Caretaker manager Nigel Pearson makes two changes from the side which were hammered at Manchester United on Saturday. The game has been delayed until 8:00pm KO (from 7:45 pm) probably to let the crowd fully assemble and maybe get a few minutes to introduce our new manager – Kevin Keegan.
Both are forced changes due to the suspensions of Alan Smith and Nicky Butt. As we expected Emre and Mark Viduka come in to take their places.
Viduka will partner Michael Owen in attack while Emre will form a 4 man midfield alongside James Milner, Charles N’Zogbia and Damien Duff. We expect an attacking 4-4-2 formation and for Newcastle to go straight at the opposition with Kevin Keegan, the new manager, likely to be looking on.
Shay Given will at last take the captain’s armband, as he enters the top five in the all-time Newcastle United appearance list. Both youngsters Andy Carroll and Kazenga Lua Lau are on the bench again, as in the first game.
Hopefully Shay’s achievement will be announced before the game tonight. Well done Shay.
Newcastle United: Shay Given (c), Stephen Carr, Jose Enrique, Claudio Cacapa, Steven Taylor, Emre, Charles N’Zogbia, James Milner, Damien Duff, Michael Owen, Mark Viduka
Subs: Steve Harper, David Rozehnal, David Edgar, Kazenga LuaLua, Andy Carroll
Stoke City: to follow …
Referee: Uriah Rennie
Attendance – sellout