An exciting end to the week saw Cardiff sign Oumar Niasse and, from what it seems like, Emiliano Sala: a transfer that took seemingly months to complete. A bit of a boost going into a relegation classic up in Newcastle. Newcastle’s week wasn’t the best, suffering injuries in their cup replay at Blackburn and having to put up with Mike Ashley. This could be a doozy, folks…
Newcastle United vs. Cardiff City
St. James’ Park
19th January 2019, 3pm (GMT)
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Three things to watch out for
An actual forward. Niasse coming in means that, for the first time, we have a genuine option on the bench. Warnock would only throw Madine in from time to time and Zohore and Ward are battling it out for the best bench in the physio’s room. So having a genuine forward, who has got goals in him at this level, is something Cardiff fans can relish.
Manga at CB. With Morrison undergoing a procedure last Monday – appendectomy, if you believe the message board talk – the defensive pack will undergo a shuffle. With Peltier back fit, it’s likely that Manga shift across and Pelts slots in at right back. With Jazz Richards forever struggling for fitness, I don’t see many other options.
Shackles off NML. Against Huddersfield, the one or two bright moments came because of Lendez-Maing (shout out to Paul Merson). He’s quick, skilful, strong as an ox. We should free him up and allow him to run at their defence. Earlier in the season, Murphy got the better of them and NML can do the same.
Players to watch out for
Ayoze Perez is the kind of player that I don’t fully know his best position yet he always worries me. Fleet footed and a decent finisher, he’s always someone who can give us some problems.
Rondon is another player that worries me. He hasn’t quite hit the ground running at Newcastle but he’s a big lad and can hold the ball up well. With Shelvey behind him knocking balls up, we’ll need to be cautious when dealing with him.
Best case result
With the boost of two new strikers, the players might be enlivened. Warnock will be sure to let them know just how big this game is. A win here and there’s a little bit of space between us and the bottom three. 2-1 Cardiff.
Worst case result
Newcastle always seem to pick things up in the second half of the season. They haven’t managed to sign anyone so far but they’ve still got some good players in their team. They’ll know the importance of this one. 2-0 Newcastle
Scott is a lifelong Cardiff City fan and freelance football writer. Scott hosts the VFTN podcast.