Stoke Too Strong For MagpiesStats
Stoke v Newcastle
Newcastle travel to Stoke with the visitors desperately in need of a win in their attempts to get off the foot of the Premier League table.
A much-changed Stoke side reached the last 16 of the Capital One Cup last Tuesday when they won 2-1 at Sunderland thanks to a brace from Spanish full-back Marc Muniesa in either half.
That result was in keeping with the fine away performances so far this season for Mark Hughes’ side, as the Potters have now won two and drawn two of their games aways form the Britannia this season, including an excellent 1-0 win over champions Manchester City at the Etihad last month.
Their home form has been very different though with only a Capital One Cup win over Portsmouth to show for their efforts at the Britannia following Premier League defeats at the hands of Aston Villa and Leicester despite dominating both games.
Muniesa, Peter Crouch, Jonathan Walters and new arrival Mame Biram Diouf have all scored twice for Stoke this season.
Despite looking like a club in absolute turmoil, Newcastle have shown good spirit to earn a win and a draw after coming from behind in each of their last two games.
The largely forgotten Papiss Cisse came off the bench to score twice and salvage a 2-2 draw against Hull at St James’ Park last weekend then Emmanuel Riviere scored his first two goals for the club in midweek before Paul Dummett headed an extra-time winner in their 3-2 Capital One Cup win over Crystal Palace in midweek.
Boss Alan Pardew is still under serious pressure though, as his side are anchored to the bottom of the league table having failed to pick up a Premier League win all season, with just three points from five games and no goals in either of their two away games away from Tyneside.
Midfielder Walters is doubtful for Stoke with a calf problem and will be assessed closer to kick-off, Geoff Cameron is sidelined with a hernia problem and forward Peter Odemwingie is expected to miss most of the season having undergone surgery on a cruciate knee injury earlier this week.
Yoann Gouffran, Tim Krul and Cisse could all miss out again for Newcastle after the trio were all absent from the team for the win over Crystal Palace through illness. Ryan Taylor, Rolando Aarons, Siem de Jong and Davide Santon are all out for another month at least while Mehdi Abeid is suspended after his sending off in extra-time of the Capital One Cup tie.
Head to Head
There’s absolutely nothing between the sides since Stoke earned promotion to the top flight in 2008 with both recording four wins and drawing twice, while a 3-1 win back in October 2011 is the only time the Toon Army have left the Britannia with all three points.
Dutch full-back Erik Pieters scored the only goal of the game in this fixture last season to earn revenge for the Potters after they suffered a 5-1 hammering at St James’s Park having been reduced to nine men before half-time.
Despite their poor results on their own patch and an improvement in Newcastle’s fortunes of late, it’s very hard to look beyond Stoke for a home win here at a price that looks to be excellent value at 11/10.
Mark Hughes’ men have been better than their points tally suggests while Pardew’s have been every bit as bad as theirs does.
Five goals in a week for the Magpies make both teams scoring a worthy bet at 10/11 and over 2.5 goals likewise at 23/20 but there’s little need to over-complicate things and at similar odds three points for the Potters makes most sense.