Newcastle United - PREVIEW: Newcastle United v WBA
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PREVIEW: Newcastle United v WBA

Newcastle United are set to participate in their first competitive game since being relegated from the English Premier League in May, as they face off against Roberto di Matteo's West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

The Toon will be without injured midfield pair Danny Guthrie (hamstring), and Nicky Butt (hand), while departing defenders Habib Beye, and Sebastien Bassong are also not participating in the fixture.

The departures, and the injuries will mean that youngsters Nile Ranger, Ryan Donaldson, Tamas Kadar, Kazenga Lua Lua, Ben Tozer, and even Slovenian wonderkid Haris Vuckic may get a run out in the senior squad.

Ryan Taylor is expected to slot into the right-back position, with Alan Smith taking the captain's armband.

Chris Hughton is also reportedly ready to hand Shola Ameobi, and Andy Carroll first-team starts, with Xisco also pushing to make an appearance.

Kevin Nolan is set to receive a massive confidence booster when Hughton gives him Steven Gerrard-like scope of mobility and shooting, and it is understood that Nolan would be playing in an attacking midfield position, with Smith taking it upon himself to protect the back-four.

For the Baggies striker Ishmael Miller (cruciate ligament), midfielder James Morrison (heel) and defender Neil Clement (knee) are missing out through injury, while striker Roman Bednar, is still serving a suspension for his alleged purchase of drugs last season.

The match will be telecast Live on BBC One & BBC HD from 1720 BST.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Mehzeb Chowdhury Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday August 7 2009

Time: 4:50PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Why the hell is Smith being given the captains armband? Does this mean he's excelled in preseason or can we expect the same flat performance from him tomorrow? Why not give Stevie Taylor the band? At least we know he's a geordie and therefore wont give up when the going gets tough !!
Report Abuse
07/08/2009 20:06:00

P.S. give Vuckic the second half behind the front two. It's about time we had some creativity in the midfield.
Report Abuse
07/08/2009 20:08:00

Given all of the crap that you've suffered over the summer and especially not having a permanent manager, a draw against the Baggies was pretty good going. Hope things get better for you soon!
Report Abuse
10/08/2009 01:22:00

I think Newcastle played pretty well and I personally thought we had the chance's to take the 3 points, still good result.
Report Abuse
10/08/2009 10:51:00

Not a bad result against the baggies, which could have ended sour if it wasn't for the immense Tim Krul.
Welsh magpie
Report Abuse
10/08/2009 15:27:00

I thought Smith had a good game. If giving him the armband means he plays like that, he is welcome to it
Report Abuse
12/08/2009 11:32:00

I agree, smith played extremely well.
Report Abuse
12/08/2009 16:14:00

Just get it done. You have the players to get the three points. Where is the professional pride?
Report Abuse
12/08/2009 22:31:00


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