Predicted Newcastle United Line-Up v Hull
Newcastle United v Hull City
Saturday 21st September 3pm
You may think you’ve seen the image below of my predicted United starting line-up.
Not that there isn’t room for improvement because there is. More due to the fact that a very good performance saw nobody let the side down and there are no other candidates making it that difficult a choice.
With the manager ruling out Jonas and Steven Taylor through injury today, that is two of the ‘most likely’ replacements sidelined anyway. The only possible change would see Cheick Tiote replace Vurnon Anita and I just can’t see that happening. Anita has never really convinced me but he more than deserves to keep the shirt after a very capable show against Villa.
As Alan Pardew has said, for the first time since Demba Ba left the team has a real cutting edge up front. Remy has looked promising and Ben Arfa electric, if Cisse starts motoring then it opens up all kinds of possibilities.
Hull at home, at least on the surface, looks like an ideal launch pad for Papiss Cisse to get the goals and confidence flowing again. The odds suggest there is little between the three of them when it comes to first goal; Remy 5/1, Cisse 11/2 and Ben Arfa 7/1 but I would still give Cisse another go at scoring first as the formation is set up to try and give him chances. My money though is going on a more restrained 15/8 for Cisse to score any time in the match.
While Newcastle’s injuries affect a couple of players who currently aren’t first choice, our mate Steve Bruce will already have a partial excuse mapped out as his captain Robert Koren is is now out injured as is Brady, with Figueroa also ruled out with compassionate leave. That is three of Bruce’s starting eleven, though he does now have striker Sagbo back from suspension.
The ex-mackem oaf must be pretty happy with their start; two predictable (though spirited) defeats at Man City and Chelsea have been delivered alongside 4 out of 6 points at home against likely bottom half rivals Cardiff and Norwich.
Only two goals so far (one behind Newcastle!) suggests they are going to struggle in that area and mackem/Geordie reject Danny Graham hasn’t shown any likelihood of changing his and Hull’s goalscoring outlook any time soon.
If Newcastle can carry on where they left off at Villa then I see only one result and so to me I think these bets could prove good value; Newcastle win to nil 19/10, no Hull scorer 6/5 and Newcastle to score in both halves 9/5.
There is no reason for Alan Pardew to do anything else but go out and attack the newly promoted team, while Tim Krul had a rare lapse for the Villa goal, after the Man City match the defence have done everything asked of them and could be in line for another clean sheet.
The best way to get on top of the opposition is of course to get an early goal and Ben Arfa or one of his teammates popping up early, just as at Villa, would really set both crowd and team up for a very promising day.
A third win in a row will tick the box for all fans, whether you are glass half full or half empty.
For the more worrying kind, ten points from fifteen will give us some insurance against a difficult run of matches coming up, starting with Everton and Cardiff away, while the more optimistic will see a win as a platform to then potentially attack those higher up the table in the forthcoming games.
Confidence and momentum are two cornerstones of a successful team in any sport and winning games can become a happy habit, no repeat of five years ago please.
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