Cardiff City are back in the North East a week after the drubbing at Sunderland. That result may have been the final chance Cardiff had to save themselves in the Premier League. Defeat at Newcastle today combined with other results could see relegation confirmed.
If you are of a more optimistic nature a victory at St James Park against a Newcastle side that have lost their last six games couple with defeats away at Man Utd, Stoke and Chelsea for Sunderland, Fulham and Norwich respectively would see the Bluebirds of the bottom three after this weekend's games.
With Sunderland having a game in hand and a full set of fixtures next week I will wait until the scores are in this weekend before speculating further.
Put it this way, if Cardiff win today they still have a chance.
I mention the owners. Newcastle fans are so upset with their owner / manager that they are planning a mass walk out on 69 minutes. The antics of Vincent Tan at Cardiff are well documented.
Early team news
Striker Luuk de Jong returns to the Newcastle squad for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Cardiff.
The on-loan Dutchman missed the 3-0 defeat at Arsenal on Monday with an ankle injury suffered in a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Swansea on April 19, but is available once again, although fellow frontman Papiss Cisse (knee) is out.
Midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa is fit, but is unlikely to be included once again with manager Alan Pardew having suggested he is not currently worth a place in the squad, while utility man Ryan Taylor is back in training after a second bout of knee ligament surgery, but still some way from fitness.
Cardiff will be without suspended defender Juan Cala when they continue their fight for Barclays Premier League survival at Newcastle on Saturday.
Cala was sent off during last weekend's damaging 4-0 defeat against Sunderland that sent Cardiff bottom of the league with just two games left.
Ben Turner is expected to take over from Cala as the Bluebirds target a win that would at least give them a fighting chance of avoiding the drop.
Referee: Martin Atkinson. Assistants: P Kirkup, S Child. Fourth Official: L Mason.
- Of the 49 league meetings between these two sides, Cardiff have only won three times at St James' Park.
- The visitors have lost their last seven league fixtures against Newcastle, last beating them at Ninian Park in February 1981. They last won in Newcastle in November 1963.
- However, Cardiff did win the most recent meeting between the two sides: 2-1 in January in the FA Cup third round.
- If the Premier League season had started on 27 December, Newcastle would be bottom of the table.
- Their six consecutive league defeats, stretching back to a 3-0 loss to Everton on 25 March, is the worst current form in the league - they last lost seven successive top-flight matches between August and October 1977.
- They remain in the top-half of the table despite losing 10 of their last 13 Premier League matches.
- The Toon have scored just 10 league goals in 2014 - no Premier League side has netted fewer in the last four months.
- Newcastle have conceded the same number of goals as Sunderland (57) and have lost as many games as Aston Villa (18) yet both those sides are in danger of relegation.
- Midfielder Cheick Tiote's 10 yellow cards this season makes him the joint second-most cautioned player in the division - he has also committed the second-most fouls (58).
- Cardiff are bottom of the table for the first time since the end of January.
- The Bluebirds have conceded 24 goals in the final 15 minutes of games this season, more than any other top-flight side.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men have been punished with just 48 yellow cards this season, the lowest number in the division. They have also had only one man dismissed, in Juan Cala against Sunderland on Sunday.
- The club have kept only seven clean sheets all campaign, the lowest number in the league.
- David Marshall has made 146 saves this season, more than any other Premier League goalkeeper.
Newcastle (from): Krul, Elliot, Debuchy, Dummett, Haidara, Coloccini, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, S. Taylor, Tiote, Anita, Marveaux, Gouffran, Sissoko, Gosling, Obertan, Remy, Shola Ameobi, De Jong, Armstrong.
Cardiff (from): Provisional squad: Marshall, Lewis, Turner, Theophile-Catherine, Fabio, John, Caulker, Campbell, Daehli, Medel, Eikrem, Mutch, Kim, Jones, Bellamy, Zaha, Taylor, Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Cowie, McNaughton.