Can these two Newcastle United midfielders play together?
The engine room in the heart of the Newcastle United midfield has been integral to the change in fortunes this season.
Jack Colback and Moussa Sissoko have formed a great partnership in the last two months, the Frenchman surging forward to help create at one end, while the ginger Geordie tidies up behind and around the pitch,
Sissoko of course is suspended against Arsenal, meaning a different dynamic in the team.
Against Burnley, Moussa Sissoko was clearly missed, the team were terrible in the first half and a bit better in the second, against limited opposition. Jack Colback of course also missed that match with Cheick Tiote and Mehdi Abeid the midfield pair in that 1-1 draw.
Tomorrow we have a different dynamic with Cheick Tiote set to partner Jack Colback in the middle – the question being whether this is a combination that can work?
In the win over Chelsea both played and did well, though they also had Moussa Sissoko on hand to add that drive that helped spark the win. In his absence can Colback and Tiote help give a platform for a decent result?
On four other occasions Tiote and Colback have started together in the Premier League with the following results;
2-2 Hull (H)
0-1 Stoke (A)
2-2 Swansea (A)
0-1 West Ham (A)
Two poor defeats and then to be honest Newcastle were very lucky to get anything out of those Hull (2-0 down) and Swansea (behind twice) matches.
Obviously a lot depends on the mixture of other players (please no Yoan Gouffran) in the team, but as two tried and tested Premier League midfield players, I think we have to look to both of them to maybe get a bit outside their comfort zone at Arsenal to give the team that little bit extra.
If they don’t gel as a partnership then it could be an uphill struggle at the Emirates, winning the battle in the middle of the pitch will be vital.
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