Stoke vs Newcastle – Preview – Water-Shed Game For Magpies


stoke-city-fc nufc-crest4

We’ve said many times this season that a game in the Premier League is crucial – but the one at Stoke City tomorrow could be a water-shed game this season for Newcastle United.

A win and we’ll all believe that Alan Shearer’s reign has started and we can lo0ok forward to better things in the final 6 games of the season, but a defeat, and bringing in Alan Shearer to save the club could even prove to be too late. Then  the mother of all disasters – relegation – could be in store for our famous club.

That’s just about how things stand for tomorrow, and we don’t want to get too over-dramatic but when the lads have just 7 points form the last 13 league games, things have got to be pretty serious, as this is the worst run ever for the Tyneside club in the Premier League.

And it just so happens that Stoke City’s home record is more than good, and in 15 home games they have 8 wins and just 4 defeats and a goals for and against of 18 and 13 – an excellent record to get 28 points from their 15 home games.

On the other hand, away from home Newcastle in their 15 games, have just 2 wins at Portsmouth and WBA, and 5 draws for a points total just 11 points, and have 15 goals for and 24 against on their travels. Not too good a record, to say the least.

So just looking at the stats it would appear to be an easy home win for Stoke, but then there’s Alan Shearer.

If Alan is going to become the excellent manager that a lot of Newcastle fans think he is cut out to be, then his influence must be manifestred in results on the field and quickly.

And since we are really 4 points adrift of safety, and just 21 points to play for – that’s what this game is maybe the most important of our season so far.

Keys to a newcastle win are a good defensive performance and no conceding of silly goals like the two we gave way to Chelsea last Saturday. With Bassong and Beye likely to be in central defense that may even be possible.

But we have Steven Taylor, Lovenkrands and Jose Enrique all out tomorrow in addition to Viduka and Barton, so we think Shearer may select the following side to face Stoke:

Harper
R.Taylor Beye Bassong Duff
Geremi Butt Nolan Gutierrez
Martins Owen (c)
Subs: Krul Edgar Cacapa Coloccini Smith Guthrie Carroll

We have Coloccini being droppped and missing his very first minutes of the season at Newcastle, since he was signed from Deportivo in the summer for £10M.

But after his disastrous mistake against Chelsea, when he gifted Lampard their first goal, he needs to be dropped, although Alan may still elect to play the Argentine International at right back, for his experience.

There may even be some surprises for tomorrow, and it may well be that 20 year-old England Under-20 International Andy Carroll, following his two goals and excellent overall display for the Reserves last Monday night,  could be drafted into the side. And Alan may elect to play a 4-3-3 formation, which he may want to do very soon, to add some striking power to the side.

But we suspect he would like to wait until Viduka is fit again, but when that will be – we have absolutely no idea, although next weekend is being talked about.

We do need to score some goals tomorrow, and hopefully Owen and Martins will have a better supply line than last Saturday, when the lads were solid for 55 minutes before the first goal, but created few chances to really worry the strong Chelsea side.

And of course Stoke are one of those teams, that may not have any real stars, but Tony Pulis has got them playing as though their lives depended on it, and while that’s good to see for any team, it’s a little of a worry they could out-fight our overpaid stars.

But we hope that’s something that will never happen with Alan in charge of Newcastle United.

And Stoke’s boss Pulis believes Alan Shearer’s arrival will have a positive impact on Newcastle in their fight against relegation as he talked about Alan today:

“I find it bizarre that a team like Newcastle are fighting a relegation battle at this stage of the season.

“But Alan’s arrival will have galvanized everyone up there and I’m sure they will be absolutely desperate to beat us on Saturday.”

Most Newcastle don’t find the relegation situation bizarre, but very frightening and far too real, as normally we would be starting to pull away from the relegation zone, but no signs of that yet.

As we said earlier, we hope we can get a win out of this game, because quite honestly a draw just will not be good enough, given our precarious position in the league table.

