Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sat 19th January, 2013.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Mids).
UK TV: None.
Hello, good afternoon and welcome to our “match banter” feature for this afternoon’s game between Newcastle United and Reading from St James’ Park.
This of course will be the Magpies’ second encounter with Reading, the last one being a 2-2 draw at their place, the Madejski Stadium, at the end of September. Back then it was a battle of the long balls between Alan Pardew and his Reading protégé (though they are both 51), Brian “long balls” McDermott, who was a chief scout for Pardew in his first managerial job. Newcastle and Reading are the two biggest long ball sides in the Premiership so far, but thankfully, Pardew’s Magpies seemed to be settling into a style which is slightly less reliant on “route one” tactics in recent games, though in their last game against Norwich, a 0-0 bore draw, Newcastle showed some signs of reverting to their previous long ball ways.
Though McDermott the student managed what Pardew couldn’t at Reading, ie getting thenm promoted to the Premiership, life in the top tier has been a tough slog for the Royals, and they find themselves second bottom of the table going into this game. However, though they might still be three places behind 16th placed Newcastle in the Premiership, their recent record has been much better than the Magpies’. In all competitions (most recent first) their record has been W|W|L|W|D|L whereas Newcastle United’s has been a very worrying D|L|L|L|L|W. Dour as that last Norwich game was though, at least Pardew’s men stopped the run of defeats, picking up a very important point in the fight to keep out of the relegation zone.
What the Managers have been saying.
Speaking in a pre match interview, Alan Pardew took the opportunity to accuse Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak of being a cheat, saying:
“This is a battling side we’re playing. They’re great at set plays – the striker Pogrebnyak, he falls over. He’s one of the worst players I’ve seen for falling over and buying free-kicks, so we have got to be clever. We need to make sure we put up with that, defend set plays and win the game.”
Meanwhile, his opponent for this afternoon stayed away from such incendiary pre match talk. Instead drawing attention to the fact that this was actually his first visit to the home of Newcastle United.
“I have never been there – not as a manager, a player or scout, so I am looking forward to it. I think we can go anywhere and put on a performance. If we put on the kind of performance we have to, we can get a result and that is what we need.”
Which only leaves it for me to make my usual reminders that I shall be posting the teamsheets for the game when they become available, as well as highlights when the game is over. This game will not be broadcast on UK TV, but fear not! I shall be posting links to watch the game online should you need them / if you can endure it.
Howay the Lads!
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul (G), Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Davide Santon, Vurnon Anita, Yohan Cabaye, Shola Ameobi, Sylvain Marveaux, Jonas Gutierrez, Papiss Cisse.
Subs: Rob Elliot (G), James Perch, Steven Taylor, Gael Bigirimana, Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Nile Ranger.
Reading (4-2-3-1): Adam Federici (G), Stephen Kelly, Alex Pearce, Adrian Mariappa, Ian Harte, Mikele Leigertwood, Danny Guthrie, Jobi McAnuff (C), Garath McCleary, Jimmy Kebe, Pavel Pogrebnyak.
Substitutes: Stuart Taylor (G), Chris Gunter, Sean Morrison, Hope Akpan, Jem Karacan, Adam Le Fondre, Noel Hunt.