Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Deprived of Key Players Yet Belief Is Unwavering; FIVE THINGS WHICH WILL DRIVE THE BLACK & WHITE AGENDA THIS WEEK FIVE THINGS WHICH WILL DRIVE THE BLACK & WHITE AGENDA THIS WEEK

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Deprived of Key Players Yet Belief Is Unwavering; FIVE THINGS WHICH WILL DRIVE THE BLACK & WHITE AGENDA THIS WEEK FIVE THINGS WHICH WILL DRIVE THE BLACK & WHITE AGENDA THIS WEEK

Article excerpt

Byline: Lee Ryder Chief Sports Writer twitter: @lee_ryder

WHATEVER the question, Newcastle United seem to be coming up with the answers at the moment.

Even with the injury list running into double figures Alan Pardew is getting a response from his players, as the 2-1 victory over Chelsea underlined.

Whether he can add Arsenal to that list of scalps next week remains to be seen but he must try to do so with his two senior keepers, Tim Krul and Rob Elliot, injured and Moussa Sissko and Steven Taylor in the sin bin.

Then again, on the evidence of the resilience on show against Jose Mourinho's side and the fact Newcastle have already accounted for Liverpool, Tottenham, Man City and now Chelsea, why can't the Magpies go to Arsenal with some confidence as a group? Here are five burning questions for the week ahead.

1 SHOULD NEWCASTLE UNITED DIP INTO THE MARKET IN THE JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW, OR CAN ALAN PARDEW PUT HIS FAITH IN YOUNGSTERS LIKE JAK ALNWICK AND FREDDIE WOODMAN? Rob Elliot will learn how long he will be out for later this week, while Tim Krul could yet be out until mid-January.

Alnwick, at 21, now has the chance to pick up some vital experience during his stint between the posts due to Elliot's thigh injury.

But cover is short on the ground.

United can act by bringing in a keeper on January 1 or put faith in youth.

Alnwick has played for England youths at Under-18 level, while Woodman was a star for England Under-17s last summer when he picked up a winner's medal at the Euros.

Newcastle threw Krul in at the deep end for his debut against Palermo and it certainly did him no harm.

And keeper coach Andy Woodman may argue that while signing a new goalie is on the agenda, his hardworking group deserve their chance to shine.

2 CAN PAPISS CISSE KEEP UP THE PACE WITH THE REST OF THE PREMIER LEAGUE HOTSHOTS? Cisse took his tally to seven goals at the weekend and insisted he was enjoying his football again - despite being dropped for the game to begin with.

Despite being relegated to the bench he used the word "happy" at least 15 times during his post-game interviews.

A goalscorer is always in his element during a hot streak, and Cisse finds himself in the top six in the Premier League leading scorers chart.

He also climbed to the upper echelons of the Toon's all-time top scorer charts with 30 goals, taking him past Demba Ba and Gary Speed.

He is now just four behind a United legend in Rob Lee.

Whether he can catch Sergio Aguero with 14 goals at the top of the charts is up for debate, but Cisse is rubbing shoulders with Charlie Austin (9), Alexis Sanchez (9) and Diego Costa (11).

No Newcastle player since Alan Shearer in 2003/04 has scored more than 20 goals in one season, when Big Al netted 28 times. …

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