Baggies bringing baggage to SJP? Newcastle United vs West Brom match preview
Posted on October 28th, 2012 | 17 Comments |
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sunday, 28th Oct.
Kick off: 3:00pm
Referee: Chris Foy.
UK TV: None.
The Toon return to Premier League action when the Baggies visit for a non-televised 3pm kickoff on Sunday.
The “Boing Boing” Baggies have proved a real thorn in our side at SJP in recent years and Alan Pardew will be looking for a first home win against them in three attempts. Their previous boss Roy Hodgson, who clearly had the advantage over our sad and sorry silver haired sycophant, went on to better things at the end of last season and Pardew will be trying to get the Toon back on track, after a faltering start, just so he can lay some claim to follow “Woy” into the England hot seat in the years to come.
After Hodgson’s departure to Soho Square/Wembley/Burton, the Throstles went out on a limb and found a replacement in former Toon assistant manager Steve Clarke. He managed one game for the Toon against Man Utd losing 1-5 at Old Trafford after sexy football manager Gullitt left the team in the lurch. Clarke’s baptism as a “No. 1” has been relatively successful. After eight games into the season he has guided West Bromwich to sixth place in the Premier League on the back of two wins, three defeats and a draw from their last six games in all competitions. However the Baggies are still looking for their first Premier League away win of the season and have won only one of their last nine away league games (since their 1-0 win at Anfield in April).
It is probably no exaggeration to suggest that Steve Clarke and his Baggies have supplanted Pardew and the Toon as this season’s surprise package. While Pardew has floundered his way around in trying to find a first choice XI that works, ex-Magpies caretaker boss Steve Clarke has unearthed a “Tiote” and managed to snap up a former loan keeper to help push his team up into the heady heights of “European Competition” places. – five places and four points above his former employers.
The “Tiote” signing was Claudio Yacob, an Argentine international and a Bosman free transfer, who was playing for Racing Club de Avellaneda in the Argentine Torneo Apertura, and had been their club captain for four years. The difference between the two is that Yacob is viewed by fans as the most complete all-rounder Albion have had in the centre for many years and doesnt suffer from the “red mist” that appears to shroud wor Cheick on a regular basis.
With Yacob and Ben Foster now a permanent signing, the Baggies record at home this season has been impressive. Victories against the Liverpool (3-0) followed by a 2-0 win against Everton, plus wins against QPR and Reading had them in fourth place early on in the season. However a 1-2 defeat at home to Citeh and relatively poor results away from home has seen them slip down the table.
On the road, they have been beaten 0-3 by Fulham and held to 1-1 draws at both Spurs and Aston Villa. Added to which they have scored just two away league goals this season, the joint-lowest in the Premier League with West Ham, Aston Villa and Norwich.
When we returned to the Premier League as First Division Champions it was West Brom who joined us in the automatic 2nd placed berth, having experienced something of a “Yo Yo” existence between the two divisions in recent times. This is now the Baggies seventh season in the BPL having entered the top tier for the first time in 2002 but swiftly returning from whence they came. In fact since then they have “bounced” between the two divisions with almost monotonous regularity achieving promotion back to the Premier League in 2003–2004, 2007–2008 and of course in 2009–2010 which may go some way to explaining the “Boing Boing” Baggies epithet?
The overall head to head record between the clubs shows that the Baggies early history, when they won most of the club’s major honours, was a contributing factor in their win ratio. It is only in more recent times that Newcastle United have managed to redress the balance.
Total Games 119 (including 5 Cup games)
Games won: 42
Games drawn: 32
Games lost: 45
However the more recent history of Premier League matches between the two sides shows that even with Pardwho in charge we’ve managed to come out on top overall. The Premier League stats are as follows.
25 Mar 2012: West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United – W 1-3 (Premier League)
21 Dec 2011: Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion – L 2-3 (Premier League)
22 May 2011: Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion – D 3-3 (Premier League)
05 Dec 2010: West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United – L 3-1 (Premier League)
23 Jan 2010: West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United – L 4-2 (FA Cup)
18 Jan 2010: Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion – D 2-2 (Championship)
08 Aug 2009: West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United – D 1-1 (Championship)
07 Feb 2009: West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United – W 2-3 (Premier League)
28 Oct 2008: Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion – W 2-1 (Premier League)
22 Apr 2006: Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion – W 3-0 (Premier League)
30 Oct 2005: West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United – W 0-3 (Premier League)
03 Jan 2005: West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United – D 0-0 (Premier League)
25 Sep 2004: Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion – W 3-1 (Premier League)
It will be interesting to see if Pardew sticks with his previously unsuccessful 4-4-2 formations against West Brom or changes to the 4-3-3 which was so successful for us against them at the Hawthorns last season? Unfortunately Pardew, in the run up to this game has said:
“Last year it was one of my disappointing games. They were tactically open, and they have great pace on the break. We have to be careful about that but if we go about it in an organised and disciplined way then we can beat them.”
