Premier League Preview: Newcastle - Stoke
Alan Pardew’s men will be looking to record a double over the Potters to improve their top-four challenge, with the Potters bidding for another top-half finish.
By Rhys Turrell
Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon
Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez
Ben Arfa, Cisse, Ba
Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson
Delap, Palacios, Whitehead, Etherington
Newcastle looks set to make just one change from the side that comfortably defeated Bolton 2-0 on Easter Monday as it seeks to continue its unlikely bid for Champions League soccer.
Midfield anchorman Cheikh Tiote is fit again after a recurrence of a hamstring injury forced him out of the win over the Trotters, and may take the place of James Perch, who is doubtful with a thigh problem.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul is expected to shake off a back problem picked up in training in midweek, and there is a chance that Leon Best, Gabriel Obertan and Danny Guthrie could return from knee, ankle and calf injuries respectively, but they may only be fit enough for the bench.
Midfielder Sylvain Marveaux has returned to training after hip and groin surgery, but this game is expected to come a little to soon for the Frenchman. Steven Taylor, Peter Lovenkrands and Sammy Ameobi are all out.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis has only one major doubt for the trip to the Sports Direct Arena, with winger Jermaine Pennant suffering from flu, and is expected to name an unchanged side from the one which drew 1-1 away with Aston Villa last time out.
Defender Andy Wilkinson has recovered from a groin injury that sidelined him for the Easter double header, and could take a place on the bench.
Danny Higginbotham is back from a loan spell at Championship side Nottingham Forest but is not eligible, as he is not registered in Stoke’s 25-man Premier League squad.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Newcastle has won its last five consecutive Premier League matches.
- Magpies striker Demba Ba (right) scored one of his two hat tricks this season in the reverse fixture at the Britannia Stadium in October when Newcastle won 3-1.
- Newcastle has only conceded three goals less than Tony Pulis' side this season (42) but has scored 15 times more, and is 17 points better off.
- Stoke has scored the fewest amount of away goals in the Premier League this season - with just 11.
- The Potters have also failed to win in 76 percent of their away matches this campaign.
- Stoke City has scored 39 percent of its 31 goals in the last 20 minutes of matches, but has also conceded 39 percent of its 45 goals-against in the same time period.
- Referee Martin Atkinson will be the fourth official at the game, after his controversial decision to award Chelsea's second goal in Sunday's FA Cup semifinal with Tottenham.
- If the Potters take three points on Saturday, they will ensure another season in the Premier League, though it is very unlikely they will be relegated, sitting 13 points above the drop zone.
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Top 3 Predictions
Newcastle United 2-0 Stoke City
- 22.46 %
Newcastle United 3-0 Stoke City
- 14.06 %
Newcastle United 3-1 Stoke City
- 12.28 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||2013-03-10||Newcastle United 2 - Stoke City 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||2012-11-28||Stoke City 2 - Newcastle United 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||2012-04-21||Newcastle United 3 - Stoke City 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||2011-10-31||Stoke City 1 - Newcastle United 3|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||2011-03-19||Stoke City 4 - Newcastle United 0|
|2013-12-04||Swansea City 3 - Newcastle United 0||EPL|
|2013-11-30||Newcastle United 2 - West Bromwich Albion 1||EPL|
|2013-11-23||Newcastle United 2 - Norwich City 1||EPL|
|2013-11-10||Tottenham 0 - Newcastle United 1||EPL|
|2013-11-02||Newcastle United 2 - Chelsea FC 0||EPL|
|10||Hatem Ben Arfa||Midfielder|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed