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Jamie Redknapp: Newcastle have talent but face competition for top four

Jamie Redknapp - Jamie Redknapp Posted 28th November 2013 view comments

Newcastle's form this season is symptomatic of many teams in the Premier League.

There are times when they play so well and other times when they've been so disappointing.

The defeats to Manchester City, Hull and Sunderland were really poor - but then you see them produce performances like they did in their wins over Chelsea and Tottenham.

Newcastle: have a number of talented players, says Jamie

Newcastle: have a number of talented players, says Jamie

They're not the only team in that situation, though; I'm sure Jose Mourinho looks at his Chelsea team one week and thinks 'we can win the league' and looks at them other weeks and thinks 'we're miles away'.

It's so difficult to win Premier League games this season - and that's why Arsenal have done so well to get to the top of the league with the results they have.

Cabaye would definitely fit into Man United's team; he has more qualities than Marouane Fellaini or Tom Cleverley.

Jamie Redknapp
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But Newcastle have registered three good victories in a row now and there's no doubt there's ability in that squad.

From goalkeeper Tim Krul and Fabricio Coloccini in defence, to Yohan Cabaye, Chieck Tiote and Yoan Gouffran in midfield, to Loic Remy up front - you can't deny there's a lot of talent there.

Qualities

I'm a real fan of Cabaye, who I think is a lovely footballer, and reckon he'd definitely fit into Manchester United's team.

Technically he's very good and looks to me like he has more qualities than Marouane Fellaini or Tom Cleverley in that central midfield position, although the Newcastle fans won't want to see him go.

Meanwhile, Remy has achieved an amazing goals return so far this season, bagging eight from nine starts and one sub appearance.

He's a brilliant one-touch finisher; when the ball arrives in the box he doesn't give the keeper a chance to set himself and uses his angles well to put the ball in the corner with either foot.

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Remy cost QPR £8.5m, which people thought was a lot at the time, but I'm sure they'll get a lot more now - and I'm sure Newcastle will be trying to snap him up as soon as they can.

There have been reports that Cabaye and Coloccini may be looking to move somewhere they can get Champions League football and Pardew has come out and said he wants them to achieve that with Newcastle.

Well, although I think they've got a stronger squad than they did when they finished fifth a couple of years ago, it's getting harder to break into that top four.

This year Man United, Man City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton are all hoping to make the cut as well, so it's going to be tough for Newcastle - although they've shown they can beat the best.

Strong

This weekend Newcastle come up against a very strong, solid West Brom team.

Steve Clarke's side should really have got two wins from their last two matches, rather than two draws, but controversy at Chelsea and a second-half comeback from Aston Villa means they're in a different scenario to the one they could have been in.

But they can take a lot of positives out of their derby draw on Monday Night Football.

Some of their football in the first half was absolutely top class and Shane Long took his goals brilliantly.Things can change in an instant in derby games and those three Villa subs put West Brom on the back foot, but you have to credit Villa for that change, rather than saying West Brom did anything wrong. The pressure just mounted and Villa scored some nice goals.

Jamie's backing Newcastle to beat West Brom 2-1 with Sky Bet

However, West Brom have shown they're a good team with their performances this season and, although I don't' see them pushing for Europe, they can secure a solid mid-table finish.

I think Newcastle might just nick this one, though. They've got momentum at the moment, they're at home and, although West Brom will score, I expect Pardew's side to edge it 2-1.

I'm away this week, but Jamie Carragher will be covering the game on Saturday Night Football. See you next week.

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