Many times in the past it is overused, claiming Newcastle United are facing their biggest match of the season.

A bit devalued when it is claimed any number of times in the same campaign.

However, I think this weekend it is totally justified.

Newcastle United face Cardiff City and I think winning or losing could be pivotal to the season ahead.

When the fixtures came out in June, there was a collective groan around Tyneside.

With four of last season’s top six to face in the opening five games, it was always going to be tough,

Also, not exactly the best time to face Cardiff, their first home game back into the Premier League, rather than a few months down the line when they may have been already battered into submission at the higher level.

Two seasons ago, both Middlesbrough and Sunderland were embarrassingly bad, relegated long before the final weekend, last season though it was a different matter as the relegation battle involved a lot of clubs until the very final stages, even West Brom showed with remarkable late form, including a win at Newcastle, that if they’d ditched Alan Pardew (or even better, never employed him at all) earlier then they could have maybe pulled off an unlikely looking escape.

This time, Cardiff do look a knocking bet for relegation and all the bookies make them their big favourite to go down.

So even though it may not be an ideal time for the trip to Wales, I think Newcastle have to get a positive result.

I just look at the fixtures and believe that if we don’t get a win at Cardiff, Rafa’s team will be rock bottom after four matches and then you face a real struggle to climb out of it.

Whilst we have become a bit of bogey team for Chelsea on their travels, their team once again look to have thrown off their collective huff after getting rid of another manager.

They were embarrassing in that final game of the season at St James Park and will be a far different proposition this time.

With Man City away to come after that and an all but certain defeat in the fourth match, I think Rafa Benitez won’t have a more difficult team selection than his one to face Cardiff.

Yedlin almost certainly missing means he will have to decide who fills in, meaning two of last season’s excellent defence from last season’s final few months will be missing.

More importantly though, will he be bold enough to bring in both Rondon and Muto now.

They are surely both going to be first choice this season and for me he needs them both in against Cardiff.

Perez was shocking against Spurs and  whilst Joselu took his goal well and created the chance for Kenedy, his general play caused the opposition next to no worries, as per usual. When Rondon was introduced his strength and purpose suddenly had Spurs worried and we need that from the start on Saturday. I dread seeing Rafa stick with the same line-up and try to keep it tight first half then hope to try and win it later on, far better to try and win the game from the start, as if we go behind it will be a nightmare as it would give Cardiff such a lift.

I think a win at Cardiff could then carry us through with every chance of getting something against Chelsea but a defeat or poor performance and draw at Cardiff, could leave Newcastle very vulnerable going into the Chelsea game, knowing Man City are up next.

Fifth and sixth matches are Arsenal home and Palace away, again we need points on the board before those two matches. Games where potentially you could see us getting something but it very much depending on having some confidence and momentum.

Rafa Benitez needs to get his team on the front foot this weekend, Cardiff City are the weakest team in the division and sitting back in not an option.

Cardiff v Newcastle Match Betting:

Cardiff win 11/5Draw 21/10Newcastle win 31/20

Both teams to score in 1st half 4/1Rondon to score last goal 13/2NUFC win 2-0 21/2

All Cardiff v Newcastle betting HERE

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  • ghostrider

    Every single match at every single time is the biggest match of the season.
    Every match has the potential yield of 1 to 3 points.
    Every team is never at 100% focus every time.
    Every team has players who lose form on any particular match day.
    Every game is under the guidance of a referee and officials that can change the outcome of any game in the favour of, or against, any team.

    All games are winnable if any one of those things come into play with the opposition…but equally for the opposition against us.

    The long way around to simply say, take each game as it comes and nothing is any more guaranteed with a so called lesser team than it is with a top team.

    What makes it more silly is the notion that we are a club that’s supposedly going to get relegated in some fans eyes and yet Cardiff is being used as some kind of weakling club to be took advantage off as some kind of cannon fodder for our club that’s touted as being ripe for relegation.

    • Tony English

      I love it when you’re factual.
      No criticism of this post.
      I agree.

  • Paul Patterson

    Rafa won’t attack from the off. It will be a cagey first half with the aim to win it later on..

    • Leazes.

      I predict 37% possession.

      • Ashley-out

        i predict that you won`t be far off the mark

        • Squintytoonarmy

          It will be like last season. Lose to Spurs then lose to a workmanlike promoted side, last season Huddersfield this season Cardiff. Warnock will have them up for this

      • Justamag

        I predict u will moan about
        everything.

  • Billmag

    I don’t go along with the most important game of the season thing, every game is important and the author does our team a disservice in my opinion saying we won’t get anything out of the so called big teams, if football is that easy to predict there wouldn’t be any Bookies they would be all skint.

    • SuperDesHamilton

      Scaremongering already it’s the second game of the season! He doesn’t realise 19 other clubs are in the exact same predicament as us

  • SuperDesHamilton

    ‘Winning or losing could be pivotal to the season ahead’

    Well that’s generally how a league in football works.

  • Lord

    Same as last season; we just have to look at picking up points against the clubs likely to be in the bottom half (along with us). Draws away, wins at home and that avoids relegation. Games against the top half clubs are free swings.

    Doesn’t matter what order the matches come in. Rafa’s experienced enough not to panic or come out with McClaren type nonsense about being judged after 12 games.

    The real shame is avoiding relegation is the height of this season’s ambition.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      It’s the ambition of 13 clubs in the league. The rest is a bonus.

      • Lord

        Outside the top 6, the following clubs do not have ambition to finish 17th and by that I mean 17th would not be seen as a success:

        Everton
        West Ham
        Leicester
        Wolves

        I’d be tempted to throw in Southampton, Palace and Watford but I think they all got unexpectedly tied up in last year’s fight and would probably settle for another near miss.

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Leicester were as bad a side as anyone last term. Everton will not finish that far above us. Wolves are a survival side and West ham have had lots of money but little improvement so far. I see them struggling until the Christmas break. They may even send for Sam.

  • toonterrier

    This is a game we’re expecting to win but we have to attack and not sit back like we did in several games last season and were then lucky enough to score a late winner or pinch a point against one of the better clubs. Negative football and survival in the top league is not what the supporters want to see and is the main reason I walked away a few years ago. Not Rafa’s fault as he doesn’t get the money needed to push the club forward but as long as we get a full house then the fatman wont give a monkeys.

  • Rob

    Look at the games soon to come City, Chelsea, Arsenal.

    It sounds dramatic for a second game but it truly is a must win.

    Anything less could see us languishing at the bottom of the league for some time.