Magpies v Canaries: Newcastle United v Norwich City Preview

Posted on March 17th, 2012 | 7 Comments |

Norwich City - The Canaries.
The Canaries
Venue: St James’ Park, NE1
Date: Sunday, 18th March 2012
Kick-Off: 4pm (Sky TV)
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Newcastle United welcome Norwich City to St James’ Park with manager Alan Pardew hoping that a win in this game could set us up for the big push towards qualification for the Europa League next season. Pardew has targeted “4 or 5 wins” from the remaining 10 fixtures, and sees this game as a great chance to get one of them.

This is also payback time as far as the Magpies are concerned, having lost at Carrow Road earlier in the season where we had to field a defence with no recognised central defenders against the “robust” Norwich forwards. Needless to say, we lost but Demba Ba still managed to score 2 goals that day, and it will hopefully be even better this time round as we should be able to field a stronger defence. We should also be able to provide a midfield and attack which will ask the Norwich defence a few questions.

Norwich have acquitted themselves very well in their first season since promotion to the Premier League. In their 14 away games this season they have won 4, drawn 4 and lost only 6. Away wins were at Bolton, QPR, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea, although it’s also worth noting that they have earned creditable draws at such places as Everton, Liverpool and Stoke City. In away games against top six clubs like us however (did you see what I did there!), they have not fared so well!

Newcastle United have taken only 2 points from the last 12 and it really is make or break time. The big decision for Pardew has to be whether he reverts to our preferred 4-4-2 formation and plays both our double Demba senegalese strikers and Hatem Ben Arfa from the off and goes for it. Alternatively he may decide to be more cautious at first and go for 4-5-1 – a stronger midfield with Ba as lone (but lethal) striker, to attempt to establish better control with the aim of reducing any potential threat from Norwich.

Newcastle United Team News

Alan Pardew announced earlier in the week that he would be holding a “roll call” ahead of this game to see who was fit and available. At the time of writing, prime concerns are Cheick Tiote and Danny Simpson, who both emerged from the Arsenal game with muscle strains. Ryan Taylor is definitely not available as he joins longer term injured players Peter Lovenkrands (thigh), Leon Best and Sammy Ameobi (both knee), Steven Taylor (Achilles) and Sylvain Marveaux (groin).

The United manager though still has options and could field James Perch at right-back or switch Davide Santon while Shane Ferguson could also be part of a defensive reshuffle. He also has Danny Guthrie as a replacement should Cheick Tiote miss out.

Newcastle United (Probable Squad): Tim Krul, Rob Elliot, Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Davide Santon, Shane Ferguson, James Perch, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Gabriel Obertan, Hatem Ben Arfa, Jonas Gutierrez, Mehdi Abeid, Dan Gosling, Demba Ba, Papiss Demba Cisse, Shola Ameobi.

Norwich City Team News

Norwich expect to have midfielder Jonny Howson available again after missing the last game with a flu bug.

Defenders Daniel Ayala (hamstring) and Marc Tierney (groin) and Striker James Vaughan (hamstring) are not expected to be available.

Norwich City (Probable Squad): John Ruddy, Elliott Ward, Zak Whitbread, Adam Drury, Kyle Naughton, Andrew Crofts, Anthony Pilkington, Andrew Surman, Elliot Bennett, David Fox, Wesley Hoolahan, Simeon Jackson, Grant Holt, Steve Morison, Aaron Wilbraham, Jed Steer, Bradley Johnson, Russell Martin, Jonny Howson, Ryan Bennett.

What The Managers Are Saying

Alan Pardew: “I think I will be picking the team from the dressing room tomorrow.

“It isn’t ideal, but Monday was a tough, tough game.

“The mood has been one of fatigue, not mentally, but physically. We chased a lot of the ball and it took a lot out of us. To work as hard as we did and come away with nothing makes you feel even more tired – trust me.

“We’ve had a little refocus…..about where we stand and what we have to do.

