Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear has been forced to leave Nicky Butt out of the side with a hamstring injury, and Cameroon midfielder Geremi returns to the side.
As expected Joe will again start with a 4-4-2 formation with Owen and Martins up front with a still 85% fit Viduka on the bench. Joe hasn’t elected to use a 4-3-3 formation and play all three strikers in the starting line-up.
22 year-old Spanish striker Xisco makes a welcome return as one of the substitutes, after recovering from a groin injury.
Both former Newcastle players Abdoulaye and Amdy Faye start, as does Andy Grififin, another former Magpies, during Bobby Robson’s time at the club.
Newcastle in fact have three strikers, in Xisco, Viduka and Carroll on the bench today, which shows that Newcastle plan on attacking Stoke this afternoon, and hopefully get all three points.
Howay The Lads!
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Habib Beye, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini, Sebastien Bassong, Geremi, Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Charles N’Zogbia, Michael Owen (c), Oba Martins
Subs: Steve Harper, Claudio Cacapa, Xisco, David Edgar, Mark Viduka, Andy Carroll, Steven Taylor
Stoke City: Thomas Sorensen, Andy Griffin, Danny Higginbotham, Richard Creswell, Mamady Sidibe, Danny Pugh, Salif Diao, Amdy Faye, Rory Delap, Abdoulaye Faye, Ibrahima Sonko
Subs: Steve Simonsen, Seyi Olofinjana, Leon Cort, Glenn Whealen, Ricardo Fuller, Andrew Davies, Michael Tongue
Referee: Mike Riley