Newcastle v Stoke: Stat Attack

So, to the home stretch of what has been an mightily successful season for Newcastle United. The Toon go into their remaining five fixtures looking to surpass the 60 point mark for just the 7th time in their Premier League history, four of them coming in their first four seasons in the new top flight.

And, next up is Stoke City. The last six meetings between the two have brought about two wins each, two draws and 11 goals a piece. The 1-3 victory for Newcastle earlier this season was the latest; Demba Ba struck a hat-trick during a superb tactical display grabbing Newcastle’s first win there in five attempts. The last time the teams met at St James’ Park, Stoke ran away with all three points snatching a 1-2 win.

NUFC are looking for their 6th straight win, keeping a clean sheet in their last three home games, and Stoke have failed to win their last seven away in the Premier League. This is another fantastic opportunity for the Magpies to continue their excellent form as the season reaches its climax. Another chance to scratch three points on the board and keep the prospect of Champions League football for next season alive; especially with key games against Chelsea and Manchester City forthcoming.

What Stoke do…

The Potters have the worst possession rate in the whole division – 39.5%. Furthermore, only Santander of La Liga have a worse record across Europe’s top-five leagues.

They also have the worst pass success rate in the Premier League – 69.5%, the 4th worst across Europe.

However, Stoke do win the most aerials per game on average in the league – 15.2.

Only Everton and Wolves make fewer tackles per game on average (16.9) and they make the fewest interceptions per game – 12.1.

They also produce the fewest shots per game on average in the Premier League (9.9) thus leading to having the fewest on target as well (2.5).

Only Norwich manufacture fewer successful dribbles per game (3.8).

Only Blackburn and Bolton are caught offside less than Stoke on average – 1.6 times per game.

Stoke have scored the fewest goals in the whole league from open play (11), but only Blackburn and Man Utd have scored more from set plays – 16.

They also produce the fewest short passes in the top flight per game – 227, compared to 328 from NUFC.

The Potters initiate the highest percentage of attacks from the right hand side in all of the division – 42%.

Finally, they have the highest percentage of shots from inside the 18 yard box in the Premier League this season too – 18%, double that of second best Blackburn (9%).

Who to watch…

Matthew Etherington – The wide man has created the most chances for Stoke in the Premier League this season (47) including most from set plays (21) and most open-play goal assists (3). He is the highest total goal assister at the club (6) and has created the most clear cut chances for team-mates (9) alongside producing the most attempted dribbles – 60, only 27% of which are successful though.

Glenn Whelan – The Irishman is Stoke’s ‘pass-master’, producing more than any other player at the club in the Premier League this season, as well as the most accurate passes in the attacking half. He also wins possession in the midfield third more than any other Potters player.

Peter Crouch – The inconsistent Englishman is Stoke’s top scorer this season with nine and although partner Jonathan Walters has had more shots at goal, Crouch has the most on target (19). He has the best chance conversion rate at Stoke (22%) and wins more aerial duels per game than not just every player in the Premier League, but across Europe’s top-five leagues also (4.7).

Peter Crouch - The big man can produce the sublime!

How to win this one

Every team knows what to expect when Stoke come to town. They play as direct a game as ever a team has and will look to get the ball into the Newcastle penalty area at every opportunity. And, it has been this kind of play that has been NUFC’s shortcoming at times this season, albeit when the squad has been at its weakest.

Stoke - Last 10 goals (excl. pens)

A look at Stoke’s last ten Premier League goals highlights exactly how keen they are to use the direct ball into the box or scoring from crossing opportunities. Very little of their play comes through central areas and they won’t look to take advantage of the space in behind Newcastle’s back four.

It is worth highlighting however, that Stoke produce just one more cross per game on average than NUFC currently in the Premier League (22 to 21) and just two more long balls per game (67 to 65). The difference is that Stoke have very little possession in games and look to get the ball forward at the earliest of opportunities.

Being at home and on the run NUFC are on, Alan Pardew will be looking to stick with his newly acquired 4-3-3 formation in which Hatem Ben Arfa has been a star of late. Stoke’s back four are not known for their quickness and agility, and the enigmatic Frenchman could be key for Newcastle’s success once again.

Having said that, it was the earlier favoured 4-4-2 that produced such a good tactical and defensive display against the Potters at the Britannia earlier in the season; Jonas Gutierrez particularly playing very well helping out at full back and nullifying Stoke’s wide threat. This will be on the agenda again.

NUFC_Stats prediction: 2-0

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36 thoughts on “Newcastle v Stoke: Stat Attack

  1. with Stoke having a possession rate of 39.5% we should easily win this game!! If it were 41% or 42% it would be a totally different story!! It would be a hard fought game.. 😀

    All I know is if we play as well as we can, I can’t see them matching us… It will have to be an off day from all of forwards for us not to win…


  2. Aussie – Did you not know possession is everything 😈

    If we play how we can will win. I’ve never really subscribed to the whole Champions League malarkey, but if we win this one it keep us up there for another week!

    Just have to watch Stoke and their dirty tactics. Give Simmo a towel and watch them fizz 😈


  3. Good read mate, thanks.
    I’m a bit concerned that their defenders, (Huth and Shawcross in particular – 24 yellows and 1 red between them 😯 ) will resort to hacking lumps out of our forward 3. Just hope we dont pick up any nasty injuries is all.
    Apart from that, I think we have the measure of them every where else on the park.
    Krul will need to dominate his box well as the aerial ball in is their only real threat.
    Cisse could be the first player this season to score in 7 consecutive matches.
    You predict 2-0 so does Lawro. I’ll be well happy with that.
    Another clean sheet will be great for the defence.
    Howay the Lads.


  4. Toonsy, I give some credit to Stoke for their aggressive approach to their games. I used to like playing that way when I was playing. The opposition players always knew I was there when it came to tackling etc.. I was never a dirty player (my opinion 😀 ) but I liked the hard stuff… As far as the towel goes.. It was some of the best tactics I have seen all year with Simmo and the towel – classic stuff…


  5. Not sure, but I heard somewhere that we haven’t lost a match that Perch has started ❓ 😯
    But will he get a game tomorrow ? As I think Cabaye Jonas and Tiote will be our starting midfield. Probably have to start on the Bench. 😕


  6. Ha whoever you heard it from is horrendously wrong BB!!

    Be careful what you wish for, Lawro is now being nice to us and I don’t particuarly like it! Fair play to his predictions this week, a lot of pundits have tried to magnify the alleged “Ba situation” but Lawro has chosen not to make a mountain out of a non-existent mole hill.


  7. BB – Norwich springs to mind right away. Perch and Simmo at CB. Still reckon we’d have got something if Gosling didn’t get sent off 👿


  8. Aussie – True enough. I was the same when I played. Was even worse when I just played for fun though 😛

    I just think Stoke take it too far at times, although it seems that officials have worked them out now and they receive punishment accordingly.


  9. Don’t get me wrong Toonsy, I wouldn’t be happy if Newcastle played that way but I don’t mind players mixing it up….

    I must admit I lost count of the times that I had to tell the ref that I “got the ball” :mrgreen:
    The really were a blind lot…. 😀


  10. I didn’t think they played soccer back in your day? I thought it was just that funny game with a round pitch and three sticks that you can score points from by kicking into the goal or going wide of it 😆


  11. As mentioned before I echo concerns for the legs of our front three against that teutonic thug Huth, and the horrible Shawcross who is also fond of the odd horror. hopefully hatem will dance round them. Will Pards revert to 4-4-2 at home of all places? doubt it – the 4-3-3 is a mortal blow to most teams at the moment and we must go in to win not savage a point.


  12. Toonsy 🙂 🙂 I thought Ritchie was the only smart arse around this site 🙂

    Oh, and its 4 sticks and its an oval! 🙂 🙂


  13. Cant blame Stoke for playing like they do, Pulis gets the best out of limited side and their success all depends on how much they get away with, shudder to think what Huth and his band of thugs have in store for Ben Arfa if the referee is weak.


