Sheffield Wednesday Home Preview 16/17

Home Boxing Day Action As Magpies Look To Stay At Summit

Firstly a Merry Christmas to all Newcastle fans out there wherever you are in the World. It has been another interesting year in the world of NUFC shall we say but thankfully at the moment it is looking like 2017 could be a good year.

That of course isnt a given as tomorrows game only sees us at the midpoint of the season so whilst we are where we all hoped we would be there is still a lot of work to be done.

That starts with another tough game tomorrow against Sheffield Wednesday who are currently sitting nicely in 6th position in the last of the play off places.

Rather surprisingly our away form has probably been more consistent than our home form and that is certainly something that needs to change in 2017.

I know the home form hasnt exactly been horrendous but 3 defeats to teams we would certainly have been expected to beat have not been pleasant viewing and whilst the impact of those defeats has been lessened slightly by the away form you always want to look to be strong in front of your home crowd.

With Brighton not in action until Tuesday against QPR this is a perfect opportunity to get 3 points on the board and put a bit of pressure on them to match that going into their game.

Team wise the obvious big talking point is who comes in for Jonjo Shelvey after he decided not to appeal his ban for his apparent racist comments so sits out the first of his 5 games in this one.

He has been instrumental in our current form and whilst we may have the numbers to easily replace him I sadly dont think we have a like for like replacement for him with the same range of passing so the manager is maybe going to have to look to do something different.

Personally I would play Anita in there alongside Hayden. He maybe doesnt have the long passing range that Shelvey does but he likes to get on the ball, is comfortable on the ball and can pick a pass over shorter ranges.

We obviously have Yedlin as a natural option to play at rightback rather than Anita (if Yedlin wasnt going to play anyway) and so there is minimal disruption to the side and you dont have to alter the formation.

That for me would be the obvious solution and other than that I wouldnt change anything from the previous games as I think bar a couple of positions we have a good settled first choice lineup now and the likes of Diame have come into form and benefited from that.

The Owls certainly have some danger men like apparent former Toon target Fernando Forestieri who knows where the goal is at this level so we will need to make sure we are on guard and keep up our impressive defensive record.

Always love these fixtures over Christmas but they are obviously only enjoyable if you win them otherwise it can add a real sour taste to your Christmas.

Lets hope the lads can hand out some belated Christmas cheer and keep the feel good factor on Tyneside going into the New Year.

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