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CITY v NEWCASTLE: OPPOSITION VIEW

31 March 2016

NEWCASTLE UNITED

Nickname: The Magpies  
Manager: Rafael Benitez
2014-15: 15th  
Ground: St James' Park 

BENITEZ ON PREPARING FOR SATURDAY
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez says the recent international break has come at a difficult time as he looks to stamp his authority on the club ahead of this weekend's game at Carrow Road.

"We have had seven or eight players away and a number of them will start," explained the Spaniard, who was appointed to the United hotseat in March.

"Every day is important for us because we don’t have too much time to send our ideas across. It's not ideal, but it's what we have at the moment."


"I'm quite positive 

Despite the challenges, Benitez insists Newcastle are ready to face Alex Neil's Canaries, having collected one point from their two matches under his stewardship so far.
because of the reaction of the players during every training session," said the former Real Madrid manager. "Every day you can see that they are working hard, they are listening to you and they are trying to adapt to these things. 
We have to keep the spirit and then maximise the time that we have.

"We still have eight games to play and have to concentrate on one at a time. Norwich are organised and know their jobs; we have to work hard from the first minute to the last."

STAR PLAYER
Jonjo Shelvey has captained Newcastle United in both of Rafael Benitez's games so far, having initially been handed the armband by previous manager Steve McClaren.

Despite only arriving at the Club from Swansea City in January, Shelvey was quickly enlisted to deputise for regular skipper Fabricio Coloccini with the defender sidelined through injury.

The £12m addition helped United to victories over West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion in his first two games played at St James' Park, but such form hasn't been replicated on the road. 



Newcastle have lost their last eight away from home in all competitions, scoring just seven times on their travels in the top-tier across the entirety of the current campaign.

Such struggles prompted the winter recruitment of Charlton Academy graduate Shelvey, as well as Andros Townsend and Henri Saivet, in an attempt to transform the Magpies' fortunes.

Shelvey's move to Tyneside came as a surprise to many considering the 24-year-old midfielder had featured regularly for the Swans during the 2015-16 Barclays Premier League season, making 16 appearances.

LAST TIME OUT
Newcastle United enjoyed some light relief from a seemingly endless run of derby defeats by salvaging a 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Sunderland at St James' Park a fortnight ago.

They had incredibly lost the previous six Tyne-Wear meetings, scoring a solitary goal in contrast to the Black Cats' 13 across that run of matches.

History looked to be repeating itself when Jermain Defoe struck with a volleyed effort just before the break, leaving United in danger of suffering a potentially critical blow in their fight for survival.


Although the hosts rallied in the second half, they were only kept in the contest by a stunning save from goalkeeper Rob Elliot which prevented Patrick van Aanholt doubling Sunderland's advantage.

That stop would prove vital late on, when striker Alexsandar Mitrovic climbed highest to head home Georginio Wijnaldum's cross with just seven minutes of normal time remaining to spark jubilant celebrations.

Mitrovic's goal secured a deserved point for Newcastle against their biggest rivals, while also ensuring City went into the international break above the bottom three following their 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion a day earlier.

THE SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Tim Krul, Rob Elliot, Karl Darlow, Freddie Woodman.

Defenders: Fabricio Coloccini (c), Paul Dummett, Jamaal Lascelles, Chancel Mbemba, Massadio Haidara, Daryl Janmaat, Steven Taylor, Curtis Good, Kevin Mbabu.

Midfielders: Jack Colback, Georgino Wijnaldum, Moussa Sissoko, Vurnon Anita, Siem de Jong, Jonjo Shelvey, Gabriel Obertan, Rolando Aarons, Henri Saivet, Cheick Tiote, Andros Townsend, Sylvain Marveaux. 

Attackers
: Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran, Ayoze Perez, Seydou Doumbia, Emmanuel Riviere, Alexsandar Mitrovic.



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