Newcastle – Villa:

Here we go again then and it’s another game on a stupid Monday night in front of the Sky cameras.
Seeing how we’ve gone around fourteen live games without a single win, that’s a bad omen in itself, but all runs have to come to an end don’t they?

As much as I try to retain any optimism (as much as some others think I don’t), I think this particular match couldn’t have come at a worse time. More so when you consider we’ve played “lesser” teams at home and lost.
We’ve played Brighton away, so this is probably the toughest fixture we have left this season…

I’m sorry. As much as I try to look on the bright side and recall that Blues and Wolves have turned Newcastle over on their own turf, combined with the fact that the Barcodes have the second worst record for individual errors (after us), so I think I’m clutching at straws.

The truth is I don’t think we’ve got a hope in hell of taking anything away tonight, as much as it might leave me open to abuse.
Let’s face it, we’ve won two away games all season haven’t we?
So why should we expect to get anything from this one, in front of a big crowd that are constantly being wound up by Mick Quinn and a media trying to create a rivalry that really isn’t there?

I was supposed to be doing a Q&A with a Newcastle blog, mainly to see what their thoughts were on that latter point, but sadly I’ve just been too busy and it didn’t happen. I’m pretty sure they’d have agreed there isn’t really a problem between the two sets of fans, but I digress.

So what’s been going on recently then?
Bruce says he had a message from Xia saying his job’s safe.
Xia has got the hump over some site saying he’s gambling with the Villa re; parachute money.
Players have been coming out and saying it’s not been good enough and we’ll be better.
And we’re already being linked with players for the summer.

None of it’s of any consequence and all that matters is we start putting points on the board.

So what do we know about the game?

Both our new full backs, Taylor and Bree are doubtful, but the good news is Mile Jedinak might be back after a groin injury. And how we could do with him being fit. It’s been no co-incidence that we’ve looked worse at the back without him, in my opinion.
There have been calls for Sam Johnstone to be dropped and while I’m not sure what it would do for his confidence, so it might be better to get him out of the spotlight. Frankly, he’s been poor for us, hasn’t he?

Bruce has talked about putting Kodjia back on the left, as he thinks he’ll be more dangerous there and that’s something I think the manager will definitely do.
Will Grealish get the spot in the hole? Possibly, but I’d be tempted to save him for later as he sums up the team, in not being a 90 minute player.
Otherwise, the rest of the team pretty much picks itself and whatever eleven starts, it probably won’t be far off what we think is our best eleven on paper.

As for Newcastle, they might have Dwight Gayle back. Great and that’s all we need.

I can actually see us getting a goal tonight, as Newcastle won’t feel any need to sit back against us, which might see us get opportunities, but we’re struggling to convert chances.

Newcastle, on the other hand will also create and with our defence conceding from pretty much any mistake, it doesn’t bode well.

I’m going to go for a 3-1 loss then and it’s more about the performance, I feel.

The last time we beat Newcastle away was the infamous punch up game which we won 3-0 and I attended.
How I’d love to see a similar result tonight.


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  1. marvin
    marvin February 21, 2017 at 6:11 pm .

    I hate to say it but Bruce could do with being more like Sherwood at the moment and stick to one system. Personally I don’t see Bruce having a future after the season regardless, but it would be nice to see the squad have some sort of identity before the end of the season.

  2. bws
    bws February 21, 2017 at 9:42 pm .

    For those interested Keith Wyness is Paul Francs guest on the football phone in this Friday on WM (18:00 – 19:00).

    1. Dan
      Dan February 22, 2017 at 12:03 am .

      That probably means they’re closing ranks and sticking with the manager if he is engaging with the media.

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