Newcastle United will host Stoke City at St James’ Park, this Sunday, in what will be the sixth match of their Premiership campaign.
Ahead of the game, Newcastle are gung-ho, thanks to a mid-week 4-3 win over Chelsea, at Stamford Bridge, in the Carling Cup. Ironically, Newcastle also lost at home to Blackpool, in the Premier League.
Chris Hughton’s squad have scored eleven goals in the first five matches of their Premiership season. Their defence has stood up when it counted and conceded just four goals, to give the Magpies a healthy goal difference.
Contrast that with Stoke’s six goals for, and eight goals against. Seven of those came in the first 45 minutes of the matches in which they transpired.
The Potters have been up and down this season. Following a last-gasp away win against Villa, they drew at home against West Ham.
James Perch will return to the Newcastle squad, from suspension. Sol Campbell who played the entire duration of the Carling Cup game is also likely to start. ‘Keeper Steve Harper has been advised 12 weeks’ rest after shoulder surgery.Tim Krul is likely to replace him.
Danny Simpson and Danny Guthrie have not returned to match fitness from their repective shoulder and knee injuries. Newcastle will also miss Steven Taylor nursing a shoulder injury and Dan Gosling who has a knee concern.
For Stoke, regular players should return to the starting eleven after they were rested during the Carling Cup match loss to Fulham, mid-week, chief among them is ‘keeper James Sorensen. Abdoulaye Faye will bolster the back line, while the forward line should benefit from John Walters’ return.
Manager Tony Pulis will also welcome winger Jermaine Pennant returning from a hamstring injury.
The Potters last won at St James’ in 1976. Their last win against the Magpies came in 1989, when they prevailed 2-1 in a Division 2 game. The sides have drawn three of their last four league and cup games.
Caroll is Newcastle’s man of the season, with four goals in five matches, while Jones has scored just one for the Potters in their five.
Stoke should consider themselves lucky if they got away with a draw; Newcastle should consider it as an opportunity lost if they didn’t bank three points from the game.
Newcastle will probably field these players in their starting eleven: Krul, Enrique, Williamson, Coloccini, Perch, Ben Arfa, Nolan, Barton, Routledge, Ameobi, Caroll
The Stoke City starting eleven will probably be: Sorensen, Collins, Faye, Shawcross, Huth, Etherington, Delap, Whitehead, WhelanJones, Walters
If you want to know what time this match is scheduled to start, click here.
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An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.