Date: 12th April 2013 at 12:05pm
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Find out what the enemy are thinking ahead of Sunday’s trip to Sid James’ Park

Newcastle United fan Lee Rowley (@Lee Rowley10) helps us preview Sunday’s trip to Tyneside.

Are Newcastle finally clear of relegation?


I would say so.

Admittedly I was worried a couple of weeks ago when the teams around us were winning but now after a solid result on Sunday and a manageable run in I think we`ve done enough.

How has Europe affected your Premier League form?

It was always going to happen.

Sometimes I don`t think clubs realise the extra strain and pressure of playing in Europe on your squad.

Obviously you have more games but it`s also the travelling. We needed to invest heavily in the summer and we didn`t so for me it was inevitable that we would struggle to live up to the expectations of last season.

So yes, it has definitely affected our form in the league.

How have the new French lads settled in?

They`ve done really well to be fair.

It helps that we already had a few French or French speaking players.

I`ve been impressed with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa at the back in Fabricio Coloccini`s absence.

Mathieu Debuchy has looked good when he`s played and Yoann Gouffran has shown potential.

Massadio Haidara has been unlucky with that horrific tackle [from Wigan’s Callum McManaman] but he is only young!

Who will be the key man on Sunday?

For me the key men for us will be Yohan Cabaye. He is likely to be captain and his vision and creativity will crucial if we want to get anything out the game.

I also have to mention Papiss Cisse. He may look ineffective at times but as he`s shown over recent weeks he is more than capable of finishing when it matters most.

What impact do you think Paolo Di Canio will have on Sunderland?

I honestly believe that Di Canio will be good for Sunderland.

Yes he`s not very experienced but he installs passion into the team which I think Martin O`Neill lacked.

He has a lot to learn but I think the players will love to play for him and I do see them avoiding the drop.

Any injuries or suspensions?

Where do I start?!

Hatem Ben Arfa is rumoured to be returning from injury earlier than expected but his appearance could be from the bench.

Coloccini and Debuchy are still injured whilst Davidde Santon went off against Fulham but hopefully he`ll shake off his injury.

We are still without long term absentees Ryan Taylor and Haris Vuckic.

Gouffran has also been carrying a knock but again he should be alright to start.

Match Predition?

Before Di Canio was appointed I was very confident of winning the game comfortably. However now I`m more cautious, I still think we will win but it won`t be as easy as I had hoped so I`m going for a 2-1 home win!

Cheers Lee. Lee is a sports journalism student at Southampton Solent University, writing for Tibs News, the University’s sports website.

 

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