Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Aston Villa – 19/12/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by TJR

We come into the festive period on the back of two very good wins. We now have the opportunity to make the festivities in Geordieland all the more joyful with three points against a club many of the Newcastle fan base dislike. Ruining or at least putting a damper on the Christmas of Villa fans would be a very good feeling indeed. If we win today and results go our way between now and the 7th of May we’ll have not only the opportunity to leave their Christmas turkey tasting sour but we could also possibly have the honour of relegating them at Villa Park. Oh how I would love that to happen. I wonder what the banners at Villa Park would read that day?

Earlier in the season Villa disposed of ‘Tactics Tim’ for the well dressed Frenchmen Rémi Garde. Rémi’s revival however has been pretty much non-existent thanks to the continuation of poor form. The Midlands club have lost 10 of their last 12 Premier League matches and will be bottom of the Premier League table on Christmas day regardless of today’s result.

How far cut adrift they are is what today’s game will determine. Best case scenario for Aston Villa is they win and Sunderland, Norwich and Swansea lose. Putting Villa 3 points behind 19th placed Sunderland and 5 points behind safety. Worst case scenario for Villa is they lose and their immediate relegation rivals all win putting them 11 points away from safety.

Our last two somewhat unexpected wins have left things looking a lot more rosier for us. Best case scenario for us position wise heading into Christmas is if we win and Bournemouth lose, moving us up to 14th. If the bottom three lose as well as us winning we can tuck into to our turkey roasts safe in the knowledge we are 5 points above the relegation zone. Worst case scenario is of course a defeat, which will drag us right back into the relegation battle.

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Preview: Tottenham vs Newcastle Utd – 13/12/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

This Sunday sees Newcastle travel to Spurs’ White Hart Lane hoping to repeat last week’s shock to steal a fourth win of the season.

However the chances of back to back results are extremely slim considering that Pochettino’s side have not lost a league game since their season opener against Manchester United, and there shouldn’t be any signs of a Europa League hangover — Tottenham were already through before Thursday’s fixture, allowing a number of key players to be rested as Spurs still defeated Monaco with ease (4-1).

Although they have conceded in five of their last six, the Tottenham defence is the second tightest in the league, allowing just 12 goals in over 15 games. By comparison, Newcastle leak an average of two goals per game, a feat only matched by fellow strugglers’ Sunderland.

We currently top the relegation zone on 13 points, only a win will grant us an escape by dragging us up to 14th or 15th, depending on goal difference. A draw will put us level on points with two two sides above us, Swansea and Norwich, but our inferior goal difference will keep us in the danger zone. A loss will only further damage our goal difference with no immediate impact on the table, although it would put Tottenham into fourth place.

“We need to follow (Liverpool) up at White Hart Lane. We need to put in a performance if we are to get anything. We have been reiterating what we did against Liverpool and what we need to do to give a good performance against Spurs. We had a terrible run of two games, so it’s important we get back to where we were at before the international break. The players were on form and the crowd were on form (against Liverpool) – we need to follow that up at Spurs.

“One of the key ingredients is that you have to out-run your opponent and put the effort in. It’s no coincidence that when you do that, the crowd get behind you and you get results.

“When you lack confidence it does stifle you, so it’s just about freeing that up. One of the unanswered questions in sport is why players can’t replicate their performance week after week. That’s what makes football so frustrating for the managers, coaches and especially the fans. It’s about finding that consistency week in, week out, and that’s what we’re looking to get now.”
– Steve McClaren

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Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Liverpool – 06/12/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

A Sunday afternoon slaughter has been scheduled, as Jurgen’s surging Scousers visit St James’ to face an eviscerated and dispirited Newcastle side.

Klopp took over at the Kop in October, and after starting with three draws his side quickly found their feet and have since won seven out of eight, including bigs wins over Chelsea (3-1), Man City (4-1), and most recently Southampton (6-1).

McClaren’s Magpies also come into this one following a big scoreline, although in this case it was just the latest heavy loss of many this season, with Pardew’s Palace winning 5-1. We’ve won three games during McClaren’s tenure, one of which came in the cup, and any remnants of the hope that once infested some of us is quickly dissipating as this season goes from bad to worse.

“Nobody is happy at this football club; all of sudden we have gone three steps forward and five or six back.

“We believe in these players but confidence is very fragile. People question a lack of character and fight and it appears that way, but these are young players, this is what they are going through.

“This experience they have to go through to come through it – that bit of adversity in a big club in a tough situation and be stronger when they come out of it.”
– Steve McClaren

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