Shawcross relishing prospect of Papiss Cisse 'test' when Stoke face Newcastle

The Potters captain limped off the last time these two teams met when the Magpies ended their undefeated home record and the 24-year-old is looking to push for a top-10 finish

Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross is looking forward to the “test” of facing Papiss Cisse when the Potters meet Newcastle United this weekend.

The Senegalese striker has scored an impressive 10 goals in just nine Premier League games since arriving on Tyneside in January.

Ryan Shawcross is 25/1 to score the first goal when Stoke play Newcastle on Saturday.
Shawcross is the next defender in line to face the in-form attacker and he is relishing the chance to go up against the 26-year-old, who the skipper believes has adjusted to the Premier League impressively.

"Papiss has adapted to English football remarkably quickly," Shawcross told reporters.

"It can sometimes take a while for players to come to this country and settle in, but he has already shown his qualities on the pitch.

"He is a very talented player and the fact that he is averaging better than a goal a game shows the tremendous qualities he possesses.

"I enjoy playing against these sort of players though - it's a test for me and for the other defenders. In this league, you come up against top-class players week in, week out and Saturday will be no different.

"You only have to take a look through their squad to see the calibre of players they have. Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa - the list is endless.

"They are on an incredible run of form at the moment and we know that this game will be extremely tough for us. But we will go there, play our game and hopefully get the win."

Stoke did not enjoy their last outing against the Magpies, after Alan Pardew’s outfit ended the Potters’ undefeated home record with a 3-1 win.

The 24-year-old limped off during that game and is determined to help his side push for a top 10 finish in the Premier League with three points on Saturday.

"That was a disappointing night for us, but this is a different game now and that won't have any effect on us when we travel to Newcastle on Saturday," he said.

"Whilst they still have everything to play for, so do we. We are desperate to finish in the top 10 - that is our aim.

"To do that, we have to keep on picking up points over the next five matches.

"We have done well over the last couple of weeks and picked up four points from two games, so we will go there confident of getting a result that we are all desperate for."