Predicted Newcastle Starting 11 v QPR
Only a few weeks ago, most of us were looking at today’s match as the chance to possibly start a mini run of form that would hopefully drag Newcastle out of the relegation zone.
The surprising but welcome run of wins over Spurs, Liverpool and West Brom has naturally moved the goalposts.
If Swansea and Everton lose tough away matches, then a Newcastle win would see our lot in the top four come the final whistle today.
Then if Arsenal and Manchester United played out a draw in the later game, United would remain in a Champions League placing until at least the next round of games.
Which would be quite mad after the season so far.
The question is though, can Newcastle supply their side of the bargain?
The bare statistics tell us that today’s visitors arrive here without a single point on their travels, scoring only two goals and even going down to League Two Burton in the League Cup.
However, those stats mask the fact that Rangers only went down 2-1 to both Chelsea and Southampton, the two form teams by a mile this season.
While they deserved all three points against Manchester City in their last league match, though had to settle for only one thanks to a late equaliser from Aguero.
What is clear is that QPR are suspect at the back and conceding two in injury time to lose the dramatic home match with Liverpool, sums up their inherent weakness.
At the other end it isn’t difficult to spot the biggest danger, Charlie Austin has already scored six goals and the nearest challenger has only one. Calls of Austin for England have been heard and a former England striker Bobby Zamora looks to have the makings of an effective partner for the in-form striker.
Just our luck then that Coloccini definitely misses and Steven Taylor almost certainly as well, the likely thrown together partnership of Dummett and Williamson will clearly be tested.
Maybe though it is midfield where United will win or lose (or draw) the match. With no Cheick Tiote and almost certainly no Mehdi Abeid, United revert back to a situation where they’d largely struggled in those opening two months of the season.
I fancy Ryan Taylor to get a surprise start and his calmness should help both Colback and Sissoko to continue their recent impressive form.
While in the absence of the injured Aarons and Obertan, Remy Cabella will be expected to play a leading role in terms of stretching the opposition.
I see the likely Newcastle starting 11 v QPR being;
Alan Pardew has said that he is comfortable with the opposition bossing possession but today is surely one match where you would expect Newcastle to have the lion’s share, if not then that could spell problems for our winning run.
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