Friday, 5 December 2008

Newcastle v Stoke Premier League Preview: Can the Magpies Beat A Rejuvinated Potters Side At St James’ Park?


Newcastle United, play Tony Pulis’ Stoke City in the Premier League at St James’ Park On Saturday.

Joe Kinnear’s Magpies go into this clash with Premier League debutantes Stoke, having drawn three, won one and lost one in their last five matches in the Premiership. Newcastle drew 0-0, last time out against Middlesbrough, in the North East derby at the Riverside Stadium, but welcomed back Australian International Mark Viduka to the side, who Kinnear hopes can score the goals to enable the Toon to climb up the table. Where they are currently in 17th place and just off the drop zone by virtue of goal difference.

Stoke will be pleased by their recent form in their first season in the Premier League, with the Potters only losing once in their last six league games to Manchester United 5-0 at Old Trafford. This run has seen them beat Arsenal, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion at the Britannia Stadium, while drawing away to Hull City and Wigan Athletic. This sees Pulis’ side in 14th place in the table, but still only three points of the relegation zone, with a win at St James’ Park vital if they are to steer clear of a relegation fight.

Newcastle will be without Damien Duff (groin), Alan Smith (achilles), Ignacio Gonzalez (achilles) and Joey Barton (knee) for the visit of the Potters, while Kinnear will wait to see if Shola Ameobi (ankle) and Xisco (groin) can recover in time to feature against Stoke.

Stoke are still without Liam Lawrence (ankle), but Pulis could have Ryan Shawcross (back) and Dave Kitson (knee) available for the trip to the North East in this crunch Premier League clash.

Newcastle United: (from) Given, Coloccini, Taylor, Enrique, Cacapa, Guthrie, Martins, Owen, Bassong, N’Zogbia, Gutierrez, Xisco, Harper, Geremi, Beye, Butt, Ameobi, Kadar, Edgar, Forster, Tozer, Viduka, LuaLua, Carroll

Stoke City: (from) Sorensen, Griffin, Higginbotham, Olofinjana, Cort, Whelan, Soares, Cresswell, Fuller, Sidibe, Kitson, Pugh, Pericard, Matteo, Shawcross, Diao, De Laet, Davies, Tonge, Delap, Diagne-Faye, Phillips, Wilkinson, Simonsen, Dickinson, Sonko

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