Predicted Newcastle United Starting Line-Up V Cardiff
Cardiff City v Newcastle United
Saturday 5 October 2013 3pm
However, while Coloccini scored Newcastle’s winner on our last visit four seasons ago in the Championship, it was back in the early eighties when United previously visited and won thanks to Keegan and Beardsley goals.
While those old boys are otherwise engaged, a lot of focus will be on Craig Bellamy, a real driving force in getting Cardiff up to the top table. He hasn’t scored so far this season so be warned…
In fact Cardiff have struggled for goals this season overall, taking away the three they scored against Manchester City in a pulsating first ever Premier League win, the Bluebirds have only managed three in the other five games. A statistic that suggests if Newcastle can score then they should be well set for at least a point, with a clean sheet surely also a realistic possibility today.
The home side invested heavily in the transfer market, spending some £33m on eight new faces, a few quid more than Newcastle…
Investing in the spine of the team; Cardiff will have £8m England centre-back Steven Caulker at the heart of their defence, with £11m Chilean defensive midfielder Gary Medel in the middle of the park. Young Danish striker Andreas Cornelius was recruited for around £8m but he is almost certain to be the home team’s only absentee today through injury.
In his absence, ex-mackem Frazier Campbell is likely to lead the line and is top scorer with two, while Peter Odemwingie has come in from West Brom and has often caused Newcastle problems on the road.
Much debate this week about who should and shouldn’t be in the Newcastle line-up and i fancy we could see Alan Pardew change things around considerably.
I think the two biggest challenges for him today will be how to keep a clean sheet (NUFC 5/2 to keep clean sheet) and what’s the best way to get Hatem Ben Arfa (17/2 to score first goal) back on his game.
Williamson is fancied to keep his place after doing well as a second half sub at Goodison but I just hope he doesn’t get exposed today when it is likely to be players such as Bellamy, Campbell and Odemwingie running with the ball rather than high balls which are the defender’s strength. Coloccini will be pivotal today and if he can’t successfully marshall his defence then we could have big problems, even if it is against a relatively limited City attack. That didn’t stop Hull…
Ben Arfa definitely didn’t work on the left at Everton and he needs to be either on the right with the threat of cutting in and shooting with his left foot, or a more free role without so much defensive responsibility. I’m making an educated guess that the manager will hand Hatem a free role behind Remy (6/1 to score first) and go for a more solid looking four in midfield.
It might be harsh on him but I think Pardew may sacrifice Anita in favour of trying to resurrect the Cabaye/Tiote axis in the middle, the French midfielder reminding us just what he is capable of in that Everton fightback while I think the manager is desperate to have Tiote back in there getting amongst the opposition.
While the manager seems to be struggling to get the best out of Sissoko I can’t see him going without the French midfielder’s strong running, while similarly I think it will be hard to leave Gouffran out on the other side of the pitch, with workrate and tracking back a massive starting point for Pardew today.
Steven Taylor, Shola and Jonas have all been given varying chances of making this match but even if fully fit it is hard to see them having any chance of starting.
Cardiff have beaten Manchester City at home, drawn with Everton and lost narrowly 1-0 to Spurs so no doubt they will be fancying their chances more today, which hopefully will lead to an open game and a chance of space for the likes of Cabaye, Remy and Ben Arfa to exploit (NUFC 1-0 is 10/1 and 2/0 is 18/1).
Much will depend on what state Alan Pardew has got them in when they step on the pitch, if they approach the game positively then I can see Newcastle winning and looking ok in mid-table, on the other hand defeat would see United potentially bottom 3 and a long long two week break before facing Liverpool…
Top Tips – NUFC To Keep Clean Sheet 5/2 – Ben Arfa To Score First Goal 17/2 – NUFC To Win 2/1 – Ben Afra To Score In NUFC Win 11/2
To view all Cardiff v Newcastle betting click HERE (Prices can fluctuate up and down)
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