Magpies' Krul backing Cisse to hurt Man City

Magpies' Krul backing Cisse to hurt Man City

Magpies' Krul backing Cisse to hurt Man City

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

TIM Krul expects Papiss Cisse to scupper Manchester City's title challenge on Sunday, but the Newcastle United goalkeeper has warned the Premier League's most in-form marksman not to try a repeat of Wednesday's sensational strike when he lines up on the training ground later today.

Cisse claimed what many believe to be the Goal of the Season against Chelsea as he beat Petr Cech from close to the left touchline with a ferocious swerving half-volley.

The Senegal international has been a revelation since arriving from Freiburg in January, scoring 13 goals in his opening 12 games, and is sure to be a key performer as Newcastle look to edge into a Champions League place with a win over title-chasing City.

Krul is confident the 26-year-old will maintain his remarkable scoring run against the Premier League leaders, but is adamant he will not be beaten by any long-range specials when Cisse hones his shooting skills at the Magpies' Longbenton base.

"If you have a striker like Cisse in your team, you'll win games," said Krul. "If you can keep a clean sheet, he'll win you matches.

"I've watched his second goal back on TV and it's incredible, absolutely amazing. To be that tired at the end of the game and to do that from out on the touchline was something really special.

"He's incredible. He's world class and to get him for that price (£9m) was amazing. He's a worthy number nine.

"He gets so upset when he misses a chance in training. Sometimes, you'll see him arguing with himself for five minutes about

how he missed it.

"That just shows you what fantastic commitment he has. He wants to score all the time - but he doesn't score goals like that against me!"

He does, however, seem to score against whatever opposition is put in front of him, with Wednesday's brace making it ten goals in his last seven appearances.

As well as his outrageous second strike, Cisse also broke the deadlock with a superb dipping half-volley, having first controlled the ball on his instep to flick it into his path.

The African suddenly finds himself as the most coveted striker in English football, and while Newcastle only bought him in January, they could yet face a battle to hold on to his services this summer.

"Papiss is incredible," said team-mate Jonas Gutierrez. "In the last 12 games he has done very well and made a big impact.

"The goal at Chelsea was an amazing goal. It is difficult to score with that part of your boot, I didn't know it was possible. To score from that position is amazing and we were all very happy."

Wednesday's win kept Newcastle level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham, who won 4-1 at Bolton, and lifted them back to within a point of Arsenal in third position.

The Gunners end their season with matches against Norwich and West Brom, while Spurs face Aston Villa and Fulham in their final two games.

As well as facing Manchester City, Newcastle travel to in-form Everton on the final weekend of the season, so Alan Pardew's side remain outsiders for a Champions League spot.

However, a win at the weekend would given the situation a different complexion, and while City proved their well-being with a crucial 1-0 win over Manchester United on Monday night, Krul does not expect Roberto Mancini's men to be relishing their trip to Tyneside.

"It's going to be electric at St James' on Sunday," said Krul. "We've had Man United and Sunderland, and I'm sure the fans will generate the same atmosphere as they did in those two games. That is enough to make teams crumble.

"We've beaten a lot of the top teams already this season, and Sunday is now another huge game. City are challenging for the league and we're going for the Champions League. Two games to go and we're one point off being in the top four - it's incredible."

It could get even better, but with fourth position no longer guaranteed to secure Champions League entry after Chelsea booked their place in this season's Champions League final, no one at Newcastle is looking too far into the future.

"We're still in the running and, at the start of the season, we couldn't have dreamed of being in contention for the Champions League at this stage," said Krul.

"Our only worry at the moment is Sunday. City at home, then we'll think about Everton away. They're not games you'd say were easy wins. Once they're out of the way, we'll worry about the Champions League final later."

Newcastle will be boosted by the availability of Cheik Tiote in two days time. The Ivory Coast international was stretchered off wearing a neck brace and oxygen mask after Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel appeared to catch him with an elbow, but suffered nothing more serious than a gash to the head.

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