Date: Tuesday, Sept 20th, 2011
Referee: Lee Mason
Newcastle United are in action this Tuesday night, with a visit to see Dutch impressionist, Steve McClaren, and his struggling Nottingham Forest side.
The Magpies defeated a spirited Scunthorpe United team 2-1 in extra-time to earn a visit to the City Ground, while Nottingham Forest dispensed of rivals Notts County on penalties, after a 3-3 draw at home. There is no scheduled live broadcast for the match, so it will be time to scour the wonders of the world wide web once again to find a stream. Pop back here tomorrow for our match banter, and maybe someone may have been kind enough to share a link for you. If you find a decent one yourself, feel free to share your discovery with the rest of us.
Newcastle are coming into this game off the back of an impressive away performance at Villa Park, where in fairness, United deserved more than the point they earned. Nottingham Forest are probably still a little upset about their defeat to rivals Derby County at the weekend, it certainly seemed that way while I was at the Nottingham train station on late Saturday afternoon anyway. Newcastle’s last visit to Nottingham was in October 2009 during our Championship season, where we were defeated 1-0 thanks to a Dexter Blackstock strike.
Nottingham Forest: (From) To be updated.
Newcastle United: (From) Krul, Elliot, Harper, Simpson, R. Taylor, Ferguson, Coloccini, S. Taylor, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Marveaux, Obertan, Gosling, Guthrie, Ben Arfa, Ba, Shola Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Best, Sammy Ameobi.
Mike Williamson, Mehdi Abeid, Davide Santon, Alan Smith and Haris Vuckic are unavailable for the Magpies due to injury. Kazenga Lua Lua, Ryan Donaldson and Phil Airey have loaned themselves to the lower leagues, so they are also unavailable. Hatem Ben Afra is finally back for what will be his first competitive appearance since that psychopathic numpty Nigel De Jong broke his leg, way back in October of last year. It remains to be seen whether Ben Arfa will start, I’m not sure he will, since he hasn’t even had a reserve team run out yet, but to be honest I don’t know. Maybe he will start. Maybe he won’t…
I expect to see Marveaux and Gosling play, as will Danny Guthrie. Lovenkrands and the Ameobi brothers may also start the game. James Perch may get a start at centre back, and that’ll be interesting to see how he handles it, if he does play there. We can also see if there really is a need to over panic if we lose Coloccini or Steven Taylor at any time during the season, due to suspension or injury.
Nottingham Forest have Marcus Tudgay, George Boateng, Chris Cohen and Paul Anderson (not the director) all currently injured.
I think we’ll stick with the 4-4-2 formation, with Rob Elliot keeping goal for what would be his Magpies debut. To be honest, it really is difficult to pick a team and formation for this match. As you probably know by now (if you’ve been reading my previews), I prefer the 4-2-3-1 formation, but I think we will play that more often to accommodate Ben Arfa. So if he starts, we’ll likely play with the one striker. I still expect us to field a strongish first eleven, as it would be stupid to not actually try and win something that teams such as Oxford United have won more recently, than our last trophy triumph, the same year in which Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon in 1969. Allegedly.
I think Ryan Taylor will keep his left-back position on Tuesday, simply because the more games he plays there, the better he’ll get accustom to the position. Shane Ferguson may be drafted into that role though. Sammy Ameobi deserves a start, and his mobile older brother Shola, will likely partner Lovenkrands in attack. If you had told me 5 years ago, and bearing in mind I didn’t even know young Sammy existed or had talent, that there would be two Ameobi’s starting a match in the black and white shirt, I’m not quite sure how I would have reacted…
Newcastle have a good chance of progressing to the next round tomorrow night, and I’ll be disappointed if we don’t pick up the win. Nottingham Forest are not doing too well at the moment, but these are the type of annoying games where a win or defeat for either team, could have interesting repercussions. I think Marveaux and Gosling will put in good performances, since they’ll want to impress Pardew and get themselves in the first eleven come Saturday afternoon against Blackburn. Somewhat of a forgotten figure, Danny Guthrie, will also want to impress, though he may be forced to play in a more holding role, to allow Gosling to roam forward. I’m sure all of us are excited for what could be Hatem Ben Arfa’s 52nd potential come back for Newcastle, and we’ll all be keeping a close eye on him.
What the managers say
Steve McLaren: “It will be a long time before we can go out in Nottingham again – and rightly so. But we have the chance to regroup when we play Newcastle in the Carling Cup, and, whoever shows up, we have to produce a performance to be proud of.
“It is very difficult to change the team when you have no players to do that with. When you get a few injuries, the squad becomes thin. We will have to see what team we can put out.”
Alan Pardew: “It’s a competition we feel we can do well in. We’ve got a lot of players who haven’t featured and are desperate to show their wares, so to speak.
“I look forward to seeing one or two of them on the pitch.”
Howay The Lads.