Yes, we’ll take the point of course, but we really need all 3 points to start an escape route, from being sucked down into the Championship next season.

Here’s wishing and hoping, as usual.

Howay The Lads!!



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71 comments so far

  • Big Dave

    Apr 10, 2009 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #1

    I hope and pray its all 3 points we take

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  • G 2

    Apr 10, 2009 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #2

    We can’t create anything from open play, we are down i just hope we keep Harper, Bassong (not likely), Taylor, Beye, Barton and then play the kids like Vukic.

    G

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  • Ashley Hole

    Apr 10, 2009 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #3

    We are down!!!!…JUST pray its all 3 points we take …tomorrow…that s all what we got………..NOW SILENCIO AND PRAY

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  • Troy Stavers

    Apr 10, 2009 at 6:58 PM

    Comment #4

    Has anyone heard from Stardust lately?

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  • Troy Stavers

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #5

    Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow. I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the Geordie dream.
    I have a dream that one day this club will rise up and live out the true meaning of United: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all the mob are created equal.”
    I have a dream that one day, on the hills of Gateshead, the sons of former miners and the sons of former shipbuilders will be able to sit down together at the table of Mike Ashley and Stardust.

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  • Toon Graeme

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #6

    3 points will be ours. Thats how confident I am.

    So much so Im jumping on SkyBet to place £10 on we to win! Im a tight get with me cash so this is a rarety!!

    HOWAY THE LADS!!!!

    If anyone is going – enjoy – sing loud and proud and be safe!

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  • Troy Stavers

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #7

    I have a dream that one day even the County of Durham, a state sweltering with the heat of unemployment, sweltering with the heat of being closely linked to Sunderland will be transformed into an oasis of Black and White. .
    I have a dream that my two little children will one day live in a region where they will not be judged by the colour of their tracksuits, not to be judged because their tracksuits are black and white and not purple or torquoise like those of David Ike, Stardust and Ashley.!!
    I have a dream today.
    I have a dream that one day whilst in St James Park, with its maniac little owners, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “poverty” “director of football”, one day right down in Cruddas Park, little black and white boys and girls will be able to join hands with those little torquoise and purple shell suited owners as sisters and brothers.
    I have a dream today.

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  • shearerwonderland.

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #8

    i am thinking shearer might let ranger play a part in tomorrows game
    he seems to be keen on him
    and also i was looking through the players on the website and it is his birthday tomorrow
    perfect present really
    LOL

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  • roscoe

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #9

    if Shearer plays that line up tomorrow we are down. Anyone who plays Duff at left back when we have a 10 mil defender on the bench is FU*KING MAD! no matter how bad he’s been playing at the minute! back four:

    R. Taylor Beye Colo Bassong
    Jonas butt nolan Duff
    Owen Oba

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  • Troy Stavers

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #10

    I have a dream that one day the Team Valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord Shearer shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
    This is my hope. This is the faith that I go back to in my home in Gateshead with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our owners into a beautiful symphony of “Blaydon Races”. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day of Mike Ashley’s wicked ways.

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  • Troy Stavers

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #11

    This will be the day, this will be the day when all of Shearers fans will be able to sing with new meaning “Howay the Lads”
    And if The Toon is to be a great club, this must become true. So let the Toon Army sing from the prodigious hilltops of the Toon Moor. Let Geordies sing from the mighty mound which perches the Angel.
    Let Geordies sing from the heightening hills of Bensham.
    Let Geordies sing from the snowcapped hills of Rowlands Gill..
    Let Geordies sing from the curvaceous slopes of Byker.
    But not only that, let Geordies sing from Stone Terraces of St. James.
    Let freedom ring.
    And when this happens, and when we allow the Geordies to sing, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of Shearers children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Geordie spiritual, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
    “Free of Stardust, Ashley and his ways!!” “No more David Ike Clones” We are freeeeee!!

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  • roscoe

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:04 PM

    Comment #12

    Troy… We’ve all read it already mate!

