Newcastle United v Manchester City Match Preview

January 01 11:09 2008 Print This Article

United’s caretaker skipper Alan Smith is doubtful to make appearance against Manchester City tomorrow at St. James’ Park. Smudger has to get further examination at the hospital after a colision with team-mate Abdoulaye Faye at Stamford Bridge last Saturday.


“Alan Smith is extremely doubtful for tomorrow night,” said Big Sam on the official site, “Don’t forget he was knocked unconscious at Stamford Bridge and had a bad dose of concussion, and it does not look as though we have enough time for him to recover.”

But Sam said Faye’s scan has revealed there is no break and the Senegalese star has a good chance of lining-up against Sven Goran Eriksson’s men.

Allardyce is pleased to see Faye’s new midfield role against Chelsea, he added that Faye likes his new position as much as playing as United’s central defender and he is adept well in both position.

Meanwhile, Damien Duff says he is feeling 100% fit after making full return to black and white squad. Duff has started in the last two Newcastle fixtures against Wigan and Chelsea, and he feels nothing wrong with his injury and ready for more action tomorrow.

“It’s been busy but that doesn’t bother me because I’m just delighted to be playing again,” Damien told “The results have been dissapointing though, especially Chelsea when we felt we could’ve got the win and definitely the draw.”

Allardyce was also impressed with Duff appearance since returning as substitute at home against Derby. After long gone with serious injury, Duff now feels like been born again.

“When you’ve been out for so long you really appreciate playing again.” He said, “We’ve got another busy month coming up and we have to build on that Chelsea performance and hopefully get a win in front of our own fans against Man City on Wednesday.”

Meanwhile, Allardyce is hoping Michael Owen can spark a turnaround and stay free from injury to help rebuild Newcastle United’s fortunes in 2008. Owen made a return to action at Stamford Bridge on last Saturday after spent six weeks on the sidelines with a torn thigh muscle while playing for England in a friendly match against Austria.

“Michael Owen has always been consistent in his games and goals,” said Allardyce. “We have had games where we have created a large number of chances and you have to wonder if Michael had been there if we might have converted a higher proportion of our chances. That would mean winning a few more games.”

Michael Owen has been rumoured lately to make a move to Sven Goran Eeriksson side this month, but Allardyce insists he only looking to buy not to sell, and he said there’s no official offer from the City side for Owen.

Manchester City who is succeded to held Liverpool for a draw last Sunday at the City of Manchester stadium will have to set their Brazilian star Elano on the bench for their visit to St. James’ Park tomorrow. Elano’s form has dipped in recent weeks and City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson could set his fellow countryman Geovanni as the potential replacement.

Michael Johnson still missing with abdominal strain, but Emile Mpenza could be back from a muscle problem. Manchester City will look to booked their first away win since the opening day of the season.

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