sunderland v Newcastle United – Match Preview
Sunderland v Newcastle United
Sunday 21 October 2012 1.30pm Live On Sky
The time I always look forward to every season…the final whistle!
You are either a liar or mental if you reckon that you actually enjoy these matches. It has only really been times like the 4-1 and 5-1 when I have relaxed during the actual game and that was in injury time!
Even when we had real quality teams under KK and Sir Bobby this was never a stroll in the park, can it be on Sunday?
Steven Taylor has poured oil on the derby flames by declaring that nobody from Sunderland’s squad would get in Newcastle’s first eleven. I certainly wouldn’t swap any of our best eleven for their mackem equivalent but the league table tells you that Newcastle haven’t pulled up any trees yet, plus these matches tend to be as much about attitude and application on the day, as opposed to just the natural ability of individual players.
While Newcastle have struggled to put a decent run of form together, Alan Pardew has not wanted to make excuses but…in recent days has been pointing out how many injuries United have had to cope with.
While Demba Ba led the Premier League goalscoring list before this weekend’s matches, Sunderland’s gamble on Steven Fletcher has already paid dividends. From what I’ve seen they haven’t created a lot of chances but Fletcher has already scored five which is….five more than the rest of his team mates put together.
He looks to pick up a lot of goals in and around the six yard box which is often the way in derby matches, so fingers crossed that Coloccini and Taylor are available and fully wound up.
Ba has of course scored six of our eight goals with Ben Arfa weighing in with two, with it surely only a matter of time before Cisse finds his Premier League shooting boots again. Hopefully Newcastle’s extra goal threat can prove the difference if they can keep Fletcher quiet at the other end.
All of our ‘purple’ players have trained this week and it seems a no-brainer that Alan Pardew will try to put them all on the pitch if they are in any way ready for it.
Tim Krul could maybe be the biggest doubt as he has only just got back on the training pitch after a decent period out, how we could do with him though to give us that commanding presence we started to take for granted before he got crocked.
While it is too early to talk about make or break matches, I do think that tomorrow gives the team the perfect opportunity to publicly show that any rumours of unhappiness or splits within the squad are exactly that, just rumours. It would be nice to think everything could just click back into place as though we were still on that devastating run that was put together at the end of last season.
With Cattermole suspended it maybe gives Tiote and Cabaye the ideal platform to put in a dominating performance, although as usual we won’t be expecting a Martin O’Neill team to be anything but cautious, likely meaning a congested midfield.
A crowded midfield gives you other options such as playing it long which we hopefully won’t see too much of, or alternatively getting it down the wings.
I can think of nothing better than seeing a stellar Hatem Ben Arfa performance and supposedly O’Neill is in two minds as to whether he plays his usual first choice Danny Rose, the player at the centre of the England Under 21 debacle in Serbia. The mackem manager assessing how he is mentally before he makes his decision.
From a betting perspective there is plenty of value with Newcastle tomorrow and with the bookies making the home side slight favourites, I’ll be happy to take the 19/10 on a Newcastle win with BetVictor, if Tiote and Cabaye can win their battle then I can see it being another win to chalk up.
Having already scored some crackers I’ll be on the 6/1 for Demba Ba first goalscorer at BetVictor, plus a few quid with the same firm on Shola Ameobi at 12/1 to score the final goal of the match.
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