    Thanks

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  • Troy Stavers

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:04 PM

    Comment #13

    This will be the day, this will be the day when all of Shearers fans will be able to sing with new meaning “Howay the Lads”
    And if The Toon is to be a great club, this must become true. So let the Toon Army sing from the prodigious hilltops of the Toon Moor. Let Geordies sing from the mighty mound which perches the Angel.

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  • Toon Graeme

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #14

    2/1 odds on to win. £10 = £30 (skybet)

    I was gonna watch online but have blagged a spot on me mother in laws lounge floor.

    Too important to watch by crappy internet connection.

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  • Troy Stavers

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #15

    And when this happens, and when we allow the Geordies to sing, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of Shearers children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Geordie spiritual, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
    “Free of Stardust, Ashley and his ways!!” “No more David Ike Clones” We are freeeeee!!

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  • pearceet

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #16

    _________Harper__________
    Beye____Coloccini__Bassong___Taylor
    Guitterrez___Nolan__Guthrie___Duff
    __________Martins______Owen___

    I know that Coloccini is error prone but he is very capable and would rather play that back four than duff at left back….. thoughts

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  • Troy Stavers

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #17

    Let Geordies sing from the heightening hills of Bensham.
    Let Geordies sing from the snowcapped hills of Rowlands Gill..
    Let Geordies sing from the curvaceous slopes of Byker.
    But not only that, let Geordies sing from Stone Terraces of St. James.
    Let freedom ring.

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  • Troy Stavers

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #18

    I have a dream!!!

    NUSC begin to get there message across that we were responsible for change in bringing Shearer in!!! That dream is now reality!!!

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  • Troy Stavers

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #19

    I HAVE A DREAM ONE DAY, WE WILL BE FREE FROM ASHLEY AND HIS REGIME!!! ONLY ASHLEY AND STARDUST LIVE ON!!!! UNTIL THEY GO, NEWCASTLE UNITED WILL NEVER BE FREE!!! JOIN ME IN MY BATTLE FOR FREEEEEEEDOM!!!!!

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  • Doocey

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #20

    Give Ranger a start?
    Are you mad?! Not a hope will he start, he’s not the player we need at this stage of the season. The likes of United will start using them when they have the title or when other teams have Europe. We can use them when we’re safe but not until then!

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  • Norn Iron Magpie

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #21

    harper
    beye__ colo__ bass__ r taylor
    jonas __butt__ guthrie
    owen__ martins
    caroll
    Same here i would stick with colo meself. Lets play are game so stoke have to adapt to us. Bring on ranger for 20 minutes as an impact sub. Start with this formation if it dosn’t work switch back to 442. Put martins on the left with a free role and orders to shoot on sight. I know this looks very narrow but didnt someone say their ground was the narrowest in the PL.

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  • Turkish Magpie

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #22

    Troy- good dreams 😉

    442 is suicide and not attacking or defensive

    —————————-Harper———————–

    –Beye———-Bassong———-Colo—–Enrique

    ———Jonas———Butt/Guthrie—–Duff——–

    —————————–Owen————————
    ———————Carroll——–Martins————-

    Perfect formation because it’s attacking and Carroll provides the Viduka role. I agree with roscoe, Coloccini certainly isn’t 10mil maybe not 5mil but keeping him on the bench and playing Habib Beye CB and especially not Duff LB when we have two good CB’s.

    In The away game against Chelsea Bass and Colo had great games, just last week you all had him in your starting XI, but think 0f this, none of you had Bassong in 2 games before Chelsea away?

    People can change and I bet Coloccini will have the game of his life as he’ll be determined to make an impression and Shearer will have worked with him, Why did we even pay for him looking at the price of Bassong, but we must have seen him?

    With this formation i predict a

    Stoke 1-2 NUFC

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  • Norn Iron Magpie

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #23

    Sorry formation looks like sh1te. You get what i mean though?

