Vital Football

Latest Newcastle United News

Stoke v Newcastle TOTT Preview

Stoke v Newcastle TOTT Preview

The Toon visit the Potteries at a ground where no Newcastle side has yet lost hoping for a change in fortunes. Which Stoke will turn up, the FA Cup success story or the faltering league team?

Having achieved blanket coverage in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, Pardew has yet to face the awkward question about why his team has only won once in 9 games. How much more tactical naivety has to be displayed before his honeymoon period is over? The shambolic formations deployed against Everton, if repeated, could lead to a point-less March.

The only Newcastle win in over 10 weeks was against Birmingham City, the team which later qualified for Europe via the Carling Cup. Stoke are only one game away from an FA Cup final appearance and probable Europa League qualification, despite a run of only 2 wins in 8 league games, the last of those against Sunderland at the Britannia.

Whichever side win today, if either, should start to be looking safe in the top half of the table. Defeat brings the chasing pack of form teams below them within reach.

Pardew`s team selection starts at the back, with Harper seemingly the goalkeeping choice both for now and the start of next season. The furtures of understudies krul and Forster have yet to be decided.

The back four could see some change, Enrique apparently struggling to recover from the injury which saw him leave the field against the Toffees. Williamson and Coloccini look set for the middle, but the left back slot could go to any one of Simpson, Jonas or Shane Ferguson. The price is finally being paid for failure to find cover, apart from on loan Kadar, in numerous transfer windows. Perch is also a possibility to face the in form Pennant. Simpson, Perch and Steve Taylor are also options for right back.

Midfield also presents problems for once, despite the number of players on the books. Routledge is of course away on loan, with Barton having filled in on the right but also doubtful. Ryan Taylor who has also done the job remains suspended with Ireland yet to be it since his loan spell started. Despite the doubts out wide, the central core of Tiote and Nolan are both fit, but neither can afford a booking, being on 9 yellows each for the season.

There are choice up front. Recently, Best and Lovenkrands have been preferred, although the latter could be once again asked to fill in on either flank. Ameobi, who played a part on loan during Stoke`s promotion season, would surely relish the chance to stake his own claim. Ranger will value another run out as Kuqi seeks his first Premier League away goal since Boxing Day 2005.

Tony Pulis has worked wonders with this squad which includes a number of North East rejects and once again faces a goalkeeping dilemma, whether to stick with the cup keeper and former Mackem, Sorenson, or recall the giant Yugoslav, Begovic.

Abdoulaye Faye is a doubt against his former club against who he scored his first Stoke goal. Captain Shawcross leads his side from the back, with ex Smoggy, Huth set to start alongside him. More Mackems are available in the shape of the two Dannys, Higginbotham and Collins.

Given Newcastle`s defensive selection uncertainties, Pulis may opt to stretch the visitors on what is a narrow pitch. If so, the in form Pennant and former Pardew protégé Etherington can be expected to start, with yet another Mackem, Irishman Delap, always guaranteed his place. There are a host of potential partners from the Emerald Isle to keep him company, not least Marc Wilson and Glenn Whelan.

A familiar figure up front is Kenwynne Jones, used to paying in red and white stripes. On loan Carew is likely to miss out, as is Sidibe, leaving Walters and Fuller to battle it out for the last striking slot.

Referee for the occasion is Lee Mason, in charge for the last Newcastle win just down the M6 as well as the Liverpool match at St James. 3 of his last 4 outings with Stoke have resulted in draws.

This is a hard match to predict, the referee selection making a draw seem most likely. With the Toon`s last defeat in Stoke being over 30 years ago but with 6 draws in the last 9 visits. A draw would be a good result for the visitors with the amount of players out or doubtful, but should be achievable whilst the hosts bask in their cup glory.

Newcastle record at Stoke

P40 W9 D12 L19 F38 A59

Top flight

P31 W7 D9 L15 F26 A47

Stoke (from): Begovic, Sorensen, Huth, Wilson, Delap, Faye, Etherington, Whitehead, Jones, Collins, Fuller, Pugh, Whelan, Pennant, Wilkinson, Walters, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Diao, Shotton.

Newcastle (from): Harper, Krul, Simpson, Perch, Ferguson, Enrique, Coloccini, Williamson, Campbell, S. Taylor, Tiote, Barton, Nolan, Gutierrez, Guthrie, Vuckic, Richardson, Lovenkrands, Best, Ameobi, Ranger, Kuqi.



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Rexn
Date:Saturday March 19 2011
Time: 8:00AM

Comments

0
Good assesment Rex and much appreciated...
toon_nomatterwot
18/03/2011 23:47:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Newcastle United Articles

Rumours Claim Two Out With One In At Newcastle

Townsend and Krul will return to the Premier League with the likes of Watford, West Brom, Southampton, West Ham, Crystal Palace & Everton interested. Gayle could arrive?

Newcastle Announce Further Pre-Season Plans

Newcastle announced earlier that they will travel to Belgium at the end of July

Newcastle Confirm Dutch Game

Newcastle United finally confirmed today that we will play Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem at home.

Thank Fulham It's Friday.

Newcastle United found out that a trip to London is where we'll start

Archived TOTT Articles

TOTT articles from

Site Journalists

Ken Waugh
no email
Profile
TNMW
Editor email
Profile
Ian Smith
no email
Profile
Rexn
no email
Profile
BowburnMag
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Spurs MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Darlow11%
Janmaat0%
Taylor0%
Mbemba1%
Dummett0%
Tiote0%
Colback1%
Wijnaldum5%
Sissoko31%
Townsend46%
Mitrovic2%
Sub - Shelvey0%
Sub - Aarons1%
Sub - Sterry2%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Burnley 46 26 15 5 93 37
P Middlesbrough 46 26 11 9 89 32
3 Brighton 46 24 17 5 89 30
4 Hull City 46 24 11 11 83 34
5 Derby County 46 21 15 10 78 23
6 Sheff Wed 46 19 17 10 74 21
7 Ipswich 46 18 15 13 69 2
8 Cardiff 46 17 17 12 68 5
9 Brentford 46 19 8 19 65 5
10 Birmingham 46 16 15 15 63 4
11 Preston 46 15 17 14 62 0
12 Q.P.R. 46 14 18 14 60 0
13 Leeds Utd 46 14 17 15 59 -8
14 Wolves 46 14 16 16 58 -5
15 Blackburn 46 13 16 17 55 0
16 Forest 46 13 16 17 55 -4
17 Reading 46 13 13 20 52 -7
18 Bristol City 46 13 13 20 52 -17
19 Huddersfield 46 13 12 21 51 -11
20 Fulham 46 12 15 19 51 -13
21 Rotherham 46 13 10 23 49 -18
R Charlton 46 9 13 24 40 -40
R MK Dons 46 9 12 25 39 -30
R Bolton 46 5 15 26 30 -40
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Newcastle United Results (view all)

Newcastle United Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.officemonkey254
2.Toon_NoMatterWot205
3.billybobcat103
4.PieMag67
5.BLACKBOB60
6.OldLeazes48
7.Finn_the_Dog38
8.vin189238
9.keggy_keagal35
10.Mcnamee6728