Stoke City vs Newcastle: Preview


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The 3rd round FA Cup Tie at Stoke today should be a closely fought and entertaining game, and Stoke must fancy their chances against a struggling Newcastle United side.

Newcastle are going through a poor run of form recently, as everyone no doubt is aware of, and we have lost their last 3 league games. Newcastle have just a single point from the last 12. While their confidence will not be high, Newcastle have played reasonably well in their last couple of games. At Stamford Bridge last Saturday the lads deserved at least a point with a good performance, and then on Wednesday night we had a load of chances to take the lead in the first half, but spurned them all.

It will help the Magpies that Michael Owen starts his first game for 7 weeks. Michael was again injured playing for that other team he plays for – England. But Michael looked surprisingly good in the second half on Wednesday, in spite of missing a good chance after just 30 seconds. Owen’s link up play was excellent, and he looked a good player. If Michael can turn on some of his magic tonight, Newcastle may find themselves ahead in the game, which will be unusual to say the least.

Tony Pulis has done a great job at Stoke City since taking the reigns over again in the summer of 2006. He did manage Stoke City previously from 2002-2005 but has done particularly well in his second spell at the club, during the last 18 months. Stoke City have a big strong side and will be a good match for the Magpies.

Tony Pulis talked about Newcastle United and the game tonight:

“There is an incredible amount of expectation from Newcastle fans on Sam’s shoulders and it’s a measure of his task when you consider Newcastle sacked Sir Bobby Robson after finishing fourth, third and then fifth in the Premiership in his final three seasons there.”

“I know the media machine is much more feverish these days, but surely people in boardrooms must see sense and recognize that people like Sam need and deserve time to stamp themselves on a new club.”

“There’s no way Sunday’s result should cost him his job.” “I don’t think anyone will be worried by a big crowd and the TV cameras because there’s absolutely no pressure on us.” “I’ll simply be telling the lads to go out there, work hard and enjoy themselves and then, hopefully, the rest will follow.”

“We are under no illusion about the task ahead. Newcastle may not be happy with their results at the moment, but they are still a team full of quality and experience.”

Good words from Tony there and he seems a real down to earth manager. One question Newcastle fans always have before any game, is what team will Sam play. The team we’d like to see put out tonight is as follows:

Given
Beye Cacapa Taylor Enrique
Milner Butt Faye N’Zogbia
Owen Viduka
Subs: Harper Edgar Emre Ameobi Smith

We believe that Damien Duff (injured thigh), Geremi (African Cup of Nations) and Martins are not available for this game. And we know that’s not the team Big Sam will play because he will start Alan Smith somewhere, anywhere. He may even start Smith for Butt, but we’d be surprised if Sam starts Milner and N’Zogbia on the wings, but that’s what we’d like to see.

It will also be the last game for Abdoulaye Faye and Habib Beye, who both link up tomorrow with Senegal for the African Cup of Nations. We wish them the best of luck in that competition, and they have both played well for the club this season.

We think Sam will play Charles N’Zogbia at left back again, Milner on the left wing and Smith on the right wing. Players playing out of position yet again. 🙁
Sam Allardyce talked about the game against the Potters:

“Now it’s three defeats on the trot and pressure grows.” “They will fancy it now won’t they? They will think we are there for the taking.”“We have got to stick together and believe that how we can play can get us out of trouble. That starts at Stoke.”

“They are a good side and they are doing extremely well in the Championship, it won’t be an easy game by any stretch of the imagination.”

For Stoke City Ricardo Fuller is back in the squad after his flight home to Jamaica to attend the funeral of his grandmother. It’s not clear whether Fuller will start the game, but we expect him to. Andy Wilkinson should also start for the Potters, but Salif Diao and Rory Delap look doubtful.

We’re looking forward to a good game tonight, and would be happy enough if the lads put up a decent fighting performance. A draw would be good and a win would be great. What do you think? Please let us know your thoughts on the game tonight.

We also warmly welcome all Stoke City fans to our web site. 😀


51 comments so far

  • SPOT THE ZEBRA

    Jan 6, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #1

    HOWAY THE LADS !!!

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  • Leo

    Jan 6, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #2

    has anyone seen the sky sports article. titled- SAM- I WONT QUIT

    he didnt say that in the interview it is just to get us riled against him.

    the jerrno prats

    i hope shola gets to start, it would be nice to see him play i think against weaker opposition (weaker. hmm i spoke to soon i think damn)

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  • Callum

    Jan 6, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #3

    I hear Stoke play some good football so im looking forward to seeing that for a change 🙂

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #4

    comon the toon, we can do it.
    given
    beye taylor cacapa enrique
    milner faye butt nzogbia
    owen smith

    edgar,viduka,emre rozehnal,harper on bench
    i can only hope hel pick this team, even though viduka is better than smith, sam will play him as captain and also he works more than fat man viduka.but i think sam will play a 433-451 formation with

    given
    beye taylor cacapa nzogbia
    faye butt emre
    milner owen smith

    i hope not!

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  • Drago

    Jan 6, 2008 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #5

    3-0 to toon 😉 howay 😀

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #6

    im hoping lady luck is with us, 1-3 to the toon.
    howay the lads, get some pride back infront of the cameras, the nation,the press and most of all the supporters

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  • Steeley

    Jan 6, 2008 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #7

    Ed, if Fat Sam starts with Zog at LB, Milner LW, and Smith on RW….and we lose, what do you think the odds are on him bing sacked on Monday? Because if that does happen, then any glimmer of hope of us turning the season around will be gone and that will be me 100% supporting him being booted out immediately.

