Vital Football

Latest Newcastle United News

Smashing the Smogs

Newcastle
vs.
Middlesbrough

St James Park

Saturday 3rd March 2007

3pm

Going into the game it looks like we`re in the unenviable position of the Beasts being able to do the double over us in the Premiership for the first time. Having suffered a 1-0 reverse at the Riverside earlier in the season it`s imperative for the club to make a show of beating Boro if we`ve got any pretensions of even being a top half side.

Once again the local media are managing to make complete and utter tits of themselves by bigging the game up as some sort of derby and hyping the clash beyond belief. Listening to Metro on the radio I was unhappy with Steven Taylor for sinking to their level and describing it as one, even if he did say it wasn`t like the mackem games. I`ll happily reiterate the fact that getting beaten by Boro in the Autumn was a minor irritant, not the sort of depths of depression feeling that accompanies losing to the shower from the Wear. No matter how much they build it up it`ll never be a rivalry.

Last Autumn`s game was a turgid affair, being settled by a Yakubu header from a corner 5 minutes from time. His international teammate Oba rattled the bar with a great chip and Jimmy Milner missed a good chance but ultimately our lack of firepower was glaringly obvious even at that stage of the season. Fast forward a few months and our forward power has…dwindled. We no longer have Rossi on loan, seemingly replacing him with reserve team / youth team player Andy Carroll and Sibierski seems to be walking wounded. That leads Oba as our only threat. In opposition, Boro seem to have Viduka playing and scoring regularly, Malcolm Christie fit, Yakubu leading the line well and have replaced the haphazard Massimo Maccarone with Gook the Korean.

Last season Souness was saved by Clarkie popping up at the death and prolonging his stay of execution for a little while longer. This year anything but a positive performance and result will see the questions about Glenn being unable to manage his tactics and formations rear their head again.

Vital Quotes: Glenn Roeder

That is the motivator for lots of players nowadays, the thought if they do not play well, there is someone to take their place. For most of the season the players have gone out knowing if they did not play well, they'd play the next game. That is why I am pleased with the motivation they have shown.

Newcastle Team News:

For Newcastle the rest seems to have come at a good time. Having missed Dyer and Babayaro in our last outing at Wigan they all seem to be coming back from injury at the right time. Emre is still not fit for this one, being pencilled in for Alkmaar, but Zog will again be involved. The only absentees remain the long termers - Owen, Moorcelino and Shola. Really now GR has no excuses about the injury situation and needs to start getting his team selection right.

Player to watch: Obafemi Martins

So key to our season so far. His shootout with Yakubu will be the deciding factor in who gets the three points.

Middlesbrough Team News:

In a bizarre twist of fate just like last season Boro`s involvement in cup competitions could work in our favour. After beating them 2-1 last year at the Riverside a few days after a gruelling UEFA Cup tie, this time round there should be a lot of tired legs in the Boro side following their 120 minutes and penalties against West Brom in midweek. Abel Xavier (back), Fabio Rochemback (thigh) and Mark Schwarzer (back) were all missing from the side whilst George Boateng, Stuart Parnaby and Julio Arca seemed to come back from the Hawthorns crocked.

Player to watch: Jonathan Woodgate

The finest natural defender I`ve seen in a black and white shirt, can his hamstrings cope with Oba`s pace?

Match Facts & Stats

Boro have never done the double over us in the Premier League. FACT.

Viduka has scored 9 in his last 11.
Yakubu has scored 7 in his last 11.

Ref Watch:

Steve Bennett

Match Prediction:

2-1 to us.

Next Fixtures:

Alkmaar at home next Thursday.


Writer:Ross Molyneux
Date:Friday March 2 2007
Time: 12:02PM

Login to post a comment

Site Journalists

TNMW
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Newcastle United v Preston North End
Suggested By:
Newcastle win67%
Preston win29%
Draw4%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Brighton 44 28 8 8 92 35
2 Newcastle 43 26 7 10 85 37
3 Reading 44 24 7 13 79 1
4 Sheff Wed 44 23 9 12 78 15
5 Huddersfield 43 24 6 13 78 2
6 Fulham 44 21 13 10 76 27
7 Leeds Utd 44 22 7 15 73 14
8 Norwich 44 19 9 16 66 12
9 Brentford 44 18 9 17 63 12
10 Derby County 44 17 12 15 63 2
11 Preston 43 16 13 14 61 5
12 Aston Villa 44 16 13 15 61 0
13 Cardiff 44 16 11 17 59 -2
14 Barnsley 44 15 12 17 57 0
15 Wolves 43 15 10 18 55 -2
16 Ipswich 44 13 16 15 55 -6
17 Bristol City 44 14 9 21 51 -6
18 Burton 44 13 12 19 51 -12
19 Q.P.R. 44 14 8 22 50 -12
20 Forest 44 13 9 22 48 -11
21 Birmingham 44 11 14 19 47 -22
22 Blackburn 44 10 15 19 45 -15
23 Wigan 44 10 11 23 41 -16
R Rotherham 44 5 6 33 21 -58
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Newcastle United Results (view all)

Newcastle United Fixtures (view all)

Apr 24 2017 7:45PM : Preston North End (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 28 2017 7:45PM : Cardiff City (a)
Sky Bet Championship
May 7 2017 12:00PM : Barnsley (H)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Toon_NoMatterWot116
2.Mcnamee6768
3.keggy_keagal56
4.CuckFan45
5.billybobcat44
6.Neppos14
7.vin189213
8.crooktownmags9
9.tooninkent9
10.Rytoon8
Write for Vital Football