After what seemed to be the longest international break in history, we are finally back!
Bilic would have had a good look at the new signings, so the break came at the right time in my eyes as it will have given Slaven more of an understanding of the players themselves and how they will fit in to the next game.
Andy Carroll is set to be on the bench for Monday night’s game, as is Mauro Zarate, with Joey O’Brien also in contention to return. As for Newcastle, defender Williamson is set to return in time for the Monday night clash.
So after two home defeats in a row, how do we ensure that we do not slip up against a good looking Newcastle side? Well, formation is definitely a factor Bilic needs to consider and his decision on the night will help heavily decide football betting odds. I think we have lacked width at home, especially considering that away teams tend to set up to counter attack without any real pressure from the crowd.
We have been excellent away from the Boleyn Ground, but now we need to deliver in our home performances and show we are not just a ‘counter attacking team.’
Our team performances away from home have been exceptional and Slaven has got them working very hard but at home it has been too lethargic, so urgency on the ball and moving it quicker is definitely something we need to improve on.
As for our attacking philosophy, we need to be more productive in wide areas, which I think new boys Moses and Antonio will help us to achieve and I definitely think most fans will see the difference they bring to the team.
Newcastle are no push overs. If we are going to come away with a positive result, then it will require a certain mentality going into the game. We have started well in both home games but then stopped after five minutes. Every time we do this, we show a risk of conceding, which has happened on both occasions, and once you go behind you make it very difficult for yourself to come back into it.
Bilic will definitely have to highlight the dangers Newcastle present. The new signing of George Wijnaldum from PSV has been an excellent coup for them. He looks like a player that can terrorise defences, so Cresswell in particular is going to have to be on his toes as we have found it difficult to deal with these sorts of players so far.
Tricky, fast and dangerous are what I think of him, so counter attacking football for them should make our lives hard if we allow them to do this.
Here is how I think we will line up against the Magpies:
The reason I have put Moses there instead of Lanzini is because Moses has had much more experience in the Premier League and the young Argentine does not need to be rushed into the action just yet.
Also, I expect Antonio to make an appearance at some point on Monday, as will the new Croatian striker Jelavic.
It would be unfair not to leave my score prediction, so I’m going to go with 2-0 to the Hammers!