC, some insights into their own club and their thoughts on of our upcoming match.
This week we’ve been speaking to Burnley fan Jonny, whose had the following to say ahead of their trip to St James’ tonight:
1) What have you made of your season so far & what sort of shape do you feel you’re coming into Wednesday’s game in? It’s a huge game for us so we’re hoping your poor run of form continues!
“We’re having an excellent season. A lot is being made of not winning in 7 games, fact is we have had some key men out. Tarks (Tarkowski), Lowton, Ward, Wood have all had spells out alongside the long term lads like Brady and Heaton.
“News this afternoon is that Tarks and Defour (who have been excellent) are most likely missing for tonight – in Dyche language that means no chance. Although the replacements In Pope, Long and Westwood are adequate.
“I also expect to see Aaron Lennon hit the ground running – he’ll start tonight we think.”
2) What have you made of Newcastle this season and our current side? Who do you see as our threats & is there any players/areas that you see as weak links in our team that you feel you can exploit?
“In my opinion I would have expected Newcastle with a manager such as Rafa to be performing slightly better – massive club that Just seem to be under performing of late.
“Weakness I would probably say similar to us in that you don’t score a great amount of goals, but ss we know that can sometimes be worth it if you can keep them out.
“I’ve always liked Shelvey as a player. Controls the midfield well and could be effective against a weakened Burnley midfield.”
3) Likewise, where do the strengths & weaknesses lie in your Burnley side? any players for us to watch out for on Wednesday for any particular reason?
“Weaknesses in our side at the moment would be up top – we simply don’t score enough goals.
“As far as strengths go, we do well defensively and are hard to break down. I would normally have said watch out for Defour but he won’t play, so I’d say Gudmundsson / Lennon will be our threats.
“Also, Jack cork is excellent on his day and don’t expect to get past Ben Mee or Pope if they are on song.”
“Tarkowski will be a big miss though. Kevin Long has done a job when he’s come in, but if him or Mee gets injured we have had it! We have no cover!
“Defour is a great player on his day and has shined this season, we’ve just got to hope that Westwood can step up!”
4) What sort of game do you think it’ll be & how do you see the match panning out? Score prediction?
“Away from home we play the same as at home, I’d be surprised if he changed from a 4-5-1 tomorrow. Likely Barnes up front on his own with Hendrick joining him when we go forward. It is yet to be seen if the additions of GK & Lennon might change that.
“I’d personally play Gudmundsson behind Barnes and Lennon on the right – but I’m not Sean Dyche!”
“If the Burnley we know turn up I’m confident of either nicking a 1-0 win or a score draw, both of which is be delighted with!”
5) How do you think both sides will fare over the remainder of the season? Predictions for rough league position for both & your three teams to go down?!
“I think Swansea Brighton and Huddersfield will drop, the other teams down there are experienced and will get out of it.
“For us, once everyone is fit I see no reason we can’t go for 7th/8th place – it’s beyond our expectations! Newcastle 11/12th for me.”
6) Finally, if you could make the best possible combined XI out of our two squads, what would yours be?
“(4-4-2) Heaton – Lowton, Lascelles Mee Ward – Gudmundsson, Shelvey, Defour, Atsu – Barnes, Gayle”
He clearly realises how much Burnley are overachieving, but backs them for a return to form tonight – with him mentioning his surprise as our poor season so far under Rafa.
We’ll be back soon with the thoughts of a Palace fan ahead of Sunday’s trip to Selhurst Park
Massive game– HWTL!