Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this is your captain with no name speaking and I'm here to rock your world. Loosely paraphrasing Prince, that's not too far from what we're hoping for this morning. First place Manchester City and their £197m operating loss just announced, their 24 full internationals on their squad and their 6-1 victory over Manchester United on top of their 5-1 defeat of Spurs welcome Newcastle United, the unfashionable surprise package of the Premier League Season thus far, with their Soccernomoics inspired streamlined payroll and roster of players not yet celebrating their 25th birthday.
The talking heads and pundits will doubtlessly be tripping over themselves to crown any advantage for City, so the viewing experience on that level may be a little less than ideal, but so far as the results on pitch, the club have seemed focused, and there is reason to be encouraged given Alan Pardew's brilliant match-specific tactics versus the likes of Stoke City. Granted the Potters are no Manchester City, but you all don't need me to tell you that. Official lineups are out, so I'm going to jump and put them out... interesting decisions from Alan Pardew this morning.
Newcastle United FC
Currently: 3rd place, 7-4-0, 25 pts
Out: Mike Williamson (arm), Sylvain Marveaux (groin), Gabriel Obertan (toe)
Projected XI: Krul | Simpson, STaylor, Coloccini, RTaylor | Sammy Ameobi, Guthrie, Cabaye, Jonas | Ben Arfa,Ba
Projected Subs: Elliot, Santon, Perch, Gosling, Smith, Shola, Lovenkrands
Currently: 1st place, 10-1-0, 31 pts
Out: Owen Hargreaves (calf)
Projected XI: Hart | Clichy, Lescott, Kompany, Richards| Nasri, De Jong, Yaya Toura, Milner | Aguero, Balotelli
Projected subs: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Johnson, Kolo Toure, Johnson, Barry, Dzeko
Match thread is a little late getting up, so I'm going to stop here-- may try to throw some value-added comments below. THUNDERDOME™ is here. HOWAY THE LADS!