SholaAmeobi27Fresh controversy today as Nigeria’s coach is adamant Shola will be joining up with his preliminary squad for the African Nations but the more immediate situation is how Alan Pardew sets his team out today against Manchester United.

Despite only appearing as a substitute for the final half hour, Shola was the stand out player for Newcastle against QPR, winning 31% of the votes in our man of the match poll. His winning goal and overall play giving Alan Pardew extra food for though in his team selection today.

United’s two most consistent players of recent times, Vurnon Anita and Davide Santon, were unsurprisingly next in the voting with 28% and 21% respectively. No other player getting 5% of the votes.

While barring last minute injuries it is guaranteed both Anita and Santon will start at Old Trafford, Shola has belatedly given Alan Pardew an extra option as to who he plays up front.

My belief is that we’ll see Shola playing as a lone striker with Ba in behind him and Cisse making an appearance from the bench at some time, as whetever happens it is going to be a tough shift today.

So I predict a 4-4-1-1 with Obertan also coming into the side on the right to largely try and negate Evra’s forward runs.

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Best Odds on Today’s Match – (Prices Can Fluctuate)
7 Goals Or More In Match 12/1
Shola To Score a Goal 9/2
Match Finish 1-1 13/1

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amacdee 5pts

My concern is that our two wins (in the form table) have come at home against teams who, according to their respective managers, didnt turn up. Can we expect to find another five or six teams so generous ?

I dont trust McWally to get these players performing to their highest standards week in, week out so ultimately I think it's down to the players themselves and their levels of confidence that'll see us over the line. A win at the home of Roman's Roubles would go a long way to inspiring them.

wor monga
wor monga 5pts

I wouldn’t bet against the Toon in this one…or go strictly off the form table… it was against Arsenal the number crunchers had us run over and stuffed before the game, but the lads had a real go and were very unlucky to come away with nothing…

...could get a point this time…who knows!!

EthanHoward 5pts

Who would have predicted that this game would be between 13th placed Chelsea vs Newcastle (17th) before the start of season. If you want to watch live streaming, subscribe with PureVPN and get access to online channels which are restricted like Sky Sports, BT Sports, ESPN and more

jimblag 5pts

@EthanHoward  It's like that episode of Southpark where people are actually online ads. GO AWAY

ArtyH 5pts

Next 2 games will define our season as they are against Chelsea Away and Man City Home. If we can get some points against these two it will be a miracle I know but should boost the teams confidence. Then March sees Stoke A & Bournemouth at H possible 2>4 points, followed by Leicester A, forget about that one, then the Derby at home 3 points, must be this year! Into April, Norwich & Southampton A>3 or 4 points. Then Swansea H 3 points Liverpool A 0 ( we NEVER win at Anfield ) and Palace H 3 points. As Shearer says " Squeaky bum time in May, hopefully a dispirited Villa side away for 3 points and a home tie with Spuds to finish the season with a win or draw, so go for a draw on this one unless we are NOT wallowing in the bottom four, if we are it will be a nervy game and we could even crash out with a loose. So possibly  22 points from that very optimistic list, no not predictions but what we need for safety. I just hope it goes something like that. Will be interesting to see how it pans out when its generally accepted it takes 40 points for safety. There are only 13 games left = 39 points available so taking the mean average of say 20 that would put us on 44 which would give us some wiggle room, but where will it come from I wonder???

I wrote this to try and convince myself we have a chance of staying up, but at the back of my mind I just know with our past history it will go to rat poop, just hope i am wrong.  

wor monga
wor monga 5pts

@ArtyH       The Man C game has been rearranged, and no date has been settled yet (certainly not Feb though)…due to their participation in the cups, etc…

Dick Turpintyne
Dick Turpintyne 5pts

I think the most interesting thing about the table is where the likes of Villa, B'moth, Swansea and even Sunderland are they are all improving more than we are and with 13 games to go anything can happen.

Stoke, WBA and hopefully Palace are going to be dragged into the mire.