Friday, November 25, 2011
Newcastle lost their incredible 11-match unbeaten streak against Manchester City last weekend. Yet, Alan Pardew's Toon Army had played very well. Just that they were up against a superior Blues side that was world class in all department, from Joe Hart in goal right up to Sergio Aguero in attack. There is no misery or shame in losing to an awesome team like City.
However, Manchester United is a slightly different animal. Wounded after a demoralising 6-1 derby defeat, the Red Devils have tightened up, preferring to win efficiently. And with a midfield clearly the weakest among the top six Premiership clubs, Newcastle United must fancy their chances against Fergie's side.
Typically top Premier League sides do not let you get away with missing chances, and the Magpies found this out the hard way against Mancini's men. Three gilt-edged opportunity botched by Demba Ba, Ben-Arfa and Guthrie could have changed the final outcome of last weekend's match, and Newcastle must take heed of this. In Demba Ba, they have a forward with a 42% goals/shots ratio and he is the in-form striker to watch.
It is clear that midfield is where this match will be won, and with Obertan, Guthrie, Tiote, Cabaye, Ben-Arfa and "Spiderman" Jonas, Newcastle have the aggression, technique and creativity to rule the midfield area. This should provide the platform on which Demba Ba can enhance his striking reputation.
Tim Krul has been nothing short of fantastic this season, with 30 saves already. His displays have been the difference for Newcastle drawing and winning by a one goal margin. The Magpies' have won five matches this season by a one-goal margin, further underlining the commanding presence of the Dutch custodian.
Newcastle must look to get on top of a weak Manchester United midfield and that's the path to a rare three points at the Theatre of Dreams this weekend.
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