Stoke v Newcastle – Premier League match preview

Game On at The Britannia Stadium.

The Britannia Stadium.
Newcastle head to Stoke this evening for what will be a very tough match against one of the leagues more ‘robust’ outfits. With it being Halloween the opportunities for puns are endless although I will try and refrain from overusing them. Promise.

Alan Pardew and his players will be looking to get back to winning ways after the Cup defeat to Blackburn on Tuesday. In truth we deserved to go out of that game thanks to some horror defending and ghoulish decisions from the referee on the night although the lads should be applauded for the supreme spirit they showed to get back into the match in stoppage time.

The downside is that Tony Pulis and his Stoke charges will also be looking to get back to winning ways in front of their home fans after going out of the Carling Cup at the hands of Liverpool in midweek which should make it an interesting game in prospect in front of a Worldwide TV audience.

Stoke City

Newcastle could come up against a familiar face this evening, in the shape of former defender Jonathan Woodgate. I know Marktoon will be harbouring a semi at the mere mention of his name, although I have to concede that when he was fit for us he was an excellent centre-back. His problem was keeping fit, and it has been for years.

In other Stoke team news, Jermaine Pennant is fit again and should be set to start after his midweek cameo although the same cannot be said for the one play who is more susceptible to injuries than Woodgate, Mamady Sidebe, who unfortunately suffered another serious injury against Liverpool. I’m sure you will all join me in wishing him a speedy recovery.

I expect some changes from Stoke for this game, like the reintroduction of Jermaine Pennant and Peter Crouch, although they lined up in midweek with a team consisting of:

Thomas Sorensen, Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross, Ryan Shotton, Jonathan Woodgate, Glenn Whelan, Marc Wilson, Rory Delap, Matt Etherington, Kenwyne Jones, Jonathan Walters


The big news for Newcastle is the fitness of Cheik Tiote who seems likely to miss out after picking up a knee injury. Grated he is only rated as doubtful but his omission from the open training session on Friday would seem to suggest that he is struggling.

Steven Taylor should be fit to return with the aid of a mask to protect his broken nose, which is quite topical on Halloween and conjures up images of allsorts whilst Leon Best has a bout of tonsillitis although he should apparently be fine to feature. Shola Ameobi and Mike Williamson are both definitely out with respective hamstring and ankle injuries.

For the purposes of naming my team I’m going to go with the worst case scenario of Cheik Tiote missing out. I hope it isn’t the case but if it is I’d probably line up with a team a bit like this.

Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Gabriel Obertan, Danny Guthrie, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best, Demba Ba

Obviously there are a few changes that could be made to that team. Leon Best could be replaced by Hatem Ben Arfa for a start. I know people will say about not playing him against Stoke, but you only have to see what Luis Suarez did to them in midweek to see that they can struggle against the more maverick player. Davide Santon could play instead of Simpson and instead of Danny Guthrie it could easily be Dan Gosling.

Facts and stats

Stoke have won only one league game from their last five whilst Newcastle are unbeaten in their last 12 league outings.

Of the four meetings in the Premier League Newcastle are yet to record a victory with only two draws to show for their efforts, and both of them came in the relegation season! In terms of results at the Britannia, I’ve been at both of the away games and was chuffed with the 1-1 draw three years ago and not so chuffed with the 4-0 I had to endure last season.

If we are to get anything from the game we will need to watch Stoke and their set play routines. Amazingly 71% of their goals have come from set pieces this season although they struggle to create in open play and have had the fewest shots on target (22) in the Premier League.

Newcastle have scored two fewer goals than at the same stage last season yet they have returned eight more points from the same amount of games.

The final say

It will be a tough game, of that there is no doubt. They’ve already drawn with Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham at the Britannia and managed to beat Liverpool in the league earlier on in the season. We’ve not won there in the league for 26 seasons either which is a stat that needs changing.

Having said that there is no reason why we can’t come away with a point, which I’d be quite happy with in fairness. To do that we’ll need to match Stoke’s work rate and commitment and also counter their set pieces. It’s achievable but only if we can play right from the start and not just in the second half.

Howay the lads!

