Newcastle Utd 5 - 1 Stoke City – 26/12/13

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Newcastle Utd 5 - 1 Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by Cal » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:35 am

Image
Boxing Day sees two sides battling it out on the back of wins topping off surges up the table through the second quarter of the season, Newcastle going from mid-table to flirting with the idea of a return to the Europa League, and Stoke from teetering on the edge of the relegation zone to the comfort of mid-table. This is only Newcastle’s second home Boxing Day game in eleven years, of which we’ve only won a single game, beating Bolton 2-0 two years ago.

Last season this fixture saw Stoke visit St James’ on a Sunday sandwiched between Europa League last 16 matches for the hosts against Anzhi. Following a bland first half where Newcastle failed to make anything of their possession, Cheick Tioté conceded a penalty which Walters converted with 23 minutes to go. This proved to be the wake-up call Newcastle needed and they hit back 5 minutes later via a sublime captain Cabaye free-kick from the edge of the box that clipped the crossbar on its way in.

Marveaux found Cissé with an incisive pass in injury time for him to coolly slot home 90+ minute winner, a feat he’d repeat four days later to see Newcastle progress in the Europa League. This win put us into 13th on 33 points, 7 clear of danger, with 9 games to go, and saw Pardew proclaim that we were safe from the drop. Campbell and Haïdara made their Premier League debuts in this match, with the latter playing from the start.

Except for a disappointing loss to Swansea, Newcastle have been in great form since the start of November, racking up 6 wins in 8 games, which should see Pardew’s men go into the game with some confidence. Our home form is also looking good, if a bit draw heavy (P8 W4 D3 L1), with our only loss at St James’ in the league being at the hands of Hull, however the visitors have notched up one more point at home.

In contrast, Stoke have been poor on the road this season, picking up just 5 points in 8 games, those points coming from a win over West Ham and draws with Hull and Swansea. While the Potters have struggled for goals all season, they’ve actually scored 7 goal away from home (0.875/game), compared to 6 at home despite an extra game. Their defensive record away from the Britannia is poor too, conceding 15 goals (1.875/game). While those stats might make good reading for Newcastle fans, over the last 6 games Stoke have picked up only 2 fewer points than Newcastle, putting the clubs 6th and 4th in the form table respectively, so they likely won’t be pushovers.

Newcastle will be weakened by the suspension of Tioté following his fifth yellow card of the season resulting in a one match ban. This is particularly troublesome as the midfield destroyer is neck and neck and Debuchy for ToonForumIndex player of the season so far, and when Pardew was without Cabaye against Southampton we saw him revert to 4-4-2 rather than going beyond Anita in the central midfield pecking order or taking Sissoko off the wing. On that note, however, Pardew favourite Gutiérrez has been recovering from his compassionate leave and may be fit to feature. It’s also possible that Pardew will begin to dip into our available fringe players and youngsters such as Bigirimana, who hasn’t played for the first team since August, or Marveaux, who has been missing since September.

Then we have the issue of Hatem Ben Arfa, in his recent substitute appearances he has impressed and changed the game, striking fear into the heart of opposition defenders, but then failing to make something of it or not having his team mates capitalise on the chances created, although he was given the penalty earned by Shola after the two caused the Palace defence trouble. However both Gouffran and Sissoko have been in good form of late, and Pardew’s experiments with Ben Arfa in the centre have failed, making it hard to justify including the mercurial one. Some have called for Gouffran to make way for Ben Arfa due to tending to have a good half hour or so and then go missing, but I feel that it would be unwise to go with a Santon & Ben Arfa left flank against Walters & Cameron.

This is how I’d set-up our side:
<krul>
<debuchy> <willo> <colo> <santon>
<cabaye> <sissoko> <anita>
<hba> <remy> <gouff>
Essentially the same team Pardew went with at Palace, but with Sissoko moved into the middle to make up for Tioté’s absence, and also to make room for Ben Arfa to return to the starting line-up. As for what Pardew will go with, I suspect Shola will start again, with the hope that he’ll be capable of dealing with Shawcross and Wilson to buy Rémy space, and we’ll go back to the 4-4-2, albeit with Anita and Cabaye in the middle. Hopefully he will stick with the 4-3-3 cum 4-5-1 though, we don’t want to get overrun in midfield against the 4-2-3-1 that Hughes’ Stoke play.

