Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Sat 14th Dec, 2013.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Mike Jones.
UK TV: None.
Hello, good afternoon and welcome to my latest ‘match banter’ feature for this afternoon’s game against Southampton.
This could be the last one for a while, if at all. I thought I’d do one last set of matchday blogs though to let all you regular readers know that I won’t be doing any more for a while at least as there are far better things I could be doing with my life right now.
Anyway looking forward this afternoon’s game, one intersting statistic is that Southampton are the last team Newcastle United managed to score more than two goals against in a competitive match. That was way back on the 24th February when the Magpies won a 4-2 victory at St James’ Park on an embarrassing and contrived ‘French Day’ where Geordies collaborated with Mike Ashley in reducing the entire history of one of Europe’s greatest countries down to mustachioed Breton Onion Johnnies and Can-can girls.
That game was in the early days of manager Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton, whose high pressure football in the opponent’s half can be highly effective, but occaisionally prone to the more ‘direct’ approach as displayed by Pardew’s Magpies on that day, when they caught the stylish Saints ’round the back’ as they say on more than one occaision. Far more recently, I can recall even Jose Mourinho employing similar tactics to conquer them by a similar two goal margin.
Though Newcastle and Southampton are as close as they can be in the Premier League table with Newcastle in seventh and Southampton eighth, as you can see below, their recent form in the Premier League has been like chalk and cheese.
Newcastle and Southampton last six Premier league games (most recent first) .
Well time marches on so I’d better crack on now and leave my usual reminders that I will be posting links to watch the game online, as well as highlights and a full match video for those of you who can’t watch it live.
Howay the lads!
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul (G); Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Yoan Gouffran; Shola Ameobi, Loic Remy
Subs: Rob Elliot (G), Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse
Southampton (4-4-2): Paulo Gazzaniga (G), Calum Chambers, Dejan Lovren, Jos Hooiveld, Luke Shaw; James Ward-Prowse, Jack Cork, Steven Davis, Jay Rodriguez; Rickie Lambert (c), Dani Osvaldo.
Subs: Cody Cropper (G), Maya Yoshida, Jose Fonte, Morgan Schneiderlin, Gaston Ramirez, Adam Lallana, Sam Gallagher