So, with David Jones’s men banging them in the net for fun up against the best defence in the league, let’s hope they dont just cancel each other out. Let’s face it, the team need to go for the home win and they’re not going to do that playing as negatively as they did last weekend. Hopefully Chris Hughton has learnt something from our last performance and will employ a much more positive approach this evening. I can’t remember when we last played on a Friday evening, but hopefully there will be a good atmosphere. Cardiff have sold their entire allocation and looking at their boards, it seems most of their fans are going to make a weekend of it up in Newcastle.
On the Magpies team news, apparently Simpson, Gutierrez and Ameobi are all fit and available for this game – with the only players still out with injury being Joey Barton, Steven Taylor and Jose Enrique. It will be great to see some of the new signings get a game and hopefully Best, the former Coventry striker and Wayne Routledge will add a bit of pace and fire power. Hopefully he will bring back Simpson into the back four with Williamson, Coloccini and Van Arnholt. With Jonas fit and available it will be great to get some pace on both right and left hand side of the pitch, although how much Jonas will miss Enrique remains to be seen as they have such a great understanding.
Cardiff are an attacking side, and away from home have scored more goals than any other side in the Championship. Ex Toon turned Cardiff striker, Michael Chopra has had a big part, netting 14 goals so far this season. He had this to say about the forthcoming match:
“Newcastle have got a good chance of winning the league – they brought in six players during the transfer window, so they’re really going for it.
“But the way we’re playing at the moment, this is the best opportunity we’ll have to be the first team to beat them at home.”
Although Chopra has respect for his former club, he does not think they are dominant in the league and can be beaten. He added:
“I saw Newcastle play Leicester on television on Saturday and they didn’t seem as good a team as they used to be.
“We’re playing some good stuff at the moment, so hopefully we can go up there and put up a fight.
“Our team is full of goalscorers. We know if we don’t concede goals, we’ll get chances to score them. It’s down to the midfield and the forwards to score goals. If the defence are doing their job, then it’s our job to score goals, and that’s what’s been happening recently.
“For some reason, we manage to play better against top teams and take points off them. We went to West Brom and won comfortably and we did the same at Middlesbrough so the lads are full of confidence, we’re in good form and looking forward to Newcastle.”
Meanwhile, on Chopra, Cardiff, Davy Jones and the match; Chris Hughton commented:
“We have no special plans for Chopra. He is a very good player with pace and finishing ability. We will have to defend well against him and nullify the supply he gets. Given chances he will score goals.
“Cardiff are rightly hopeful of promotion. They had a dip and have come through that. They have quality in the squad and two players who have scored a fantastic number of goals. And they have one of the best managers around.”
Chopra received a hostile welcome at St James’ Park last season when he was playing for Sunderland but he always looks forward to going back to the club where he started his career.
Cardiff team news is that Gavin Rae will miss Cardiff`s trip to Newcastle, having been ruled out for two to three weeks with a hamstring injury. Midfielder Stephen McPhail and defender Miguel Comminges have returned to training after lengthy absences but neither are ready for match action just yet.
Last weekend`s 2-1 win over Doncaster stretched Cardiff’s unbeaten run to eight games and they will certainly be tough opponents. David Jones said in an interview on the Cardiff City website:
‘We’re not going to be fearful of them, we know we’re in a good position and can beat anyone on our day.
“We know we can score from different positions, it’s been one of our strengths this year.
Newcastle have brought in some new players and they may need time to settle down so this might be a good time to play them.
If I look at Chris Hughton’s squad, it’s difficult to pick a team. He looks at mine and it’s fairly easy to pick the team. So we’ll have no surprises for them but they may have one or two for us.
“But our lads are in a good bullish mood, a strong confident mood at the moment, and they should be because we’re coming off the back of some really good performances.”
But Newcastle are still unbeaten in 14 matches and will want to stretch that run and gain 3 valuable points this evening, another draw is not good enough. We have the players, lets hope we employ the right tactics to take the points.
I’m going for a close home win.
Howay the lads.