Stoke will be without Huth, who is out until the new year, but may have Etherington back to fitness following a back injury, although he has only played 99 minutes of first-team football since mid-September so is unlikely to start. It’s likely that Charlie Adam’s heroics from the bench will earn him a place ahead of the ineffective Arnautovic that he replaced at half-time against Villa, however it’s hard to predict exactly who Hughes will play as the midfield 5 of his 4-2-3-1 hasn’t been the same in back-to-back games recently, if ever.

A possible Stoke line-up:
Begovic
Cameron – Shawcross – Wilson – Pieters
Whelan – N’Zonzi
Walters – Adam – Ireland
Crouch
While Stoke’s recent form and our usual inability to win on Boxing Day suggest otherwise, I’m oddly optimistic about this match. My prediction is that Rémy will break his 5 game goal drought, if it can be called that yet, in the first half and we’ll look strong up until the break. As always we’ll come back out a bit more reserved and let them into the game for 20 minutes, during which time a back four without Tioté covering them and being troubled by Crouch will concede from a counter attack or set piece, before a substitute, be it Ben Arfa, Cissé or whoever else, bags us the winner. 2-1 and a bit of festive cheer for a change.

Where to Watch/Listen

The matchday box office is open from 9am until kick-off, prices start at £20 for adults and £5 for concessions.

There is no domestic televised coverage. Radio commentary will be on BBC Newcastle (local) and talkSPORT (international).

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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by Yacob » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:42 am

I think this will be comfortable again. 3-0. Cabaye, Remy and Debuchy to score. Stoke aren't great on the road, and we are very strong at home. Tiote will be a miss and like I said in the other thread, I'd be tempted to play Bigi, but I'd be happy with HBA starting as well. If Bigi doesn't even make the bench, Pardew is foolish. And Debuchy's goal will be from a corner <ok>

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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by Cal » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:44 am

I'd love to see Bigi get involved again, but I doubt Pardew will be willing to chuck him straight back in without having some cameo sub appearances recently or his hand forced.

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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by Yacob » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:48 am

Cal wrote:I'd love to see Bigi get involved again, but I doubt Pardew will be willing to chuck him straight back in without having some cameo sub appearances recently or his hand forced.
Well with Sissoko/Anita/Cabaye all starting, we have no central midfielders on the bench so surely Pardew has to put Bigi on the bench. Although I imagine Jonas will be our central midfield cover, which is frustrating. He has to get a loan in Jan, or his development will suffer. I don't understand why he doesn't get on the bench though, better option than Obertan. I don't think it's anything to do with the club not being happy with him either, as he captained the U21 team with Saylor and Jonas in it. I guess they just think he isn't ready but he was really good last year.

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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by KingoStarr » Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:10 am

We lost at home to Hull not Everton
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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by Colback's Orange Tufts » Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:11 am

you can call me yo wrote:
Cal wrote:I'd love to see Bigi get involved again, but I doubt Pardew will be willing to chuck him straight back in without having some cameo sub appearances recently or his hand forced.
Well with Sissoko/Anita/Cabaye all starting, we have no central midfielders on the bench so surely Pardew has to put Bigi on the bench. Although I imagine Jonas will be our central midfield cover, which is frustrating. He has to get a loan in Jan, or his development will suffer. I don't understand why he doesn't get on the bench though, better option than Obertan. I don't think it's anything to do with the club not being happy with him either, as he captained the U21 team with Saylor and Jonas in it. I guess they just think he isn't ready but he was really good last year.
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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by Cal » Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:26 am

KingoStarr wrote:We lost at home to Hull not Everton
Thanks, not sure how Everton got in there. <grim>

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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by LONDONTOON » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:07 pm

where going to annihilate them 3-1 with Debuchy Cabs and Remy scoring

howay the lads

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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by asbo » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:34 pm

KingoStarr wrote:We lost at home to Hull not Everton
He's messed up the Krul smiley too. Shoddy thread-making Cal. <disgrace>

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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by Cal » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:42 pm

That one's on Kingo for making me edit it. <wenger>

The blog is where it's really at anyway... <wah>

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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by Jaiston » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:46 pm

Cal wrote:That one's on Kingo for making me edit it. <wenger>

The blog is where it's really at anyway... <wah>

We have a blog?