Date: Monday, 31st October, 2011

Kick-off: 8:00pm (UK time)

Venue: The Britannia Stadium

45 thoughts on “Stoke v Newcastle – Premier League match preview

  1. Draw would be decent result, Tiote will be a big miss and we’ll need some height at the back so maybe santon for simmo?


  2. “With it being Halloween the opportunities for puns are endless although I will try and refrain from overusing them. Promise”

    “…we deserved to go out of that game thanks to some horror defending and ghoulish decisions from the referee…”

    That’s a great start Toonsy 😆 Keep ’em coming 😉


  3. I see a frightfully difficult game in a cauldron like atmosphere, hopefully Ben Arfa will start and serve up some tricks and treats at witch we can all marvel at his spellbinding wizardry.


  4. exactly a year today we beat the mackems 5-1 :mrgreen: if you’re a superstitious person you can have a look at that stat and say… hopefully we can get a result against a team in red and white again. :mrgreen:

    I would LOVE a draw though! 3rd? eff me ❗


  5. Kin ‘ell – if the bin dippers can beat them (albeit in the woofters cup) I don’t see why we can’t.

    Let’s have some positivity lads and lasses.



  6. Chris G – I was going to put more in but there is the match article thread, match report and highlights to come yet so I held back :mrgreen:

    Would take a point and no injuries now please. Then ideally a win at the weekend as I’ll be at the game. 23 points going into City, United and Chelsea would do me nicely. Even if we lost all three of them (I don’t think we will) we’d still be in the chasing pack with a run of “easier” games until Christmas.

    One can dream 😀


  7. Start well, pile the pressure on, early two goal lead and kill the game quick! Staying up late tonight for this game. I hope it’s worth it! HWTL!


  8. I would prefer to see Marveux on the LW if they are playing Huth or another CB there. Expose them to his pace, and maybe move Jonas to CAM role and keep HBA for second half maybe? They dont really seem to have recognised full backs, certainly an area to exploit.

    I would much rather see Gosling,or maybe even Abeid in for Tiote if he cant make it. Nice to have a few options


  9. Hydeous – Failing that just keep it steady for the first 20 or so minutes. Keep their fans quiet. The very last thing I want to hear tonight is Delilah or Stoke fans ruining Joy Division.

    Gutted I’m not going tonight actually. Been to the last two games there so a shame to miss the hat trick 🙁


  10. Could be from the lack of sleep or becasue Im deluded but Im gonna go for a 2-1 win for us. Ba to score first. Then Walters to score for them from the penalty spot and Ben Arfa to get the winner. Come on the toon!!!!!!


  11. Looking forward to this game tonight, itll be interesting if we can handle them without Tiote and if Arfa plays against them, i have to say I dont think he will. Santon could play too….No work today so jobs at home to mean I can rob the laptop and watch it later!


  12. Nobby, hope it isnt 0-0 I didnt get a Stoke def into my Fantasy team so I wouldnt profit if we failed to score…should never let the real world and fantasy world meet!


  13. Tonight is not a game for footballers. I doubt they’ve cut the grass since August. Best keep Benny in his box for Everton.

    Tonight will be about Ba, Saylor and the quality of Cabaye’s set pieces.


  14. Just reading in Metro about Stoke facing a selection headache as they play tonight, Thursday then Sunday again. Nice.

    Hopefully they rest players for Europe :mrgreen:


  15. TC – Is this the same Ba that has missed two games because he wasn’t to be risked on dodgy playing surfaces?

    Does Stoke keeping their grass long count as a dodgy surface? 😕

    They should make grass length standard across the league. Level the playing field so to speak 😉


  16. Agree Stoke are often a disgrace footballing wise….but a good test despite that. As Toonsy says they can be vulnerable to a tricky player, esp in middle of the park as their CM is a bit weak…


  17. Toonsy – I’m not sure the length of the grass would affect Ba – just doesn’t make for a fluid passing game.

    I agree though – grass should be cut to a certain length for match days, and I also think there should be a standard size pitch for professional football throughout the world.


