Battle of the Silver Supremos! Newcastle United v Bordeaux match preview
Posted on October 4th, 2012 | 25 Comments |
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Thursday, 4th Oct.
Kick off: 8:05pm
Referee: Antonio Miguel Lahoz.
UK TV: ESPN.
As I have already written a fairly extensive piece on Girondins de Bordeaux where I have already taken a look at some of the things we focus on in our usual previews, I will try to focus on the most up to date stuff such as team news and an update on Bordeaux’s form since I wrote that piece three weeks ago.
The respective records for both teams in their last six games (in all competitions, last game first) are:
Newcastle United: D,L,W,D,D,D.
Girondins de Bordeaux: W,D,W,D,D,W.
Bordeaux are now unbeaten in their last 17 games, suffering their last defeat in April. This was a 1-0 defeat against SM Caen where Bordeaux’s Silver Supremo, Francis Gillot, used a Bielsaesque 3-3-3-1 formation. However, they are still only fifth in France’s Ligue 1 as there have been more than a few draws in that unbeaten run. As you might imagine with such a record, they have been extremely hard to break down, though they haven’t always made the most of this at the other end, though they did in their last Europa League game, a 4-0 stuffing of our other group stage opponents, Club Brugge KV. However you may have noticed, both from above and watching NUFC matches that we have also been draw specialists recently too!
Lots has been made of Bordeaux’s defensive resilience, however in that game, they went on for the kill from the start, fielding an offensive 4-3-3 formation. What is more, they did it without the man who is possibly their most influential playmaker, the 27 year old Polish International, Ludovic Obraniak.
Looking at the illustration, you can see that their three goals (with one Brugge own goal) were evenly distributed, with two coming from Jussiê and Gouffran on each forward flank, with the other coming from the mostly defensive Sané playing in the heart of midfield, which brings me to my next point. Bordeaux aren’t overly relient on one or two strikers for their goals, as was the case at Newcastle with Ba earlier in the season, and Cisse in the latter half. None of their strikers could be described as highly prodigious over the long term, however their highest goalscorer so far this season is the highly regarded 26 year old Yoan “le Petit Prince” Gouffran, a winger and striker who has been linked with a move to the Premiership, especially so since his contract is in it’s final year, though I’ve heard no reports of a bald, tubby Geordie following him around at the time of writing.
Below I have included highlights of that game against Club Brugge, along with highlights of Bordeaux’s other games played since my last piece on them. They were a 0-0 draw against FC Valenciennes, a 2-2 draw against AC Ajaccio, and finally, a 0-2 away victory against Olympique Lyon. Highlights of their other games this season are available in my previous piece on Bordeaux.
Girondins de Bordeaux 4 (Ludovic Sané 13, Yoan Gouffran 27, Björn Engels (OG), Jussiê 66), Club Brugge 0.
FC Valenciennes 0, Girondins de Bordeaux 0.
Girondins de Bordeaux 2 (Henrique 55, Yoan Gouffran 78), AC Ajaccio 2 (Ricardo Faty 64, Chahir Belghazouani 90+2).
Olympique Lyon 0, Girondins de Bordeaux 2 (Benoit Tremoulinas 65′, Cheick Diabaté 82).
Team news and squads.
Well, Danny Simpson should be back from his hamstring strain, and Yohan Cabaye from his tooth abcess, though Steven Taylor (calf), Fabricio Coloccini (another hamstring) and Tim Krul (elbow) should remain out of the reckoning. Of course, Ryan Taylor will still be knacked for quite some time. So, here is the squad:
Steve Harper (G), Rob Elliot (G), Davide Santon (D), Danny Simpson (D), Mike Williamson (D), James Tavernier (D), James Perch (D, M), Vurnon Anita (M, D), Shane Ferguson (M, D), Jonás Gutiérrez (M), Yohan Cabaye (M), Cheick Tiote (M), Gabriel Obertan (M), Sylvain Marveaux (M), Dan Gosling (M), Gael Bigirimana (M), Romain Amaltifano (M), Mehdi Abeid (M), Hatem Ben Arfa (M, F), Haris Vučkić (M. F), Sammy Ameobi (M, F), Demba Ba (F), Papiss Cisse (F), Shola Ameobi (F), Adam Campbell (F).
