Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Date: Sat 27th April, 2013.
Kick off: 5.30pm.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W. Mids).
UK TV: ESPN.
Hello, good afternoon and welcome to our “match banter” piece for this afternoon’s late kick off at St James’ Park, which sees Newcastle United taking on Liverpool in a bid to finally put relegation fears at rest with just one more win.
As you can see above, this one will be televised live on ESPN in the UK, though I will still be posting links to watch the game online for those of you who can’t get it, as well as team sheets when they are available, and finally, match highlights, post match interviews and even a video of the whole game when it’s all over.
Of course, the biggest news with our visitors (and for us) is that their runaway top scorer with 23 of Liverpool’s 61 league goals this season, Luis Suarez, has been banned for ten games for his second attempt at cannibalism on the field of play, this time against Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanović. That’s the good news, though the bad news is that one of their other strikers, January import Daniel Sturridge hasn’t been looking too shabby either. The ex-Chelsea striker / winger has been scoring a goal every 145.8 minutes (5 in 10 appearences) for the Reds since his arrival. In the absence through injury of Fabio Borini, and the banishment to West Ham of some big Geordie lump whose name name I can’t remember right now, Sturridge will indeed come in very handy for the visitors over their next few games. Besides the abovementioned Suarez and Borini up front, Martin Kelly and Joe Allen will also be missing for the visitors.
On our side of course there’s still a long list of casualties (Marveaux, Krul, Santon, Vučkič and Ryan Taylor), but the good news is that Tiote should be back and Cisse should also be playing after a rib scare which saw him travelling to France for treatment during the week. That only leaves Coloccini who has returned to training following his back injury, but is very doubtful and almost certainly not quite ready for a return just yet.
The two teams’ last six Premier League games (most recent first)
|Newcastle United||D | L | W | L | L | W||7|
|Liverpool||D | D | D |W | L | W||9|
One thing in our favour which isn’t in the chart however is that Newcastle United have won the last two fixtures between the sides at home, winning 2-0 last season with a brace from Papiss Cisse, and winning 3-1 in the season before that with goals from Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Andy Carroll.
What the managers have been saying.
Most of Alan Pardew’s week has seemingly been taken up making excuses for Newcastle United’s highly disapointing season so far, though he did manage to fit in a few words about the game this afternoon too, saying this:
“I don’t think we’re under any illusions about what we need to do, but we’re playing against a really good side and we’re going to have to be a full tilt to beat them.
“I know our fans are intelligent enough to know that we’re not just going to turn up and steamroller Liverpool. That’s not going to happen. This is going to be a really tight game, but hopefully a game where we can get three valuable points.”
On the other side, Liverpool Supremo Brendan “Chuckles” Rodgers touched on our horrible season so far, saying:
“I’m sure Alan will be bitterly disappointed with the season Newcastle have had. After finishing fifth last season, this has been a difficult year for them. But with (Yohan) Cabaye, (Papiss) Cisse and (Moussa) Sissoko they have good players.
“It’s always a tough game at Newcastle. The atmosphere is always passionate and they get the ball forward early. It’s about showing our ability to control the game, to play with intensity and aggression and then our quality will come through.”
Well here’s hoping that the last bit of that statement doesn’t come to pass!
So, on that note I will sign off for now.
Howay the Lads!
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Rob Elliot (G) Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara, James Perch, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye (C), Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cisse, Jonas Gutierrez.
Subs: Steve Harper (G), Mike Williamson, Dan Gosling, Vurnon Anita, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yoan Gouffran, Shola Ameobi.
Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Jose Reina (G), Glen Johnson, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Steven Gerrard (C), Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge.
Subs: Brad Jones (G), Andre Wisdom, Sebastian Coates, Martin Skrtel, Jonjo Shelvey, Suso, Fabio Borini.