“We have to get four or five wins from our 10 games to get into Europe.

“Momentum is everything in this division, I think the most important thing for us now is to get a win.”

Paul Lambert: “I don’t think anybody expects us to go up there and get anything. They’re doing fantastically well – Alan [Pardew] has got them going really well – but the lads are really looking forward to it. And there’ll be a massive crowd – which tends to bring out the best in people. And we’ll do everything we can to win.”

“We’ll not go there and be frightened by it. It’s a really passionate, football place Newcastle and the crowd will come right behind their team, but we will do everything we can to try and turn that around”


It’s a “must win” game for United and no doubt the lads will be fired up. I’m going to assume that Pardew will play both Dembas and Ben Arfa from the start and that we will see one of those pumped up attacking affairs – 4-1 I reckon. But I could be wrong of course!

NUFCBlog Author: UTD111 UTD111 has written 59 articles on this blog.

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7 Responses

  1. C’mon lads. Win this. Will be a nice treat for my 2nd of recovery from ACL repair surgery. I’m trapped in bed anyways so hopefully I can find a good feed.

  2. Just read the Bielsa story, from 1# comment (in the Krulvs Van Persie blog)by Workey.
    Check it out.
    Unfortunately missed the Man. U. games against Bilbao, but unless Fergie was aware of Bielsa and what he has about.
    Which i’m sure he was,i would still think he is in a state of shock.
    But it all becomes clear, having read the article.
    Seems the guy is one of those innovators that change the game and come along perhaps once every generation.
    I had believed that Guardiola was in fact one such person and of course he is in a sense.
    Except that most of which he applies as far as strategy and tactics come from the total football of the Cryff era, combined with Bielsa’s more recent innovations.
    It takes a great deal of courage to attempt these tactical and technical changes, requiring players to more or less forget what they have learned and adapt to a totally different approach.
    Not only that, but it requires a better degree of fitness and the ability to learn a number of complicated strategies, which take both time and effort to achieve. Something that few present EPL owners would be loath to
    put up with, fearing relegation and the loss of the big bucks.
    Watching Barca play, one realises how comlicated their game is (compared to how we NUFC play, a game remeniscent of that played by teams in the nineteen fifties) when compared with the general game in the EPL.
    Sure their are a few innovators, Swanseas Rodgers, Wenger and Citeh’s Mancini, actually Wigan play an attractive game though they hav’nt quite got it yet, but hopefully Martinez can bring them back.
    But in general the modern game with it’s tactical and varying lineups and strategies, have yet to reach these shores.
    Being our astute owner, has discovered a new way of running a football club, by buying younger , cheaper and hopefully better young players.
    Perhaps he can finish the job by looking at managers, many would of course argue that a good manager is as important as who you put on the pitch.
    I would certainly agree on that.
    A sound fiscal policy, complimented by an astute scouting system and a manager who understands the modern game, complimented with coaches that can impart that game to the players, viola!
    Fugedabout yes men and jobs for the boys if you ever want to win anything.

  3. Cheers, UTD! I’m just looking forward to being back on my ain twa feet again! ;) Sports injuries suck, but I’m probably in the best place in the world for ACL surgery. MO and Shola have both been to Colorado. A lot of the world’s best athletes come here for treatment. We’re the most fit state in the union… though sadly these days that’s not saying a whole lot. Lotta athletes here, always blowing out various ligaments. I guess I’ve joining that crowd now. 35 years of footy and this is my first knee injury. Was a doozy. :(

    Howay the lads. We need these three points!

    Chuck, I agree. I would love to have been the proverbial fly on the wall then the manager selection process was underway. Must have been surreal.

  4. tripp i think there is some credible evidence that high altitude heals wound quicker. i remember david becham having to spend 6 or so weeks in a tent just to make the world cup after breaking a bone in his foot.

    so if i remember my travels across the USA last year.

    Colorado being 1 mile high would make any hospital a great place.

    Colorado has to be one of the finest places on earth.