Alan Pardew has his sights set on ending Newcastle’s 58-year wait for a major trophy and will see this season’s Capital One Cup as the perfect chance to do so.
But he will have to end the Magpie’s poor form in cup competitions over recent years, and a home draw against Leeds United is the kind of draw they will have labelled as a potential banana skin. The Newcastle fans also want major silverware and they will be more interested in winning something than a successful season in the Premier League.
Winger Hatem Ben Arfa has also admitted that winning a trophy is a priority at Newcastle. He recently said: “We want to win the Capital One Cup this year. It’s a competition we can do well in.” At least the feeling’s mutual throughout the Newcastle camp and the supporters.
Leeds, on the other hand, go in to this match on the back two Championship defeats in a week and will be desperate to regain the form that saw them go six games unbeaten at the beginning of the season.
Five thousand Leeds fans are making the trip to St. James’ Park tonight, which will give Brian McDermott’s side an extra boost as they search for their first win at Newcastle for 11 years.
Due to Newcastle’s quest to win silverware, Pardew is not expected to make drastic changes from the side that lost to Hull at the weekend. Jonas Guiterrez and Massadio Haidara should feature, but it’s likely that Yohan Cabaye will have to sit out after he picked up a groin injury in Saturday’s defeat.
Leeds’ McDermott does not have many injury worries and should field a full strength side, with Sam Byram the most notable player featuring following his return from injury at the weekend.
Newcaslte have only lost one of their last nine of meetings with Leeds, winning six and drawing two will feel confident that they can book their place in Round 4. Leeds will feel their chances of progressing are high, particularly after they saw how Hull went to St. James’ Park and won on Saturday.