|Rochdale 1 v 1 Newcastle United|
Saturday, 4th January 2020 Kick-off 12:31
Match Preview: Dale v Newcastle United (FA Cup)
Thursday, 2nd Jan 2020 12:33 by Chaff
Rochdale ended their awful Christmas period with our annual win at Accrington to have a very happy new year. Next up is the small matter of Premier League Newcastle United in the Cup.
Date: Saturday 4th January 2020
We won a game!
Few things are certain in life it seems, death, taxes, Calvin Andrew to miss easy chances, and Dale win at Accrington!
And let it be said, the novelty of beating John Coleman and Jimmy Bell never ever seems to wear off!
That win over at the Wham Stadium saw Dale climb to the lofty heights of 18th in League One but increased their gap over the drop zone to four points thanks also to Tranmere getting hammered. Good job really as both Milton Keynes and AFC Wimbledon both won.
Dale were given a big boost before the Accy game when Ian Henderson was named in the side for the first time since he went off injured against Boston before Christmas. He of course had a huge impact and bagged his 11th of the season. That all time goalscoring record creeps ever closer doesn’t it.
We also saw Ollie Rathbone and Paul McShane start which was a huge bonus as we are infinitely better when both play. And Rathbone and Jimmy Ryan absolutely bossed the midfield which was brilliant to see. Ryan in particular has had a fair bit of criticism from certain sections of the Dale support, but he was tremendous. We also even saw Ryan McLaughlin on the bench and fit enough to get on for a few minutes. I know! I nearly had to have a sit down too!
One thing is for certain, Dale will have to put on a much-improved performance against Newcasle than they showed against non-league Wrexham and Boston in the first two rounds of the FA Cup but that should be a given really. After all, we did take Manchester United to penalties at Old Trafford earlier in the season in what was a mightily impressive performance.
Will we see any change to the side? Possibly not but given we will have played three days previous we may have to. I imagine we may see young Luke Matheson play in a bid to give him some more national exposure. MJ Williams will be back from suspension but the midfield performance on New Year’s Day should ensure he stays out of the side. Young Kwadwo Baah has done enough to warrant keeping his place but is he up to two games in three days? We’ll soon see. We’ve not had a proper update on Rhys Norrington-Davies as yet after he was smashed in the face and stretchered off against Fleetwood but one would presume he may not be fit yet. Likewise, we don’t know if Aaron Morley may be fit yet.
This is another televised game for Rochdale and another financial boost for the club as the game is live on BT Sports. The stage is set for a huge cup tie and believe me, stranger things have happened than us beating Newcastle United but I would love if we beat them, love it!
Steve Bruce is the man in charge at St James’ Park and although the initial reaction to his appointment was a negative one, he’s not been doing that bad a job there though they will be concerned with their recent form and poor goal difference. Newcastle currently sit in 13th in the Premier League on 25 points from 21 games and are 5 points clear of the drop zone while also being 5 points from the Europa League places as well. They have conceded the second highest amount of goals though which Bruce will not be pleased about given his successful career as a centre half. Only his former side Aston Villa have conceded more goals this season with 23 goals, while Newcastle have conceded 21 and have a goal difference of -13.
At the other end of the pitch, Newcastle aren’t blessed with goal scorers either. Lord Voldemort lookalike Jonjo Shelvey leads the way in their goalscoring charts with just 5 goals this season from the centre of midfield. Their forward line come up woefully short with Joelinton, Yoshinori Muto, Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron and Andy Carroll have managed just 3 goals between them in the Premier League this season. They will be particularly disappointed in Brazilian striker Joelinton who has managed just 1 goal in 21 league appearances this season since his £40,000,000 move from Hoffenheim.
Newcastle have struggled over the festive period as well with four defeats out of their last five games. They were hammered 3-0 at home to Leicester on New Years Day though it’s fair to say that Leicester have been over-performing all season. They were also beaten by Everton, now led by Carlo Ancelotti and got hammered on Boxing Day 4-1 away at Manchester United. We drew with Manchester United at Old Trafford so surely that means we’re better than Newcastle? That’s how it works right?!
Photo: Action Images
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