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Anorthernsoul

NUFC V Stoke City

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TEAM NEWS


Newcastle's summer signing Siem de Jong is still not ready to return from a thigh injury despite playing his second comeback game this week.

Midfielder Cheick Tiote is still away at the Africa Cup of Nations, but defender Paul Dummett is fit again.

Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross has been ruled out of the next three games after picking up a back problem against QPR.

Jon Walters is doubtful with a knee injury but Mame Diouf has returned from international duty.



MATCH PREVIEW


One of the best performances by Newcastle in recent times came against Stoke in April 2012.

A 3-0 victory, their sixth in a row, bore all the hallmarks of a side set for Champions League qualification and appeared to have cemented fourth place with only four games left to play.

With Yohan Cabaye pulling the strings in midfield and Papiss Cisse scoring at will, they had built a lead of three points over fifth-placed Tottenham and four over sixth-placed Chelsea.

Soon after, and despite relinquishing fourth, then-manager Alan Pardew was rewarded with an eight-year contract.




Now, almost three years later with Newcastle locked in mid table, the newly installed manager faces a very different challenge, promising that their campaign won't simply "drift".


Out of the FA Cup, 11 points above the relegation zone and 10 behind the top six, Sunday's latest duel with the Potters therefore becomes a genuine opportunity to demonstrate that desire and commitment to the final third of the season.


In winning at Hull last weekend, it was not only their first success since Pardew left for Crystal Palace and the ideal way to celebrate John Carver's permanent appointment, but it also equally reaffirmed that the players were ready to respond to his message that drifting was simply not an option.


This weekend's opponents will represent another formidable test of that resolve as Mark Hughes' side are in impressive form, having lost just one of their last eight games and winning six of them as they've marched back into the top ten and the last 16 of the FA Cup.


With talks ongoing regarding an extended contract for Hughes, it's further proof of the outstanding job he's done since he took over and, having secured Stoke's first ever top-half Premier League finish in his first season at the helm, he won't be happy unless they can repeat the achievement in his second.

All things considered, it seems that both sides will be determined to ensure their meeting will be anything but a relaxed mid-table duel.



MATCH FACTS



Head-to-head


The home side has won in the last six meetings between these sides.

Stoke's only Premier League victory at St James' Park was a 2-1 triumph in September 2010 (D1, L3).

Newcastle have scored 10 goals in their last three home games with Stoke.


Newcastle United


Newcastle have lost five of their last eight league matches.

They kept their first clean sheet in 11 Premier League games in their win over Hull last weekend.

Yoan Gouffran's strike against Hull was Newcastle's ninth goal from a substitute this season - three more than any other side.

Papiss Cisse has scored in each of his last three league appearances against Stoke.


Stoke


Stoke have only lost one of their previous four league games away from home (W2, D1).

The Potters have kept three clean sheets in their last six league matches.

Their points tally of 32 from 23 games is the most they have ever had at this stage in the Premier League.

Jonathan Walters has had a hand in more league goals this season than any other Stoke player (seven goals, three assists).

Edited by Anorthernsoul

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I think the Stoke match is a must home win for Carver if he is to establish some sort of credibility about his worth as head coach.

One win since Pardew left has not really enhanced his credentials to any great degree but it is a start in the right direction albeit against a bottom 3 struggling team.

If Dummett is fit and ready to go I would like to think Carver will put him in the middle with Colo and drop Willo to the bench.

I would like to see him start 2 strikers, this lone striker doesn't work for us as we don't have anyone capable of playing that position the way it needs to be played.

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2 up front Mr. Fish.

 

....................Krul

 

Janmaat - Colo - Dummett - Haidara

 

Cabella - Abeid - Colback - Ameobe

 

.................Perez - Cisse

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Pleased Shawcross is fucked. He is the rock of their defence, and although he doesn't score many Walters is a beast and he's injured too. We'll win today, pretty sure of it, hope so anyway.

Edited by McFaul

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Think that was the only home game I missed that year due to fucking my back on the astroturf at Wallsend Sports Centre. (Maradona wasn't the only skillful genius that had to put up with rough tackles!) ;)

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I don't know if we will win but if we do I reckon that will be us just about safe

Safety achieved in February would be a fucking awesome result. Open top bus at the ready!

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Newcastle United

01 Krul

22 Janmaat

06 Williamson

02 Coloccini

19 Haidara

08 Anita

14 Colback

20 Cabella

07 Sissoko

28 Ameobi

17 Pérez

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