One Of Newcastle’s Biggest Matches Of Season Today
The first leg of the Ivory Coast v Senegal African Cup Of Nations (ACN) first leg qualifier takes place, with Cheick Tiote up against Ba and Cisse, though who exactly ends up actually on the pitch will depend on fitness/team selection.
Three of Newcastle’s best players, Alan Pardew can’t afford to be missing any of them but it would be horrendous to think that a big chunk of the middle part of the season could see us without our two strikers available. They might have made a sluggish start to the season but I’ve no doubt their form will pick up and what isn’t in doubt is that for Newcastle to be successful this season they will be central figures in that.
The ACN takes place from 19th January to February 10th and if they were involved then te Premier League games at risk would be Norwich away (12th Jan) followed by Reading home, Villa away, Chelsea home and finally Spurs away on 9th February.
I think most of us would love to see Newcastle have a real go in the cups and while the Europa League could possibly be affected with the second round first leg on 14th February, it is the domestic cups where the strikers’ absence could play havoc.
The 4th and 5th rounds of the FA Cup are scheduled for the weekends of 26th January and 16th February.
While wouldn’t it be just the thing for Newcastle to beat Manchester United at long last at Old Trafford and then make it through to the two legged semi-final in January, the first leg is scheduled for 7th January but just imagine that Newcastle are set up for a tight second leg on the 21st January and have to go into it without their strikers!
Anything but a comfortable win for the Ivory Coasters will have Alan Pardew getting the prayer mat out.
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