At St James’ Park this weekend, the two teams playing have had very differing starts to the season. Newcastle have continued their poor form from last season and find themselves already in 20th position. Although it’s very early in the campaign, it looks like it could be a long season for the Geordies unless something changes as they have yet to show anything to suggest their fortunes will turn anytime soon. Meanwhile Hull City fans will be hoping that Steve Bruce builds on their promising first season back in the top flight and it looks likely after some impressive signings in the summer, including the shrewd move to bring in entertaining playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa on loan from Saturday’s opposition.
This weekend will represent a huge one for Alan Pardew, who is under intense pressure after a horror show last weekend at Southampton. His side have been awful all year and it looks like his tenure should be coming to an end very soon. The players looked unmotivated last weekend and didn’t show any passion as Saints ran riot. The manager should have lost his job already, but Mike Ashley is a difficult man to predict. A loss this weekend, coupled with a toxic atmosphere from fans would be expected to seal his fate, but that has been said before. Last season in the last home match against Cardiff, the atmosphere was poisonous to such an extent that Pardew couldn’t leave his seat, expect it to be worse this weekend.
Meanwhile Hull come in to this match with five points to their name. They have only lost once in the league, and were unlucky not to pick up their second victory of the season against West Ham on Monday as the new look side appeared very dangerous going forward. Interestingly a win this weekend could also be the last time we see Steve Bruce as Hull manager as he could be the man to replace Alan Pardew if the Newcastle job becomes vacant, making this match intriguing to watch. Although Bruce used to manage Sunderland, he is a boyhood Newcastle fan and would jump at the chance to manage them.
Last season, this fixture provided lots of goals and controversy. At St James’ Park, the match ended 3-2 to Hull City with Robbie Brady, Ahmed Elmohamady and Sone Aluko scored for the away side, while Loic Remy netted twice for the home side. The return fixture saw Newcastle run out 4-1 winners with Moussa Sissoko (2), Loic Remy and Vurnon Anita scoring the goals. Curtis Davies scored for the home side. That match will be remembered more for Alan Pardew’s infamous headbutt on David Meyler, which saw the Newcastle manager banned for a long stretch of games.
Newcastle have already conceded 9 goals this season, only Everton have conceded more. This highlights the frailties of the Newcastle back four, with pace being a particular threat, something Hull have a lot of.
Hull only had 41% possession at home against West Ham, a side known for their direct football. This may suggest the side is still gelling and that there is an opportunity for Newcastle to control the tempo this weekend.
Cheick Tiote is likely to make his first start of the Premier League season this weekend and Newcastle have been desperately missing his influence in the middle of the park. He provides a shield to the back four that can’t be replaced by any other player in the squad. It will be interesting to see him playing alongside Jack Colback as his defensive style will allow the former Sunderland player to be more attacking and expressive in his play, which could be a huge positive for Newcastle as they have struggled to break sides down and Colback has the passing range to do so. Alan Pardew will need his side to be solid, and his defence looks very vulnerable, the addition of Tiote should make the side more solid, while the Ivorian has the ability to make crucial interceptions, which could set the side on the counter attack. Newcastle are strongest on the counter attack, which makes Tiote integral to their system.
Abel Hernandez started his Hull career with a bang scoring on his debut, and he’ll be keen to carry that on at St James’ Park against a team that were offered his services this summer. His pace and movement in the final third make him a particular danger for the Newcastle defence as they have not dealt well with players like Hernandez in the recent past. Neither Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson are blessed with a lot of pace and can be caught out by pace. Many were shocked that Hull City managed to sign the Uruguayan, who has done very well in Serie A and on the international scene. In a side with Hatem Ben Arfa, Gaston Ramirez and Tom Huddlestone, the forward should be getting lots of service and could prove to be a great signing as the season progresses.
Siem de Jong, Rolando Aarons, Davide Santon and Ryan Taylor remain on the treatment table. Papiss Cisse is closing in on a return, but he is unlikely to feaure this weekend. Steven Taylor, Cheick Tiote and Ayoze Perez are pushing for starts after sitting out of the miserable defeat at Southampton. Facundo Ferreyra could feature in the matchday squad after recovering from a knock. The Argentine is yet to make his debut for the club.
Hatem Ben Arfa will be ineligible to face his parent club, which will be a relief to Alan Pardew as a good performance from the Frenchman would have only increased the pressure on him further. Robert Snodgrass is on the long term injury list, while Andrew Robertson could return.
Newcastle have not won a game yet this season and have conceded 9 goals in the process.
Why not create a bet with Tailorbet for Hull to score at least 2 goals here http://eplindex.wpengine.com/tailorbet.
This match is going to be intriguing for the neutrals as Alan Pardew desperately needs a result to save his job. The side lack fighting spirit at the moment and that will make it very difficult for the side, especially if they fall behind. The atmosphere will be very intense, but it won’t have an effect on Newcastle and the players, who beat Cardiff 3-0 despite a very toxic atmosphere. Hull come to the North East with a settled side, who have started the season well, I think they’ll win away from home for the second year running and it could be the last match of the Alan Pardew tenure.