Venue: Carrow Road, Norwich.
Date: Sat 12th January, 2013.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Anthony Taylor.
UK TV: None.
Hello, good afternoon and welcome to our latest “match banter” for this afternoon’s “Battle of the Bird’s” as the Magpies travel to Norfolk to take on the Canaries of Norwich City.
City of course are managed by Alan Pardew’s predecessor at Newcastle, Chris Hughton, who was sacked in controversial circumstances back in December 2010. With Pardew currently in dire straits and Newcastle having the lowest points total after 21 games in their Premiership history so far, it would not be beyond the bounds of possibilty for Pardew to be sacked if the Magpies were to capitulate to Hughton’s Canaries. If that happened, the situation would not be without a little irony. However, Hughton has had a poor run of results recently too, with Norwich having lost four of their last five games. Two of these have been against daunting opposition (Chelsea and Man City), with one of the others, against West Ham, being rather controversial in terms of refereeing decisions. The other being a narrow 2-1 defeat at West Brom. Despite this though, the Canaries are still currently perched three places above the Magpies in twelfth with 25 points, five more than Newcastle. Our last game at St James’ Park earlier in the season resulted in a narrow 1-0 vistory to the Magpies though, with a 20th minute strike from the now dearly departed Demba Ba making the difference between the two sides.
Speaking of the mess Pardew’s Newcastle find themselves in, Hughton had this to say in a pre match interview:
“We know it is not one of their better periods, but we also know what quality they have in the squad. They can win any game, they certainly play a style of football that enables them to be in every game and have that opportunity to win matches. We have to be very guarded. They have too many good players for us not to be. When a team is not having one of their better runs there is generally an answer.
“I would look at their injuries and their involvement in the Europa League. That has certainly stretched the squad. Perhaps without the injuries they would have been able to cope a lot better than they have. Any club in the exact same position would have found it tough to cope with both of those aspects, but most would expect them once they get their bigger players back to start climbing the table.”
And on his days as Newcastle United manager he also said:
“I had a wonderful time there. There’s a special connection for me because I had three years at Newcastle that I thoroughly enjoyed. For me, there are a lot of comparisons between the support they have at Newcastle and the support that we have. It’s a very vocal support that want to get behind their local team.”
Meanwhile, our current manager had this to say about today’s opponents:
“It’s a tough place to go and they are on a tricky run themselves. Someone will end up with a really good day and hopefully it’s us. We really need to get some momentum, for our fans who we really let down last week. We have to give a really good account of ourselves at Norwich and start putting some points on the board.”
Meanwhile, one notable event this afternoon should see the debut of new French Full Back, Mathieu Debuchy, with the usual incumbent in the right back position, Danny Simpson, still being out with a broken toe. It will be interesting to see how he gets on.
So, I will take my leave for now, after making my usual reminders that I shall be poting the team sheets below before kick-off. Also the game will not be broadcast live in the UK, so I will also be posting some online links to see the game, as well as posting highlights, and possibly a full match video whan the game is over.
Howay the Lads!
Norwich City (4-5-1): Mark Bunn (G), Russell Martin (C), Sebastien Bassong, Michael Turner, Javier Garrido, Anthony Pilkington, Bradley Johnson, Alexander Tettey, Robert Snodgrass, Wes Hoolahan, Simeon Jackson.
Subs: Declan Rudd, Leon Barnett, Ryan Bennett, David Fox, Elliott Bennett, Harry Kane, Grant Holt.
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul (G), Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Davide Santon, James Perch, Vurnon Anita, Gabriel Obertan, Sylvain Marveaux, Jonas Gutierrez, Papiss Cisse.
Subs: Steve Harper (G), James Tavernier, Gael Bigirimana, Yohan Cabaye, Romain Amalfitano, Sammy Ameobi, Nile Ranger.