Newcastle have lost three games in a row in the Premier League, and we’ve had just one victory in our last eight league games, and picked up only six points in those games, since we beat Norwich 1-0 at St. James’ Park on September 23rd.
That’s a slump for Newcastle to be sure, and we just have to try to turn things around tonight at Stoke City, which is never an easy place to get points from.
Newcastle currently have nine first team players out through injury by our reckoning – Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic, Dan Gosling, Ben Arfa, Steven Taylor, Yohan Cabaye, Shola Ameobi, Gabby Obertan and Adam Campbell – and some of those players are out for very lengthy periods.
So Alan Pardew doesn’t really have much to choose from for his team tonight, and we think it will be very much like the side that played at Southampton, but of course Fabricio Coloccini is back from his three match suspension, and will resume the Newcastle captaincy tonight at the Britannia Stadium.
This is the side we think will start the game tonight:
Simpson Coloccini (c) Williamson Santon
Gutierrez Anita Tiote Ferguson
Subs: Elliot Tavernier Bigirimana Perch Marveaux Ameobi (Sa) Ranger
Alan may find a starting position for the fit again James Perch, but we think that will be the starting line-up and James should get some playing time in the second half.
The Newcastle manager knows that Stoke’s a tough place to visit – at any time:
“They’re always very, very difficult to beat.” “Tony Pulis sets his team up and they’re a strong, physical unit. Set-plays they excel at and they’re very good defensively so it’s hard for any team to go and break them down.”
“That’s something that we need to try and achieve. We won there last year with one of our big results of the season and obviously we’re going to have to try and emulate that.”
“You need to play your own game but you need to be able to cope with theirs – that’s the question they ask. They find teams out by doing that and we have great respect for what they do.”
Newcastle played great in this fixture last season, and we won there 3-1 for the first time in a long while, and Demba Ba hit a famous hat-trick – and a result like that tonight would raise the spirits of Newcastle fans sky-high.
And it’s likely to be a low scoring affair tonight, with both teams finding it difficult to put the ball in the back of the net these days, and there’s only been six goals in the last six games at the Britannia Stadium.
Stoke also have their injury woes, and is it a surprise that former Newcastle player Michel Owen is out with another hamstring problem?
Owen has only recently returned to training but is unlikely to feature tonight against his former side, although he could be on the bench – and Andy Wilkinson is likely to miss out with a back problem, and Marc Wilson and Rory Delap have long term injuries.
Let us know how you think the game will go tonight – with Newcastle needing to get at least something out of this game to stop the rot.
Howay The Lads!!