  14. The only reason they are limited is because of Pulis though, he has one tactic, and is a shit manager if I’m being honest. He wreaks of double standards and is one of the biggest moaners in the league. Stoke shelled out 10m for Crouch, they could have probably got a couple of decent premier league standard players for that who could actually play football…but he wouldn’t know how to play them.

    Fuck him and fuck Stoke, they need relegated.


  15. Yeah he’s hoping Stoke don’t try and maul Cisse or Benny anyway 😕 The 4-4-2 would obviously be a good counter to their formation, but there were a number of reasons we won that, mainly Demba and Jonas being on fire. Stick to 4-3-3 and let them worry about us!

    I do worry about their set pieces though. Cisse and Ba might be bigish but compared to stoke they’re nowt, their aerial strength isn’t that of Ameobi’s and Ba has already given a pen away against them, we’ll need to be very careful.

    Add to that we may well have a new keeper involved who hardly knows the defence…..Willo is like the only tall member of our squad, he can’t mark em all 😕


  16. “Add to that we may well have a new keeper involved who hardly knows the defence” 😯
    Have I missed something ❓


  17. awaiting conspiracy theorists invading the blog with regards to Tim Krul’s “injury”/transfer rumours.
    with a generous dollop of sauce 😆


  18. Pardew said Krul would be fine yesterday. Just a jarred back.

    I have just looked at twitter and i am AMAZED!

    JAMES PERCH IS TRENDING ON TWITTER! WTF? And then theres just loads of people putting his name into famous legends like:

    Sir Geoff Perchst
    Robin Van Perchie etc.

    I have no clue how this happend….


  19. Aussie – I’ve just been in Melbourne and Adelaide for 3 weeks – 1st time in Aus – and I got really into that AFL stuff. Decided to support Collingwood as they’re known as the Magpies!

    Good game like, much better than NFL or Rugby. Good pace to it and pretty hardcore too. You watch it much?


  20. #perchfootballer was actually trending worldwide 😯 not just in the UK 😯

    Publicity stunt from Ashley to sell him the Russians, Arabs, Chinese for loads of money? I think I’ve cracked it!


  21. Evil Franky – Agreed. This is why creative players like Tuncay never lasted five minutes under Pulis.


  22. BB – Krul is only pretending to be injured as the move to Chelsea has been agreed. My source told me so. Basically he wants out so bad he doesn’t want to play to risk any injury and scupper the move 😛


  23. EF – I don’t 😆

    Shit place, shit fans. Sat in the away end far too often watching dire displays 👿

    Plus this whole “loudest fans in the land” pisses me off. It would be as they pipe crowd noise through the PA speakers 🙄

    Rossco – Paul Collingwood supports the Mackems though. Someone has to I guess :mrgreen:


  24. Toonsy – They pump the fan noise through the PA?! What a bunch of fucking muppets.

    They are sly bunch of twats that try and leverage every possible rule/discrepancy to aid their shit tactics rather than try and change their actual game.

    Stupidly small pitch
    Time wasting
    Watering the oppositions half but not their own
    And that PA thing just takes the bloody piss, arseholes!

    Oh and a fucking shit strip 😆


  25. Seriously mate. I twigged on when they thumped us 4-0 last season. Was just stood there and the ball was just being played around the middle of the pitch. Not a hint of a goal threat and all of a sudden I hear the whole crowd go “OoooooH” as in like when someone goes close to scoring, then a round of applause. I thought WTF!?

    So I listened a bit more, and there was loads of bits of applause for nothing that warranted it on the pitch. Marktoon and Jay Jay were there also and heard it.


  26. That is completely mental, it’s actually fucking pathetic that they feel the need to do that.

    Hate them even more now 👿


  27. Nice one Rossco, glad you enjoyed your trip…..poor choice of team even tho they are the magpies… they are a little like man u… if you don’t support collingwood you fecking hate them… my suggestion is to support anyone but those fukers 🙂


  28. Yea someone said they were a bit like Man U. Maybe I’ll change my mind then. I spent a few days in Geelong and liked it there and met some great lads in Apollo Bay from there too so maybe I’ll go for them. Which teams yours?


  29. West Coast Eagles, Rossco… Nothing wrong with Geloong, if you had a good time in the area…


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