Date: Sun 15th Jan 2011.
Kick-Off: 1:30 pm.
Referee: Chris Foy.
Hello, good afternoon and welcome to our regular “match banter” feature.
This time the Magpies will be facing the transitional Queen’s Park Rangers under new manager, Mark Hughes, he of the slightly annoying mid-sentence sharp intakes of breath.
Like ourselves, it will be a somewhat depleted QPR on the pitch this afternoon, with key players such as captain, Joey Barton, Alejandro Faurlín, Armand Traoré and Adel Taarabt out through suspension, injury and the African Cup of Nations (x2) respectively. Of course it goes without saying that another Toon old boy, Kieron Dyer, will be also be out to injury as usual. On the QPR’s opening game of the season he was carried off on a stretcher with an injured foot. After a lengthy layoff, he was finally set to make his comeback, then somewhat inevitably injured it again in a reserves game!
Whatever the state of QPR’s squad though, when a new manager comes in you never quite know what is going to happen. It isn’t so long since Newcastle United, still in turmoil after the sacking of Chris Hughton, watched a much unfancied Alan Pardew come in and thump the mighty Liverpool 3-1 in his first game in charge. Here’s hoping it isn’t one of those games for Hughes!
On the Magpies’ side, apart from injuries we of course have lost Cheick Tiote and Demba Ba to the Africa Cup of Nations for a while, but Ba has continued doing what he does best in Africa, scoring in Senegal’s first warm up game against Sudan (below). In his his absence, many hopes will be pinned on Hatem Ben Arfa (amongst others), especially after his goal of the Millenium against Blackburn Rovers in the Cup. But anyway, I won’t dwell on this kind of stuff for too long, as Hugh has already written an excellent match preview for this game already, so if you would like some more in depth information in the run up to the game, check it out using the “match preview” link above!
Same old Demba, always scoring!
It only remains for me to say that I will be putting the teamsheets up when they become available, and of course:
Howay the Lads!
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul (G), Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon, Ryan Taylor, Danny Guthrie, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi, Leon Best.
Subs: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, James Perch, Dan Gosling, Mehdi Abeid, Gabriel Obertan, Hatem Ben Arfa.
Queens Park Rangers (4-4-2): Paddy Kenny (G), Luke Young, Danny Gabbidon, Anton Ferdinand, Clint Hill, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Shaun Derry, Akos Buzsaky, Jamie Mackie; Heidar Helguson, Jay Bothroyd
Subs: Radek Cerny, Bradley Orr, Fitz Hall, Hogan Ephraim, Tommy Smith, DJ Campbell, Federico Macheda.