  18. If we can close their wingers out of the game then we’ll go some way to stopping them. Set pieces and defending them are going to be vital as they have Shawcross, Jones, Crouch, Huth, Walters…..


  19. TC – I thought about that, but differences in ground size would be a problem. For instance somewhere like Fulham couldn’t make their pitch any bigger, so should we then make the rest smaller to match it?

    Also think they should do something about throw ins 😉


  20. A tough game tonigh and one I think we are going to lose. I would prefer to play Chelsea tonight than Stoke. Tough venue and just think we are not physical enough for them.


  21. off to the game tonight, hoping we do better than on the last 3occasions i have watched us play the clayheads, 3 draws!! be a tough test tonight but if we can expose their lack of full backs and decent CM i think we can carve a win out.

    be interesting to see what team pards goes with, but i think after his comments regarding his team set up when we lost 4-0 he will be more gung-ho in his approach!!


  22. Another trick is overwatering the corners so that speedy wingers cant push the ball past a defender and go.


  23. 1-2 tonight though I’d be more than happy with a draw…especially with this being our 10th “real test” and all that 😉


  24. Toonsy 😉 …..what’s the betting if we get a result tonight and V Everton, people will be saying about the following 3 games “and now the real test for Newcastle starts”? 🙄


  25. anyone watch the spurs game last night? i tell you what they play some mint football…. we did really well to come away with a point against them 😀


  26. I think looking at the games so far we have the 6th best starting 11, ahead of Liverpool, behind the big 3, spurs and Arsenal, but in terms of squad depth we are still 4 or 5 players short of where we need to be, to be a top 8 squad.


  27. Good write up Toonsy, really highlights how on the ball we will need to be from corners, throws free kicks and long balls. Going to be a real battle and we will do very well to get anything out of it….

    Anyhow, Citeh asides – anyone think we are actually in with a shout of trimming a few points off the ‘top 4’ this season? If the boys keep up this work ethic, I reckon we could stay right up there until the New Year at least. 🙂


  28. Toonsy @ 18. That one got a half-chuckle half-groan out of me.

    Will be satisfied with a draw tonight, but I won’t be surprised if we win this one relatively comfortably (not a huge score, but a comfortable game). I will be a little disappointed if we lose though. I really hope we continue our unbeaten run until man. city.


  29. Rich @ 28,
    if people start saying only the top 3 are a test for newcastle then they’re accepting us as a top-4 team even before we do. 😀


  30. Shamrock, I think we can trim points off chelsea as we showed in the 2-2 draw last season at stamford bridge. Also I think we can do that to a few others this season, already got a point off Arsenal and they don’t look the best defensively, mertsacker looked very poor against Chelsea. Liverpool don’t have a strong defence, it hasn’t really been tested at all, they rely too much on Suarez. Same with Arsenal if RVP gets injured this season then they will lose their key provider of goals. I think our team is strong enough to surprise these teams this year.

    Back to the Stoke game, I think we will gain a sneaky 1-0 victory or a 0-0 draw. Both sides don’t score much and we just need to combat their arieal throw ins. If we do that then we could use counter attack to hit them on the break. It will be a tough game but the fact that they have played more games may lead to them having tired legs in their ranks


  31. hope we dont sit back and try to contain stoke,lets get at them and put pace in the team,about time our striker put in a shift,will take 1-1


  32. Rodzilla @ 39 – best gag yet. 😆

    Aaaaahhnyway, looks like our threat will be through the middle of their CBs, so I see Cabaye, Ba and Guthrie being major dangers; Benny if he gets on. For them it’s all the set pieces, so any of their big fellas to do damage.

    From what Pardeiu has said, the strategy will be a Keeganesque “we’re gonna score one more than youuuuu”, because you just can’t guarantee to keep set pieces out from these guys.

    2-1 win for the Toon, says my rose-tinted brain. Cabaye, Ba and Huth to score. :mrgreen:


  33. i got the score wrong but what did i say about pace in the team,i did have a cheecky

    what did i say about pace tonight,got the score wrong but i had a cheeky £1 on ba 3-1


  34. i hear there was a minutes silence before last nights match for the eleven mackems that were murdered on halloween last year, great stuff


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