Preview: Crystal Palace vs Newcastle Utd – 28/11/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by TJR

We travel to South London looking for only our 3rd win in 14 attempts this season. Last time out we put in a dismal display at home to Leicester with the majority of the team doing their best to look like overpaid, uninterested, and spineless. Steve McClaren has supposedly had a dressing room inquest during the week and told the players that sort of performance is unacceptable. He claims he’s seen a reaction in training and is expecting one today.

Crystal Palace, meanwhile, have had a good start to the season though it has fizzled out recently. Monday night was probably the lowest point of their season to date and they will be looking for a reaction themselves. They lost 1-0 at home to Sunderland. Though they still sit high, by Crystal Palace standards, in 10th place with 6 wins under their belt. They also have 6 defeats and 1 draw.

In contrast we have just the 2 wins, as well as 4 draws and 7 defeats. That means the Premier League table isn’t pleasant viewing for Newcastle fans. Best case scenario we get 3 points, Norwich lose and we end up finishing the weekend in 16th on 13 points. A place up from our current position. How exciting. Worst case, we lose and slip into the relegation zone if one of Sunderland or Bournemouth win. If both win and we lose we drop to second bottom.

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Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Leicester City – 21/11/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

This season’s surprise package visit St James’ Park for standard Saturday afternoon fixture against Schteve’s Magpies. Leicester currently occupy third place with an impressive 25 points from 12 games, winning their last three on the trot.

As for the hosts, our win over Bournemouth last time out doubled our tally of wins for the season, taking to 10 points and just out of the relegation, one point below Chelsea on 10. If we manage to steal a third win of the campaign here, it will be the first time in a year that we’ve recorded back-to-back wins.

We have been in somewhat of a run of form, even if the results don’t agree, and many decried the performance against Bournemouth that resulted in victory. We’ve quadrupled our points haul from the last six (2W, 2D, 2L) compared to the first half-dozen matches.

One glimmer of hope is that Leicester’s front-line leader, Jamie Vardy, a man on a nine game scoring spree and top of the goal charts, is a doubt thanks to a groin and hop injury that ruled him out of international duty. Continue reading

TFI – Player Ratings vs Stoke City – 31 Oct 15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Beatski

A frustrating day out for the lads as despite looking the superior side and peppering the opponents’ goal, no-one could find a way past Butland, who is maturing into a top keeper by the looks of it, Joe Hart had better keep an eye on his rear view mirror.

For the TFI, we ask our forum members to rate each player’s performance in the concerned game out of 10, which we then average out to get a rating representative of the fans’ views, we also collect a few user comments to summarise how the player did and show a few different viewpoints from the board. The top scoring player is man of the match; the lowest is mug of the match.

Accolades are shared for man of the match today, with both Sissoko and Ayoze getting a rating of 7.29, the pair were the stand outs in our attacking quartet, but despite looking threatening neither succeeded in netting us those elusive three points. Mug of the match today goes to De Jong, who was subbed on in the second half to amble around to little effect when we really needed him to inject some impetus to push on for the winner.

McClaren comes away from the afternoon with a creditable rating of 7.14, reflecting his side’s control of the game for the majority, the players themselves come in with a lower team average of 6.38 due to their inability to capitalise.
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Preview: Bournemouth vs Newcastle Utd – 07/11/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Yacob

This weekend sees Newcastle travel to Premier League boys Bournemouth on the South Coast for what is an early six pointer. The gap between mid table and the bottom five is growing rapidly and neither side can afford to be cut adrift at this stage. Newcastle could get out of the relegation zone with a victory over the side that is directly above them and that could kickstart our season. 2015 has been a write off for Steve McClaren’s side, but a strong finish to the year could give us impetus to ensure next year is much much better.

Performances have been improved recently and we probably should have taken more points from the last five matches, but it’s starting to get past the point where playing well is enough. We need to start getting points on the board and this weekend is a great opportunity for that. Our opponents have only taken one point from the last five matches and have very little confidence, whereas ours is growing week by week.

“We have a tough away game. We have put ourselves in the position where this is an opportunity.”
– Steve McClaren

As usual, McClaren isn’t trying to build expectations too much ahead of this game, but he will know that he is running out of time and needs results to take a turn for the better. There is only so many times the board and the fans will accept that the team needs time to adjust. It’s clear that we are playing better than we have for a long time, but football is a results business and we desperately need points on the board.

Bournemouth are in 17th and we are in 18th position, which makes this a real opportunity for both to get points. I expect both sides to play within themselves for the majority of the game with defeat for either being a huge blow, even in November.

The home side are a new opposition for us, with the last time the clubs were in the same league being in the 1989/90 season and that was in division two. On that occasion, the sides had a victory apiece over the season, with both winning their home matches. Continue reading