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Match Preview: Stoke City vs. Newcastle United

Newcastle United will travel to Stoke City this weekend hoping to put behind them a serious of embarrassing defeats and finish the season strong.


The Magpies are coming off another very poor performance against Manchester United last week. The squad has looked generally disinterested over the last several matches.

Newcastle have only won once in the five matches interim manager John Carver has been in charge. They have only scored once and conceded a woeful 12 goals against.

Their opponents on Saturday Stoke City lost 3-0 to Chelsea last weekend. However, it was their first defeat in six matches. Mark Hughes’ club is currently in 10th position in the table, six points behind Newcastle for ninth.

Newcastle took advantage of two red cards in the first-half to defeat Stoke City 5-1 on Boxing Day earlier this season. Both clubs have little left to play for, however several players will no doubt relish an opportunity to earn a spot with their club for next season.

Injuries and Suspensions

Alan Pardew will sit out his sixth consecutive match. He is eligible to return on April 28th against Arsenal.

Newcastle’s injury crisis continued this week. Alan Pardew confirmed on Thursday that Loïc Rémy will not return this weekend from a calf injury. The club has been very poor in his absence this season.

However, goalkeeper Tim Krul could potentially be available for Saturday. He has missed the last two matches with a knee injury. Sammy Ameobi and Gabriel Obertan could return on Saturday as well. Although, both players are not expected to start.

Mathieu Debuchy is still battling a groin injury and is not expected to play against Stoke. Midfielder Moussa Sissoko missed last week’s match with a hamstring injury and is expected to be out longer as well.

In contrast, Stoke City are a very healthy club. Oussama Assaidi, who is on-loan from Liverpool is battling a knee injury and will not play. German defender Robert Huth is expected to be out the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

Irish midfielder Stephen Ireland sat out last week’s contest against Chelsea with an illness but could return to action on Saturday.

Possible Tactics

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has experimented with several formations in his first season with the club. However, he is expected to go with the 4-2-3-1 formation to counter Newcastle’s 4-4-2.

Hughes has built on a solid foundation established by Tony Pulis. Stoke City are a well-organized club who will make their opponents work for a victory.

Former English international Peter Crouch leads the club with seven goals this season and is expected to start up front. Scottish midfielder Charlie Adam is second with six goals, followed by Peter Odemwingie with five.

Odemwingie has scored four goals in his last five Premier League matches against Newcastle. Jonathan Walters has scored four goals in his last six meetings against the visitors as well.

Despite recent troubles, John Carver is not expected to make any major changes to the squad. With Rémy unavailable, Newcastle is left with few options in the striker position.

Papiss Cissé has looked poor all season and it appears that his days at Tyneside are numbered. On-loan striker Luuk de Jong is just simply off form.

Debuchy is unlikely to return, which means that Massadio Haïdara could receive his third consecutive start on Saturday. Rob Elliot is expected to start in-goal if Tim Krul is unable to go. And Dan Gosling could replace Moussa Sissoko in midfield.

Prediction

Stoke City have been good at Britannia Stadium this season. Only the top five clubs in the Premier League have managed more points at home than Mark Hughes’ squad. They are unbeaten in their last five matches at home.

Newcastle have lost seven of their last 10 League matches overall. But in recent encounters, the Magpies have a decisive advantage, having won four out of the last five. However, with Rémy out, Newcastle need to overcome their problem scoring goals.

Newcastle United will break the deadlock early. Stoke City will struggle to recover. The Magpies maintain their recent dominance of the Potters.

Stoke City 0 – 1 Newcastle United

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About Rui Miguel Martins (71 Articles)
I am a Communications Specialist and Digital Marketing Strategist based in Toronto, Canada.

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