Sam Allardyce will have to make difficult choices about who will partnered Viduka as Toon attackers ahead of Carling Cup 3rd round tie against Arsenal tonight at Emirates stadium. With Owen out again for operation, we only have Shola as back-up.
Most of the Toon Army have been very disappointed by the way he is playing on his last appearance up-front against Derby County. It’s not just Shola to be honest, most of all the Lads were under achievement on that day, but in particularly, Shola was looks like he is not ready to take the duty.
Tonight against Arsenal, he will be one of Big Sam choices to partnered Viduka, a player he was replaced at Pride Park. Now it is Owen today that was out because he will doing double operations in Germany.
It will be a hard test for Allardyce against the Arsenal side, although Arsene Wenger would probably dropping most of their first team squad but they are still dangerous team to face, just like what they did last season with second strings they can reach the final.
Without Michael Owen (groin), Claudio Caçapa (groin) while Stephen Carr, Celestine Babayaro, Joey Barton, Damien Duff and Peter Ramage are still out of order, Sam will probably forcing to displays the winning team against West Ham last Sunday while the youngsters like James Troisi, David Edgar and Matthew Pattison will be the possible back-up.
Emre was in his fifty-fifty chance, as he has a slight groin when playing for his international side. Meanwhile, after Beye has taste the full appearance on Sunday, Abdoulaye Faye could make his first full debut for Newcastle United to replaced the injured Caçapa. Jose Enrique is the other name that could make second appearance for Toon.
Now what about Shola? I believe Sam has showing him what he done wrong against Derby. And for me, we have to give Sho another chance to show what he can do, he is still young and need more games to gain his best performance.
Tonight would be his best chance to prove he is still worth to wear the Black-and-Whites, but if I was Allardyce, I will not put him as starter, not yet.
In midfield, we will see the reguler first team, and if Jose breaks through the starting line up, Sam will drive N’Zogbia up to Newcastle left wing, while James Milner will be on his reguler right post.
Geremi is ideal to hunt-down Arsenal’s midfield, together with Nicky Butt. While up-front Viduka and Martins are mostly Sam first choice.
So, my prediction for tonight starting line up would be:
Subs: Harper, Taylor, Edgar, Enrique, Ameobi