Knacked: Steven Taylor (calf), Fabricio Coloccini (Hamstring), Tim Krul (elbow), Ryan Taylor (Anterior Cruciate Ligament).
Girondins de Bordeaux
Bordeaux have suffered a few casulties in the midfield area, and Nicolas Maurice-Belay (thigh), Landry N’Guemo (neck), Fahid Ben Khalfallah (illness) and finally, and Gregory Sertic (thigh) should be out, which leaves us with:
Cédric Carrasso (G), Kévin Olimpa (G), Abdoulaye Keita (G), Azbe Jug (G), Henrique (D), Ludovic Sané (D), Marc Planus (D), Florian Marange (D), Benoît Trémoulinas (D), Maxime Poundje (D), Matthieu Chalmé (D), Mariano (D), André Biyogo Poko (M), Jaroslav Plasil (M), Abdou Traoré (M), Ludovic Obraniak (M), Jussiê (M,F), Hadi Sacko (F), Henri Saivet (F), Yoan Gouffran (F), David Bellion (F), Cheick Diabaté (F)
Knacked: Nicolas Maurice-Belay (thigh), Landry N’Guemo (neck), Fahid Ben Khalfallah (illness), Gregory Sertic (thigh).
Key players for Bordeaux.
There are certainly a few candidates, not least the whole of their rather mean defence along with their top goalkeeper, Cédric Carrasso, If I were to choose two though, it would be winger striker, Yoan Gouffran, and their midfield playmaker, Ludovic Obraniak. Having written that, Obraniak didn’t even feature in thei above mentioned stuffing of Brugge. Even so, I think he might feature for this game against our lot. Gouffran is Bordeaux’s highest scorer this season, scoring 5 in 9 games
What the managers have been saying.
Francis Gillot: “Newcastle essentially have two teams: they have a team that plays in the league, and then they have a team that plays in the League Cup and the Europa League, so it’s very difficult for us to know which side they are going to name tomorrow. It’s very difficult, therefore, to explain to my players how they are going to play tactically. That’s why we are going to focus on ourselves. But if they do end up playing the starting line-up they use in the league, it’s going to be a very tough game. We are expecting the side which played against Maritimo and I really hope my players can meet the challenge.”
Alan Pardew: “With all due respect to the teams we have already faced in the competition, Bordeaux are the strongest we have played. We need to put out a team out that can beat Bordeaux and we need to put a team out that is strong enough to beat Manchester United on Sunday. As a manager I shy away from saying we are putting out a weaker or a stronger team, we always knew the whole squad would have to be used this season. Our reward for our great finish last year was this competition. We didn’t win a trophy, but had the reward of Europa League and we want do well in it. The players are focused on achieving success therefore tomorrow is an important game and it will be treated as such. The beauty of this season is that we have been able to get results without playing our best football. We have been disrupted by injuries more than anything. In defence we are stretched to our maximum, but in midfield and attack I’m blessed with talent.”
Alan Pardew is right, Bordeaux should be our toughest test in this group stage by some distance. If he means what he is saying about putting out a side to beat Bordeaux, he will hardly be able to rest any of our big guns unless Gillot decides to rest some of his. I may be repeating myself from my earlier piece, whilst the other games should be equivalent to facing a decent Championship side, or a poor Premiership team, this one will be like facing a proper Premiership side.
Without Coloccini and Steven Taylor, we could be exposed aerially in the centre from the likes of Jussiê (who has scored both of his two goals from headers this season) if Pardew plays Perch as a makeshift centre back this time. There should be no relief on the flanks either as Bordeaux have attacking full backs who like to push forward and help their wingers on the break. Going on their past form, it will also be difficult to predict what kind of line up Gillot will field against us, so our own Silver Supremo may have to be flexble. After all that though, of course, we have our own qualities too along with some highly exceptional first team players, not to use them though would be courting disaster.
We’re going to need everything we’ve got for this one, and possibly a moment of inspiration from the likes of Ben Arfa to break them down at the back if we’re going to take all the points. It will be a big game.