Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers is an important game for many reasons. For Newcastle it is essential that they get back on the winning trail after being humiliated by Tottenham Hotspur in their last Premier League outing.
If Alan Pardew’s men have serious thoughts of making the top four this season and qualifying for the Champions League then three points are essential as, despite their poor form, that’s what Chelsea are likely to pick up against Bolton.
Also, Newcastle’s next game in the league is against rivals Sunderland at St James’ Park and it’s always good to go into the Tyne-Wear derby on a winning streak, no matter how short a streak it may be.
Finally, it could also prove to be a momentous occasion, as Newcastle’s Famous Five could be on the pitch together at the same time for the first time!
In case you’re wondering who I’ve dubbed Newcastle United’s Famous Five, the quintet consists of captain Fabricio Coloccini, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse. Cabaye and Tiote are both all set to return this weekend, but will all five make it into the starting eleven?
Coloccini is of course the first name on the team sheet, closely followed by Ba, so they’ll both be in. Cabaye will be champing at the bit to get involved and Newcastle have missed his box-to-box energy, while the absence of Tiote’s screening in front of the back four was clear for all to see against Spurs.
They’re likely to both return in the middle of the park, which means that despite his good form, Danny Guthrie will have to be content with a place on the bench, unless of course he fills in on the right if Ryan Taylor isn’t passed fit.
As for Cisse, Pardew commented that he wished he’d played 4-5-1 at White Hart Lane, but in front of the Toon Army I’m sure he’ll stick the Senegal pair up top together again in a 4-4-2 formation.
Here are the five together in training yesterday and they should provide plenty of firepower all over th pitch against Wolves…