Newcastle’s XI is pretty similar to last seasons, but with impending transfers and injury concerns, who will line up come August 18? Norwich have had a relatively quiet transfer window, but have made some good signings to boost their starting XI… but where will they line up? ITS DOUBLE PREDICTION TIME!
I’m assuming they’ll run with their 4-4-2 variation where Cabaye plays above Tiote (who will be in a holding role) once again.
Coloccini and Taylor will have nailed on roles providing both are fit, with Williamson waiting in the flanks. Santon didn’t have a fantastic season last year, but still is the first choice LB as his potential is huge. Taylor gets the gig at RB for me (and also plays LB so could take Santon’s position), but if the injury whispers about Ben Arfa are true, you can expect him to move up to a RM and see Simpson slot in to a RB. Alternatively, Simmo may very well pip Taylor for a starting spot at RB, but I just love RT’s attacking ability. Do take note though, if Mathieu Debuchy (Ligue 1 Right-Back of the year) does eventually make his anticipated switch to Newcastle, he will take the RB slot- UNLESS it’s a deadline day transfer and he’s not there in time for GW 1.
Not much to worry about here, with it all set to pick up where it left off last year. The only concern is the apparent injury to Ben Arfa that may keep him out of the start of the season, but I still think he’ll be fine, they’re only whispers anyway! Guitierrez Tiote and Cabaye will all start as they did last season, with the tongue-tied duo of Amalfitano and Bigirimana coming off the bench.
Ba and Cisse. Ameobi brothers coming off the bench? Any questions? Didn’t think so.
Quite a simple First XI, with the main concern over who will take the RB slot. Personally, I’m only locking in S.Taylor into my team, and I’m not even playing him first GW (They have Tottenham). Now… let’s have a look at the Canaries!
Let me start by saying I’m going to keep this relatively short, as there is so many rotations that could occur, and the only people I’m sure of starting are Ruddy, Tierney, Martin, Hoolahan and Holt. All other positions there are a million positional battles that could come with a change of formation. I’m presuming they’ll stick with the 4-1-2-1-2 formation that worked for them last year, but they have also trialled 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 this preseason with varying success.
Tierney should get the job at LB, with the other option Bradley Johnson being mainly a midfielder. Turner should get the first CB slot following his transfer from Sunderland, while I’m tipping Barnett, purely for the reason that Ayala is injured and Bennett aint anything special. Right-Back is Martin‘s for the start, as new boy Whittaker is injured and should feature after the first couple of weeks.
Midfield: Here’s where it gets ridiculous. Hoolahan and Pilkington SHOULD start. But given there’s a new manager anything is really possible. Fox could start at CDM if they elect to play with one, but if not expect him to make way for Bennett or Johnson if a 4-4-2 traditional formation is adopted. Snodgrass is the new boy and should take Surman‘s position on the left. Alternatively, if they adopt a 4-5-1 formation another one of either Surman, Bennett or Johnson to be included.
Forwards: Easy. If they pick the lone striker it’ll be Holt. If not, expect Morison or Jackson to fight it out for the second slot. I’m only tipping Jackson because I persisted with Morison last year and he boned me over. I have a chip on my shoulder. In reality any one of those two could line up.
What to take from Norwich? Well if you’re considering anybody other than Ruddy I’d suggest you take your medicine and have a lie down. They’re pretty darn hard to pick, and even if you pick a player that starts week after week, who’s to say whether they’ll be the one that breaks out? Tough call. I’m not going anywhere near Norwich!
Any questions lemme know.