Alan Pardew could not have asked for a fixture more deeply stacked with history, as he hopes to open up his account in charge at St James’ Park. Many fans are still, understandably, livid about the way in which Chris Hughton was unceremoniously ditched this week.
Nevertheless, Pardew is aware he will need to win fans and players over rapidly. His affirmation that England international Andy Carroll is to remain with the club has been a good start.
Liverpool steamrollered Aston Villa on Monday night, and without Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard or Fernando Torres the result must go down as their most impressive of the season.
The biggest concern for the red half of Merseyside, however, has been the club’s away form. Newcastle have had the opposite problem, gaining results away from St James’ but failing to produce in front of their own fans. Both are susceptible defensively thus goals should be a certainty.