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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by PLS » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:56 pm

Lawro's presiction.

Newcastle v Stoke City

Stoke have won two and drawn two of their league games in December but their improved form is not a big surprise to me.

Stoke have only lost one of their last eight league games since the start of November
It was always going to take their manager Mark Hughes a bit of time to get things right after taking over from Tony Pulis and they are starting to look more like they are Hughes's team - they are hard to play against but they try to play football too.
They were short of goals at the start of the season but slowly that change of style seems to be kicking in.
Newcastle are also on a good run too and they have gone under everyone's radar a bit.
They are sixth at Christmas and people seem to be forgetting to say what a good job their manager Alan Pardew has done.

The Magpies are at home, where they have only lost once in the league this season, and I think they will keep their run going.

If Pardew is not careful, he might end up qualifying for the Europa League next season. I am not sure he would want to.
That sounds a bit daft to say but Newcastle have a very good first XI yet their squad is not the strongest and they only have to look at Swansea to see that competition can become a hindrance.

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Guy Mowbray's prediction: Stoke are looking hard to beat again, and it's Newcastle law that they beat the big guns at home and toil in the games you'd think they were more likely to win. 1-1
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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by biggeordiedave » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:19 pm

Sensible enough prediction from Lawro. I agree with his point about Europe too. I know for a fact we wouldn't learn from the last campaign and would end up not winning the cup and scraping safety or worse <erk>.
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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by PLS » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:20 pm

biggeordiedave wrote:Sensible enough prediction from Lawro. I agree with his point about Europe too. I know for a fact we wouldn't learn from the last campaign and would end up not winning the cup and scraping safety or worse <erk>.
I would be quite happy were we to get to Europa to let someone like Pedro manage the Europa team with Fringe and youth players
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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by biggeordiedave » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:28 pm

Pardew's Legendary Specs wrote:
biggeordiedave wrote:Sensible enough prediction from Lawro. I agree with his point about Europe too. I know for a fact we wouldn't learn from the last campaign and would end up not winning the cup and scraping safety or worse <erk>.
I would be quite happy were we to get to Europa to let someone like Pedro manage the Europa team with Fringe and youth players
The problem is when our first team are injured, we rely very heavily on the fringe players. I think we'd need maybe four of five players as extra cover.
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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by Yacob » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:31 pm

Guy Mowbray knows us too well <neg>

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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by PLS » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:33 pm

biggeordiedave wrote:
Pardew's Legendary Specs wrote:
I would be quite happy were we to get to Europa to let someone like Pedro manage the Europa team with Fringe and youth players
The problem is when our first team are injured, we rely very heavily on the fringe players. I think we'd need maybe four of five players as extra cover.
Fine as cover.

I think one of the main problems is the manager not being able to plan properly for the matches, so would be very happy for someone else to take charge
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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by Toondes » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:39 pm

you can call me yo wrote:Guy Mowbray knows us too well <neg>
Newcastle's Law <awe>
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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by biggeordiedave » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:54 pm

Pardew's Legendary Specs wrote:
biggeordiedave wrote:
The problem is when our first team are injured, we rely very heavily on the fringe players. I think we'd need maybe four of five players as extra cover.
Fine as cover.

I think one of the main problems is the manager not being able to plan properly for the matches, so would be very happy for someone else to take charge
I think we were hit hard with the injuries at first though. Early on in the competition we had Vuckic, Raylor, Sameobi etc. but then they started getting dragged into the first team and then they got injured too <erk>.
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Re: Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Stoke City – 26/12/13

Post by PLS » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:01 pm

biggeordiedave wrote:
Pardew's Legendary Specs wrote:
Fine as cover.

I think one of the main problems is the manager not being able to plan properly for the matches, so would be very happy for someone else to take charge
I think we were hit hard with the injuries at first though. Early on in the competition we had Vuckic, Raylor, Sameobi etc. but then they started getting dragged into the first team and then they got injured too <erk>.
would say we have a bit more squad depth now though.

brought in a fair few players and only lost a couple.

Strikers
ba out/ remy in

Defenders
Simpson Out / Debuchy In
Haidara In
Yanga-Mbiwa In

Midfielders
Sissokho In
Gouffran In

So that's a net 4 players in for what i would say are squad players

Sissokho In
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