Carling Cup preview

Not sure what to expect this evenings Carling Cup spectacle at St James Park. The two Premiership comedy clubs clash in what will either be a laugh-a-minute 'how not to defend' circus of calamity or the game that ignites the season for us or them. Apart from a 1-0 win a few years ago, we don't tend to beat them up there. We prefer to lose, and usually lose heavily.

The fact that Chris Hughton is looking after things whilst Ashley attempts to fix the mess he's created, makes it doubly potentially embarrassing if Ramos is out-witted by the former Spurs man.

So strongest team on paper?

Gomes
Gunter King* Woodgate Bale
Bentley Jenas O'Hara Lennon
Modric
Bent

*Corluka in place of King, depending on how bad his knee is this week

I haven't included Pav in that line-up because the lad needs a rest. That's what you get for paying £14M for a striker who's already played several months of the Russian league season.

So, our strongest side is a side with little physical presence in the midfield. No left winger - in fact the left side isn't the strongest (with Bale in defence and Lennon on the opposite side to where he should be). Bentley, is on the right, but will his deliveries meet the head or feet of Bent?

Modric is back in full training, so I don't expect him to play this evening, which means we might be looking at:

Gomes
Gunter King/Corluka Woodgate Bale
Bentley Jenas O'Hara Lennon
Campbell Bent

No matter who he opts with - its imperative that Lennon starts and Lennon is used as our main outlet of forwardism. Attack, attack, attack. Give the ball to the imp and just make bloody sure you're in the box to deflect a cross into the goal, with arse or foot, it doesn't matter.

With Martins back for Newcastle (4 played, 4 wins, 4 goals - against us), its all looking ominous. Historically, we are soft when we play them in front of their home crowd (although not sure how many will bother to turn up to watch this game).

Maybe we should play the kids. Works for Arsenal, should work for us, right? Right?

Jansson
Gunter Dervite Dawson Berchiche
Taarabt O'Hara Bostock
Dos Santos
Campbell Barcham

I reckon that team could beat our first team handsomely. Jossy's Giants could beat our first team handsomely. Christ, this is grim. Let's look on the bright side. This is the best start we've had in years. The table speaks for itself, no? We are only three points behind Man Utd.

Glory!