Predicted Newcastle Starting Line-Up v Chelsea
Newcastle United v Chelsea
Saturday 2 November 12.45pm Live On BT Sport
Jose Mourinho is back, you may have heard about it.
What that means when it comes to events on the pitch is that he has yet again applied the defensive iron fist to his team. In their nine Premier League matches to date, Chelsea haven’t conceded more than one goal in a game so if the visitors score, we aren’t going to win, in theory anyway.
Last season saw an end to end enjoyable feast of football at St.James’ Park for this fixture, though it is easy to say that when Newcastle emerged finally on top. It was a game that had all sorts with a soaring Jonas header opening the scoring, Coloccini rearranging Demba Ba’s face with his boot and somehow avoiding a red card and penalty, only to then concede two goals before Moussa Sissoko capped a man of the match display with two match turning goals.
Moving forward to the present day; Jonas is missing due to unspecified personal reasons, Colo is knackered, while Cisse (and the Newcastle fans) suffers, Demba Ba will be lucky to make Chelsea’s bench…which leaves us with Moussa Sissoko.
When Sissoko gave Ashley Cole a few yards head start and then turned up the turbo to blast past him, we were rubbing our eyes in disbelief at this bargain buy.
So what’s gone wrong? How can a player step off the plane and instantly look real quality against Villa, Chelsea and others in the real pressure of a relegation struggle, only to end up now in what amounts to no man’s land?
A lot of fans are pointing the finger at Alan Pardew for failing to use Sissoko in the best possible way and indeed, if we were asked few of us would be able to describe what Sissoko’s role actually is in the team. When asked about the French midfielder this week, Alan Pardew stated he would stand by him through ‘thick and thin’ with Sissoko an essential part of his team, not least due to his modern day Premier League physical stature.
I fancy Pardew to indeed definitely play him today and for what it is worth I can see him ending up in a kind of right wing role, though judging by recent matches, like several of his teammates he’ll end up playing ‘aal ower the place’ in local parlance.
With Chelsea’s three clean sheets and six games where they’ve conceded only one, Pardew will probably line up with a more defensive formation than of late I fancy, gambling on Remy as a lone striker and Ben Arfa to create some magic just behind him.
The real bonus of recent weeks, despite the results overall, has been the rebirth of Tiote & Cabaye’s successful partnership of two seasons ago. Matches to me are predominantly won and lost in that central midfield area and if they both click together this afternoon we could be in business.
Alan Pardew has talked pre-match of needing all eleven to play well to stand a chance against the ‘top’ teams. Chelsea arrive in great form being unbeaten in nine (all competitions) and with pretty much a full fit squad to choose from.
Newcastle need the likes of Krul, Tiote, Williamson, Santon, Debuchy, Gouffran and Mapou to make sure they get all the basics right and then inspiration from a Cabaye, Remy, Ben Arfa, or even…a Moussa Sissoko?
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