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  • Toon_Factor

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #24

    The back 4 for me should be

    Beye———Coloccini——-Bassong——–Edgar

    or

    Coloccini——–Beye——–Bassong——Edgar

    imo Carroll NEEDS to play upfront because playing little Oba and Owen WILL NOT work. Im not the biggest Carroll fan but he is 6.4 and can hold the ball up.

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  • Troy Stavers

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #25

    @turkish magpie

    good line up!!

    I like the carroll and martins up front wi owen just behind.!! Thats what kk did last season and it worked like a turkish delight

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  • Norn Iron Magpie

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #26

    Turkish Magpie
    Thats the same result setanta predicted sounds about right to me as well

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  • Joey Barton 666

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #27

    alright lads, cant wait for tommorows game, alot of my family are down from hebburn atm, so were going to watch the game down here in devon.

    does anyone have fifa 09 online for the ps3 and fancy a game?

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  • Troy Stavers

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #28

    Carroll is a massive handfull and needs to be in the dog fight! he can lay balls down to Owen and Martins. That is the only way we can win!! We have the players to get goals, so play attacking football. Basics!!!!

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  • Doocey

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #29

    ………..Beye-Colo-Bassong
    Duff-Nolan-Butt-Guthrie-Jonas
    ………….Owen- Martins

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  • beyethegreat

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #30

    troy

    plz dont link us in co durham with the mackems i know the mackems hae a few fans here but there is more black n white than red n white

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  • beyethegreat

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #31

    though admitadly only just

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  • Turkish Magpie

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #32

    Norn- is that an agreemant?

    Troy- haha

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  • Norn Iron Magpie

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:43 PM

    Comment #33

    Turkish Magpie
    It is indeed. Must go lads. Going for a game of poker and lose another weeks wages.
    Howay the lads

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  • Fostino

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #34

    thats a shocking call ed…….why on earth would shearer drop colo wen taylor still injured and bassong is barely back

    i reckon

    beye colo bassong r.taylor

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  • TonyGreenSupreme

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #35

    Stoke’s exceptional home record and sheer willingness to win makes our trip tomorrow all that more tricky.
    I am staggered with the amount of people who seem to think that we will collect 3 points tomorrow and that will kick start the relegation campaign.
    Our side is not good enough, Martins and Owen are awful as a partnership.
    Neither Ryan Taylor or Nolan have shown anything to convince me that they are good long term signings.
    Collo is shot and needs to be dropped, bring in Edgar as a full back (Beye at CB with Seb)
    I will now raise a glass or two of fine wine and pray that we get 3 points tomorrow.
    Apologies to all for sounding negative but I call it as I see it.
    I will be Sh….ng myself watching the game.

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  • Fostino

    Apr 10, 2009 at 7:57 PM

    Comment #36

    i have faith in sherear and dowie and whatever team they pick!! i can see a goal from one of our new signings that havent scored yet…der’s a few!! – jonas, nolan, r taylor, bassong, colo

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  • Turkish Magpie

    Apr 10, 2009 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #37

    Why play a RB at CB when we have 2 fully fit CB’s!!!!!!!!!!

    Look at STaylor, you were all wanting him dead and calling donkeys and after good performances some were calling him Sir Steven Taylor.

    Coloccini is going through a bad spell like STaylor and With Shearer he’ll come back great

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  • Fostino

    Apr 10, 2009 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #38

    we need beye on the right wingback because of his attack qualities…he’s proven to have given a few assists ……especially to owen and we’ll need colo’s power at the back for physical stoke!! i think its foolish to suggest we drop colo, especially when shearer trying to give the side confidence……stupid suggestion, we avent enough cover at the back to be dropping colo!!

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  • Big Dave

    Apr 10, 2009 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #39

    34 Fostino I would love to see Jonas get his 1st I think he would then go on and become an even better player

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  • Christoon

    Apr 10, 2009 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #40

    joey barton 666- i got it but wont be online for a few days, wots ur tag, i’ll be up for a game soon

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