Alan Pardew will be conducting his customary pre-match press conference at 10 AM this morning ahead of this weekend’s trip to face Sunderland at The Stadium Of Light.
Having seen his team crash out of the EFL Cup without so much as a whimper away to Southampton on Wednesday evening, the gaffer is bound to face one or two questions over his team selection there, whilst also being quizzed over the general fitness of club captain Scott Dann, who left the game at St Mary’s in the 19th minute through injury.
Given the nature of the setback (Dann pulled his hamstring) fans have been left sweating over the wait for an official update on the centre-back’s wellbeing, with injuries to that area seeing players sidelined for anything between two weeks and three months depending on the severity of damage. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we’re all keeping our fingers and toes crossed for positive news on that front.
Alongside talk of our limp display on the South Coast in midweek, Pardew is likely to be pressed over his team for Saturday, taking into account the reappearance of Yohan Cabaye in the centre of the park. Whilst a few months ago, it would have seemed ridiculous to leave the Frenchman out of any starting XI by choice, Joe Ledley’s efforts in his absence have led many to claim that we look a better balanced side without the former PSG man next to James McArthur, presenting Pardew with a good old fashioned selection headache to work through over the next day or so.
It seems ridiculous to think that we are now just 90 minutes away from picking up our third straight Premier League win after struggling so badly at home to West Bromwich Albion on the opening day of the season but as we all know, sustained spells of form both good and bad are hallmarks of an Alan Pardew team.
Let’s all hope that this is the start of an exceedingly long run of consecutive victories.