Newcastle United’s trip to Crystal Palace in the Capital One Cup is fast becoming a make-or-break game for under-pressure manager Alan Pardew, but it could also prove to be a pivotal one for fringe star Sammy Ameobi.
The 22-year-old has made just two Premier League appearances for the Magpies this term but could be in line for a rare start in South London, where he will be expected to make an impact.
Long talked of as one for the future at Newcastle, the midfielder came in for criticism from Pardew this week, who accused Ameobi of failing to deliver on the promise he has shown during much of his time at the club.
“Sammy is a player who has unbelievable talent and we have been waiting and waiting for him to deliver something on the football pitch,” the Newcastle manager said.
“I warned him this week I am running out of time with him and he is running out of chances.”
A goal in the Capital One Cup would go some way to answering Pardew and demonstrating his eagerness to forge a path through to the St James’ Park first-team.
He faces plenty of competition for a midfield spot however, with the likes of new signing Remy Cabella and youth prospect Rolando Aarons both seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order.
But Ameobi has something of a pedigree for goals in the League Cup, with both of his previous goals for the Toon coming in this competition.
Back in 2011 the midfielder was on target with an extra-time winner over Scunthorpe, while last season saw Ameobi back among the goals again with a well-taken strike against similarly lowly opposition in Morecambe.
A trip to Selhurst Park is likely to prove more challenging, but after putting three past Palace earlier in the season, Newcastle will surely feel confident of creating their fair share of chances.
Sammy Ameobi is currently 7/2 to score at anytime against Palace with Ladbrokes – we suggest you back him to do just that.
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