Which suggests that good old “flavour of the month” 4-4-2 formation will win the day once more!
Cheick Tiote serves the first of a three match domestic ban following his red card indiscretion against the Makems last week, and will also miss our trip to Liverpool and the visit of Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll with West Ham.
Apart from that NUFC look to be in reasonable shape despite the small squad and Pardew is likely to restore most of the men he left out of the starting line-up for Thursday night’s 1-0 Europa League victory over Club Brugge. So Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Hatem Ben Arfa, Shola Ameobi and Demba Ba should all play some part on Sunday. The only real issue will be who will fill Tiote’s boots?
Newcastle United Squad: Tim Krul (G), Steve Harper (G), Danny Simpson (D), James Tavernier (D), Shane Ferguson (D, M), Steven Taylor (D), James Perch (D, M), Mike Williamson (D), Davide Santon (D), Yohan Cabaye (M), Jonas Gutierrez (M), Hatem Ben Arfa (M, F), Vurnon Anita (M, D), Gael Bigirimana (M), Sylvain Marveaux (M), Gabrie Obertan, Abeid, Amalfitano, Sammy Ameobi, Ba, Cisse, Shola Ameobi, Campbell.
Injured: Haris Vuckic, Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling (all knee), Rob Elliot (Groin / Pelvis).
Suspended: Cheick Tiote (first of three)
West Bromwich Albion:
Steven Reid and Boaz Myhill are both missing, while Chris Brunt, Billy Jones, Jerome Thomas and Claudia Yacob were all doubtful early on in the week. However latest news suggests that club skipper Brunt and right-back Billy Jones have resumed training and could be in contention and Yacob is now back in contention.
West Brom Squad: Ben Foster (G), Boaz Myhill (G), Luke Daniels (G), Billy Jones (D), Gareth McAuley (D), Jonas Olsson (D), Gabriel Tamas (D), Craig Dawson (D), Gonzalo Jara (D), Goran Popov (D), Liam Ridgewell (D), Youssouf Mulumbu (M), Claudio Yacob (M), Chris Brunt (M), Graham Dorrans (M), James Morrison (M), Yassine El Ghanassy (F), Zoltan Gera (M), Marc-Antoine Fortune (F), Peter Odemwingie (F), Romelu Lukaku (G), Shane Long (F), Markus Rosenberg (F).
Injured: Steven Reid, Boaz Myhill.
Doubtful: Chris Brunt, Billy Jones.
As usual I will give two possible line ups for the Toon – Pardew’s and my preferred choice.
NEWCASTLE UNITED (Probable, 4-4-2).
Simmo, Willo, Colo, Santon.
HBA, Perch, Cabaye, Gutierrez/Fergie.
NEWCASTLE UNITED (My own prediction, 4-2-3-1).
Simmo, Saylor, Colo, Santon.
HBA, Cabaye, Gutierrez/Fergie.
WEST BROM (4-2-3-1).
Tamas, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell.
Morison, Dorrans, Brunt.
I said last week “Toon need to get a positive result at the Stadium of Light for all sorts of reasons” . To a certain extent, Pardew got out of jail with a “backs to the wall” performance from his team, albeit with just the one point.
For a team who have only won once in their last 7 Premier League outings, this is a must win game. We do need the three points on Sunday if we’re to sustain any sort of challenge for the top European places, and the opposition will help us determine how good we are in terms of the chasing pack. Pardew has to focus on that fact otherwise we could see our hopes for a top six place slowly disappearing before we even reach Christmas. West Brom are a good side even if they are looking for their first Premier League away win of the season. Clarke has his team playing positive football and in Long, Dorrans, Fortune and Brunt, they have pace in their side and enough to unsettle a static defence without sufficient midfield cover.
One day, hopefully soon, Pardew will resolve the tactical/selection dilemma which he has failed to address properly this season. Tactical formations as well as player selections need to show some consistency as well as creativity. Hatem Ben Arfa needs the freedom to attack at will, and Cabaye has to continue his improvement on what has, so far, been a disappointing start to the season. If they’re both firing on all cylinders we could win this one!