TONIGHT is the big night for Accrington Stanley.
Premier League side Newcastle United will be rolling into town for the Second Round of the Carling Cup, but it won’t be Newcastle as we know them, oh no!
Chris Houghton has insisted on resting his ‘bigger names’ and instead looks set to send a team of Reserves and Youths to the Crown Ground, I wonder if he will both showing up himself?
Obviously League survival is top of any club’s agenda and a little bit of team tampering will take place in the Cup, but if the rumours are true of mass changes are true, then I would see it as a little disrespectful to Stanley, in what is their biggest game of the club’s history.
The game will also be the first time that Newcastle United have ever come up against little old Accrington Stanley, and a little browse through Twitter last night, showed up what their fans opinion of the trip was.
There was always going to be some comments about milk and who are they, yeah yeah we’ve heard it before, it’s no longer an original.
But for me what stood out most was that no one whatsoever was giving John Coleman’s men a chance in the game. Even as United are sending such a weakened side to East Lancashire to face a side unbeaten in all competitions this season.
Premier League fans for you, eh?
Maybe it was the fact that Accrington have never made it past the Second Round of the Carling Cup before, or it could be that Newcastle haven’t been knocked out by a lower league club for seven years now.
It’s 20 years since they failed to make the Third Round of the competition, it may be about to change.
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton: ‘I’ll make a lot of changes.
‘And it’ll be a young team that goes to Accrington.
‘It’ll be a nice opportunity for them. I’m talking about the likes of Haris Vuckic, Ryan Donaldson and Kazenga LuaLua.
‘It’ll be a very changed team. As I say, it’ll be a changed side, and I don’t mind that going out. It’s quite important that the fans know that.
‘It’s a great opportunity for the young players here that we have hopes for – it’s very much the development squad.’
Accrington Stanley Team News:
Striker Craig Lindfield looks set to miss out on the game as he nurses a knee injury, picked up in Stanley’s goalless draw with Northampton Town.
Rory Boulding is to continue operating as the lone striker for the game, with hattrick hero Sean McConville and Ray Putterill supporting.
Leam Richardson could be back in contention for a starting berth after penning a new one year contract last week, while there could be a debut for former Preston defender Tom Smyth.
Player to watch: Sean McConville
Explosive midfielder is on fire so far this season, scored for fun in Pre-Season and looks like he could have rediscovered that same form as he comfortably netted a hat trick against Macclesfield Town at the weekend.
Newcastle United Team News:
Newcastle will be without first team regulars Steven Taylor, Danny Simpson, Leon Best and Dan Gosling who miss out through injury.
New signing Sol Campbell may get a run out to boost his match fitness, but he doesn’t like playing against League Two teams remember, so Newcastle best hope they win if he is in the side, last time he lost against one he quit.
Danny Guthrie could be on the bench for the Geordies and there is talk of a brief second half run out for the former Liverpool man.
Tim Krul, Peter Lovenkrands and Kazenga Lua Lua could feature in the game.
Tamas Kadar, Ryan Donaldson, Nile Ranger, Haris Vuckic, James Tavernier and Shane Ferguson could also be involved.
Player to watch: Nile Ranger
Certainly a target man, Ranger stands at well over 6ft and is a goal threat to Accrington Stanley should he play.
He played a bit part in Newcastle’s promotion back into the Premier League and impressed greatly when he did, as he showed off his pace, close touch and accurate shooting.
Last Time Out
Accrington Stanley 3-0 Macclesfield Town
Newcastle United 6-0 Aston Villa
Carroll x4, Nolan, Barton)
Accrington Stanley 2-1 Newcastle United.