Predicted Newcastle Line Up vs Manchester United
Match Preview Newcastle United v Manchester United
Saturday 5 April 3pm
What has to be accepted is that recent matches have been woeful and even the wins over poor teams like Villa and Palace carried some luck.
Even if Manchester United played a completely different team to what they’ll field against Bayern on Wednesday then I think we’d still be right up against it.
Sissoko might have been running around in increasingly aimless circles but his energy will still be missed, which is on top of arguably our two best players missing – Mathieu Debuchy and Loic Remy.
While Rob Elliot excelled at Southampton, history tells us that the odds then recede of him repeating that, despite his indifferent form this season Tim Krul will most definitely be missed.
We have to at least try and put the Mancs on the back foot and lining up as per usual will definitely not do that, instead they will sooner or later pick Newcastle off and then it will be a case of how many.
I know he isn’t exactly flavour of the month but with Newcastle desperately missing confidence and leadership of pretty much any sort, I would have Steven Taylor back on the pitch today.
He hasn’t done himself any great favours this season but he is never short of confidence and putting himself about.
I would have him as a more radical one of three centre-backs which would then allow us to get Santon and Haidara further up the pitch and do what they are best at, getting forward and hopefully helping us to find away to create chances. Without a playmaker we simply have to just get more bodies forward and get some crosses in and hopefully sneak the first goal.
It also is transparent to me that we have to play Ben Arfa and also give him a role where yes he is expected to work hard BUT get him doing it when he has the ball and hope that he can get the visitors backing off, rather than simply inviting them on as Pardew has regularly done with his formations.
You can then chuck Tiote, Anita and Gouffran into the mix as your hard working engine room to try and stifle their midfield and help to provide a platform for Ben Arfa to do his stuff.
While Papiss Cisse has only that Palace winner in recent times, he has looked more mobile and livelier since he returned, if we can get the ball regularly into the box then you improve the chances of him improving his touch and confidence again.
The prize is the first double over them since 1931 but more importantly the huge lift it would give everybody associated with Newcastle United – that is a prize well worth throwing the kitchen sink at.
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