Some surprisingly good news today is that Jose Enrique and Joey Barton are both fit, and start for Newcastle United today against Stoke City.
Newcastle Manager Alan Pardew has made 3 changes to the side which was beaten by Everton 2-1, a long and painful two weeks ago.
Jose Enrique surprisingly passed the fitness test on his hamstring injury today, and Pardew has put out a decent side to try to combat Stoke’s aggressive style of play.
Sol Campbell, whom Pardew said he was considering to combat the Stoke aerial assault, gets a start in a good looking Newcastle side.
Steven Taylor is back on the bench, and the front two are Peter Lovenkrands and Shola Ameobi, and no sign of Leon Best, who unfortunately picked up an injury in training on Thursday, so that’s bad news.
Young striker Nile Ranger is back on the bench along with Shane Ferguson and new striker Shefki Kuqi.
Jonas Gutierrez is also on the bench, and we’re not sure if he would be available to come on in the second half, if needed.
For Stoke City, Begovic returns in goal in place of Sorensen.
Newcastle could play in a 3-5-2 formation today, presumably with Coloccini playing a defensive midfield type of role in the middle 5, as he can play there.
You’ve got to think the lads have been practicing this set-up a lot over the last two weeks, if indeed they do start in that formation.
We need a win today!
Howay The Lads!!
Stoke (4-4-2): Begovic; Wilson, Shawcross, Huth, Higginbotham; Pennant, Delap, Whelan, Etherington; Jones, Walters.
Subs: Sorensen, Collins, Fuller, Pugh, Diao, Whitehead, Wilkinson.
Newcastle (4-4-2): Harper; Coloccini, Williamson, Campbell, Enrique; Simpson, Barton, Nolan, Tiote; Lovenkrands, Ameobi.
Subs: Krul, Guthrie, Gutierrez, Taylor, Ranger, Ferguson, Kuqi.
Referee: Lee Mason