Newcastle United host Stoke City today needing 3 points to keep ahead of the teams in the relegation scrap - some of whom picked up big results yesterday.
As you may have heard, Newcastle United loanee Sammy Ameobi scored on his debut for Middlesbrough today. If you've not seen it, it's worth a moment of your time. There is also a pretty EPIC beard in the crowd shots following the goal.
Despite performing well for most of the match, Newcastle United were deserved losers at Swansea thanks to a defensive collapse in the 85th minute at the Liberty Stadium. It was not all doom and gloom, however.
Sammy Ameobi is still only 20, but has gone from fringe first team player to buried on the depth chart this January. He is now headed out to Middlesbrough to get some seasoning
It was Newcastle United's second six-pointer of the month, and they came up trumps again, this time defeating Southampton 4-2 at St. James' Park. While still only 6 points above the drop zone it does push the club to 14th in the Premier League table
The senior squad will have to pin their hopes on the Europa League if they hope to contest a cup final this season. In the mean time, 4 Toon players will be contesting cup finals over the next 4 weeks.
If you've read for a while, you know that I would have had Rob Elliot out of the club over the summer. His performances in the preseason fed into that feeling. He has, however, shown better during this season and deserve just a little trust.
Although Newcastle started brightly, the opening 27 minutes were followed by the best 18 that Metalist have played in this tie to this point. 45 minutes left to try to tie this one up in regulation.
Bringing Hatem Ben Arfa into the fold will make Newcastle a better side by default. Are there extra benefits to be reaped by his return? Here is some positional analysis that indicates that there may just be.
We're in need of at least a scoring draw to progress in the Europa League. There is that small matter of the league match v. Southampton to consider as well. Can we get something in Kiev while putting maximum concentration on the Premier League?
Newcastle United have not been able to find that last pass or shot thus far against Metalist Kharkiv (or when they have it has been called offside in the most bizarre and wrong fashion). 45 minutes to get a leg up in this tie.
Building a scouting report on the miniscule sample size of one match is fraught with danger... but I've done it anyway. Here are some of the things that Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk did to defeat Metalist Kharkiv in Metalist's last league setback.
The ol' Youtube has come through again... kind of - here is the complete broadcast of Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk's victory over Metalist Kharkiv (Metalist's last loss). It's Spanish commentary, however. Two things to keep in mind as you watch, however - Willian and Taison (left and right midfield) have both been sold during the January window.
"Define Metalist Kharkiv in 1,000 words or less." Through 5 names and 87 years, Metalist Kharkiv have seen many ups and downs... until recently. Their recent run of 6 consecutive 3rd place Premier League finishes is their best in club history.
You expect to see silly rumors in January and in the month leading up to the re-opening of the transfer window at the end of the Premier League season. You hope not to see them in February - and not as silly as this one.
Newcastle United's holding midfielder is set to return from the Cup of Nations prematurely, but it may be slightly fortunate for him.
Out of favor Newcastle United right back has found some trouble in the bottom of a bottle and a take away line.
After a year's worth of encouraging from boss Alan Pardew, Mehdi Abeid has accepted a loan deal to SPL side St. Johnstone. For his sake, let's hope he can find regular games there.
If it all felt like the first half, we'd be jubilant. As it was, it didn't... and we aren't.... but we do have 3 very very very important points.
Newcastle have been in extremely poor form heading into this match. That's the bad news. Newcastle have drastically improved the squad in the last week. That's the good news. How will this match play out? Let's find out together.
French-Senegalese defender Massadio Haïdara said he was "impressed with Newcastle's ambition"... so that's at least one convinced. The tremendously talented 20-year-old is "one for the future" but could potentially step in if needed.
Yoan Gouffran may be the third most famous Yoan of his footballing generation (behind Yohan Cabaye and Yoann Gourcuff), but how will he fit into Alan Pardew's plans at Newcastle United?
Newcastle fans are angry over a letter alleged to be from Fabricio Coloccini to the supporters of San Lorenzo. Is there even a slight chance that this could be a wind-up orchestrated by someone in Argentina as a last ditch chance to force a move?
Moussa Sissoko has been confirmed by the Newcastle United official site on a staggering 6 and a half year deal. A massive January window continues for Mike Ashly and our Magpies.
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has taken umbrage with Newcastle United taking advantage of the January transfer window. Or is he taking umbrage with Newcastle's success recruiting in France? Meh. Doesn't matter.
It's been no inspiring Dead Poets Society style story this January, but the NUFC official club site has reported that our long Coloccini nightmare is now over... for now.
Lee Ryder is reporting that San Lorenzo have quit their rather bizarre pursuit of Newcastle United's captain. There are days left in January, so I guess nothing is 100%, but it seems this situation is over.
Known moves for Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara look set to be wrapped up today with both players on Tyneside for a medical. Danny Simpson is back in the rumor mill, as is Ricky van Wolfswinkel.