Having dropped a massive clanger in September by going to Pride Park with the intention of playing for a draw, Newcastle go into the game with revenge on their minds. Having given Derby half their points this season, Sam will be in no frame of mind to dish out any more pre-Xmas presents following the side`s recent good form.
The draw against Arsenal and two wins against Birmingham and Fulham have quelled the ‘BSO` (Big Sam Out) brigade until the next mini-crisis. A win against Derby is a must to if he wants to keep the baying hordes quiet over the Christmas period and the bookies (see William Hill`s odds for more) are seriously tipping us to make in 10 points out of 12 and climb the table further.
Newcastle Team News:
The midweek gap saw us get a few more players out on the training pitch as Duff, Viduka and Taylor all got some mildly competitive action in against Boro`s second string. Sunday should come too soon for Duff and Owen but the others should be ok. Expect a line up comprising of:
Given, Beye, Cacapa, Rozenhal, N`Zogbia, Milner, Barton, Butt, Emre, Smith, Martins.
Bench: Harper, Taylor, Viduka, Faye, Enrique.
Player to watch: Alan Smith
I’ve got a funny feeling the former Leeds and Man Utd man will open his account for us this weekend.
Derby Team News:
The Rams, now under Paul Jewell rather than Billy Davies, seem to be resigned to relegation and the planning for next season is already underway. Pride will dictate whether or not they have the ability to beat Sunderland`s 15 point low score for a season but after humpings of 6-0, 5-0 (twice) and 4-0 there isn`t much hope.
Last time round, a home loss against Boro (1-0) saw them field the following players:
Derby: Bywater, Mears, Davis, Moore, Griffin (McEveley 29), Teale (Howard 56), Oakley, Leacock, Pearson, Barnes, Miller (Earnshaw 74).
Subs Not Used: Price, Lewis.
Griffin and Earnshaw are both supposed to be carrying injuries.
Player to watch: Giles Barnes
Having been linked with the youngster in the past it’ll be interesting to see whether Roeder’s judgement was right.
Previous Premier League games
2001/02 Won 1-0 Shearer (pen)
2000/01 Won 3-2 Cort, Cordone, Glass
1999/00 Won 2-0 Eranio OG, Shearer
1998/99 Won 2-1 Dabizas, Glass
1997/98 Drew 0-0
1996/97 Won 3-1 Elliott, Ferdinand, Shearer
2-0 to Newcastle. Smith and Barton.
Wigan on Boxing Day at the JJB.