Newcastle Club Focus – Magpies hope to avoid FA Cup south coast upset

Newcastle will be hoping to avoid another cup giant killing when they make the long trip down south to face Brighton in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Hopes are high that the club can progress a long way in the competition on the back of their excellent position in the league table. To make the next round of the competition they will have to overcome an old foe when they face Gus Poyet and his Brighton team. Poyet enjoyed a good goalscoring record against the Magpies and has so far enjoyed an impressive start to his fledgling managerial career. Following last season’s humiliation against Stevenage, the team will need to be on the guard to avoid another cup upset. With the game selected to be broadcast live, it suggests that some believe that an upset could be on the cards.

Newcastle will need to defend much better than in their previous game against Fulham when they were undone by a dismal second half performance. Since then the players and management have jetted out to Tenerife to enjoy some warm weather training which should help to improve spirits in the camp. Newcastle have no new injury problems to contend with and are likely to choose the strongest team available to them. It remains to be seen whether Alan Pardew will keep faith with the 4-5-1 formation that had limited success against Fulham. Brighton currently sit 10th in the Championship table and have former Magpie Kazenga Lua Lua in their current squad.

Pardew could be shortly boosted by the return of two of their African stars after Senegal failed to make it from the group stages at the African Cup of Nations. Senegal have lost their opening two games with Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse failing to make much of an impact. While that it bad news for the players it will be a great boost for the club who are in talks to bring back the players as soon as possible. They could return as early as next week’s midweek match against Blackburn Rovers as Senegal complete their campaign on Sunday.

That should lessen the need to bring in any more forward cover in the transfer window. Newcastle remain keen to bring in another central defender although they have been knocked back in their bid to sign Watford’s Adrian Mariappa. An offer from Newcastle was turned down this week and sparked anger in the Watford camp. “Big clubs should go about their business in an appropriate manner,” said Watford manager Sean Dyche. “Unfortunately, as is often the case these days, their offer is nowhere near our valuation. That’s the awkward side of the game now, and they do it for their own reasons.” With options currently low in the centre of defence that is the number one priority before the transfer window closes.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Blackburn v Newcastle

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