    I think your suggested squad is rubbish as well; although I like the defence and the wings, the fact that you have a DM pairing of Faye and Butt is stupid….why not play Emre!? It’s Stoke of the Chamionship for God’s sake!!

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  • Dragoner

    Jan 6, 2008 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #8

    Faye and Butt play fairly well together so if it aint broke dont fix it i suppose. However, get Milner off the team and play Duff on the right like he did at Chelsea sometimes. Zoggy at left mid and Enrique at lb. With Beye at rb and Cacapa and Taylor at cb.
    I think Smith and Owen should start up front. Rest Viduka

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #9

    duffs injured people

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  • scott9

    Jan 6, 2008 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #10

    milner is better on the left than right i i would start emre

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  • Dingo

    Jan 6, 2008 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #11

    Milner cant use his left peg for anything…. putting him on the left means he has to knock back onto his right boot to cross and most of the time gets robbed……..

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  • Dragoner

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #12

    Milner cant use EITHER peg, he is useless most of the time. His skill doesn’t really trick half decent defenders, and he often overdoes it…not to mention he averages around 1 cross on target out of 15

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #13

    Yep, milner is shite, he runs like a bull with his head down, its just tacky to watch.

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #14

    oh i wish wor nobby was still here

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  • Dragoner

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #15

    same carl, i would kill to see nobby here. We would have scored at least 5 or six more goals this season through him.

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  • Dragoner

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #16

    I have been kidding myself that Milner is young and he just needs time, but lets be truthful. Every other young English winger has improved from last season except him. Bentley, Lennon, Young, and even Walcott have all improved. Walcott is a better winger than Milner and thats his SECOND position!

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #17

    and probably played alot better, his passing game was superb. surely sam knows we need a right winger, milners only one in first team really.

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #18

    jaouquin!!

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  • Dragoner

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #19

    What about him carl? he is great but our only chance of gettin him would be If Valencia got relegated or something. Even then it is a slim, slim chance.

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #20

    just a thought! or a dream more like it, but thats the quality we need

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  • Dragoner

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #21

    i was hoping you would say “Skysports have just confirmed he is coming to The Toon!” or something like that, lol. oh well, back to real life. I suppose we aren’t going to get any big players for a while now that Shepherd has gone with his poor financial management. We have to set our sights lower.

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  • Leo

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #22

    hey does anyone know why this blog is getting messages from insurance companies saying, they love this webblog etc…… and that ed is the webmaster haha… just an obsevation

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #23

    Nicolita will do!

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  • Dragoner

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #24

    I just do not understand how Sam hasn’t addressed our Right Midfield issue? Surely a replacement would have to come in January seeing as we lost Nobby last minute in the summer transfer window.

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #25

    lol dragoner, but i think ashley wouldnt let questions over managers future stop him bringing in a couple of great players. its pretty boring really, hardly any news or anything of incoming players, thought wed of moved quickly,or is it that mort and ashley are far more discreet than shepherd ever was?

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  • Dragoner

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #26

    Great, now Duff has come out saying “we belong in the top 6”. Its that idiotic mentality thats casuing us to lose games to the teams lower in the league. We do not deserve to be anywhere. No team does. The team is only as good as how it performs. We are where we are because we deserve to be.

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #27

    nh, slightly lower, 17th is where we deserve to be.

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  • Dragoner

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #28

    Ashley said he was going to sign a big player, but then he took a back seat and let Mort do the thinking. Mort is a good businessman i am sure, but he needs to realise this is a football club. This team needs players, and quality ones too.

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #29

    agree the league table doesnt lie,
    players have to ralise if they want to be there they need to start performing.shame they dont get performance related pay, ie pay them only 50% wages if they lose. that would start them playing

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  • toonfan1

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #30

    i think the team will be

    Given, Beye, Cacapa, Taylor, Enrique, Milner Smith, Faye, N’Zogbia, Owen and Viduka

    Subs: Harper, Emre, Rozenhal, Butt and Edgar or could be a youngster like Troisi or Lua Lua but doubt it.

    Butt is already on 9 yellows so i doubt that sam will play him at all in this match. i duno about u but i’d rather risk smith having a suspension then nicky butt…

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #31

    maybe ashley is just sorting out our debt levels , letting things settle then having a huge transfer kitty at end of summer? who knows. but we gotta get some quality in jan or the fans will turn on mort and ashley then

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #32

    sam has already said to butt to play his heart out and dont be cautious. butt is almost a cert to play

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #33

    but yeah id rather smith break his legs in this match

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #34

    sam shoudnt get any money in my opinion and if they know the culture of our club they wouldnt, we dont like horses.

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  • toonfan1

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #35

    lol at carl!!! he is pretty much been shite since he came to the toon. he only scored one goal which is worth nothing cause it was in pre season and his one decent match wa against arsenal but otherwises a crap buy from sam. any1 agree?

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  • Dragoner

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #36

    Smith had his best game as a striker because he is a decent buy if you want him as a striker. Not for his goals as he is not prolific, but for terrorising defences and putting them under pressure. Yet we continue to play him in midfield where he is rubbish.

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #37

    its not about sam getting money, its about strengthening our team. mort needs to look past big sam and into the future

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #38

    agree toonfan, smiths shit.maybe we could sell him to newcastle falcons

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  • Dragoner

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #39

    We need Sam to get money before we can properly judge him, i want to be able to judge him on HIS team that HE creates.

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  • carl

    Jan 6, 2008 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #40

    thats a fair statement dragoner, he did say he came to toon to have better players and a budget, so come on ashley support your manager. 50 mil please

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