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Preview: Newcastle United vs. Stoke City

Sports Mole previews this Saturday's Premier League game between Newcastle United and Stoke City at St James' Park.

Newcastle United are in desperate need of a victory when they host Stoke City at St James' Park on Saturday given that they have just one Premier League win in the bag.

Steve McClaren's side looked to have turned their fortunes around before they lost their sixth straight derby against Sunderland at the weekend, while the Potters' four-game unbeaten run has come to an end.


Newcastle United

Newcastle United manager Steve McLaren stands on the side line with his fingers crossed as his team are 2 goals down during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland AFC and Newcastle United FC at the Stadium of Light on October 25, 2015 in Sun© Getty Images

It has not been the greatest of starts to Steve McClaren's career as Newcastle manager as he has overseen the Magpies win just once in 10 Premier League games this season.

In addition, the North-East outfit have recorded three draws and six defeats, the latest of which came against their enemies Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last weekend.

Prior to the Wear-Tyne derby there was optimism around St James' Park that Newcastle could finally go on a winning run after they thumped Norwich City 6-2 on home turf.

Georginio Wijnaldum scored four goals, Ayoze Perez nabbed one and Aleksandar Mitrovic also got on the scoresheet during a performance that McClaren and the fans had been yearning for.

In the following weekend it was doom and gloom again as Sunderland ran out 3-0 winners, claiming their sixth consecutive triumph over their arch rivals.

However, the result did not reflect the performance as Newcastle were arguably the better side in the first half, but the game unravelled for the Magpies when Fabricio Coloccini conceded a penalty and was sent off for shoving Steven Fletcher in the box.

After the game Newcastle lodged an appeal against the red card, and they were right to do so as the Football Association overturned the punishment.

While justice was served in that sense, the result still stands, meaning that Newcastle are more desperate than ever to taste victory for the second time in the league this season.

Overall, McClaren's side have kept just one clean sheet this season, conceding 22 goals and firing in just 12, but they have a slight advantage over Stoke this weekend as they were not involved in Capital One Cup action, while the Potters had to take on Chelsea on Tuesday.

Recent form: LLDLWD
Recent form (all competitions): LLDLWD


Stoke City

Stoke City's Welsh manager Mark Hughes arrives on the pitch for the second half of the English League Cup fourth round football match between Stoke City and Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England on October 27, 2015. © Getty Images

The Potters have been quietly going about their business under manager Mark Hughes - not pulling up trees, but grinding out results, particularly in the last couple of months.

Stoke had gone unbeaten in four Premier League matches, claiming a 2-2 draw against Leicester City and wins over Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Swansea City.

Hughes took charge of his 100th Stoke game last weekend when they welcomed promoted side Watford to the Britannia, but it was a game to forget for the Welshman as he oversaw his side suffer a 2-0 defeat.

They had the chance to recover against Chelsea in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup on home turf on Tuesday, and they managed to do just that by beating the Blues 5-4 on penalties.

Chelsea had plenty of chances to grab the win in normal time, but Stoke weathered the storm and their goalkeeper Jack Butland ended up being the hero as he saved Eden Hazard's penalty to send the Potters through to the quarter-finals.

The win was extra special for Stoke given that they held off a Chelsea side while playing with 10 men in extra time following Phil Bardsley's sending-off.

Along with the boost from midweek, the Potters head into this weekend's match against Newcastle on the back of an impressive away run in the league.

Hughes's side have lost just one of their five trips on the road and that defeat was against title contenders Arsenal, who earned a 2-0 triumph thanks to goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud.

Stoke won their last two away games by just a single goal.

Recent form: LDWWWL
Recent form (all competitions): WWWWLW


Team News

Jack Colback of Newcastle United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton at St James Park on August 9, 2015 in Newcastle, England. © Getty Images

The disappointing news for Newcastle is that they will reportedly be without midfielder Jack Colback until the New Year after he picked up an injury during the Wear-Tyne derby last weekend.

Vurnon Anita replaced Colback at the Stadium of Light and he may do so again when the Magpies face Stoke at St James' Park, but the good news is that Coloccini will be available to play in defence after his red card was overturned.

Perez and Mitrovic are likely to start up front for the home side, while Wijnaldum will provide attacking threat from midfield.

Stoke suffered a casualty against Chelsea in midweek as Hughes confirmed this afternoon that Marc Muniesa will be out of action for at least a month with a hamstring injury.

Geoff Cameron will also miss this weekend's game with an injury, but Erik Pieters is back after serving a one-match suspension and Glen Johnson should be fit to play.

Ryan Shawcross is expected to make his second start of the season in defence after recently recovering from back surgery.

Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Elliot; Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett; Sissoko, Tiote, Anita, Wijnaldum; Perez, Mitrovic

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters; Adam, Whelan, Shaqiri, Krkic; Arnautovic, Joselu


Head To Head

The statistics lean towards Stoke as they have executed two wins out of their last three meetings with Newcastle, but the most recent ended in a draw.

The last time that these two sides met at St James' Park was in February when Peter Crouch scored in the 90th minute to earn a point against Newcastle, who struck in the 74th minute through Colback.

In the last six Premier League matches between the two sides on Tyneside, Newcastle have won three, drawn two and lost just the once, and they are unbeaten in the last four match-ups.

Stoke striker Jonathan Walters seems to enjoy playing against the North-East outfit as he has scored four Premier League goals against them.


Video Preview

Hit play below to see what the Sports Mole Sofa had to say about this encounter:



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We say: Newcastle United 2-1 Stoke City

Wins have been hard to come by for Newcastle this season, but after the disappointment of the Wear-Tyne derby, McClaren's side will be determined to get a result in front of their fans. The team put in a decent performance against Sunderland and had Coloccini not been unlucky enough to get sent off, it could have been a different result. Stoke's away form is strong and they could get on the scoresheet this weekend, but Newcastle are due to a bit of luck and could gain just their second league victory of the season on Saturday.



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Jack Colback of Newcastle United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton at St James Park on August 9, 2015 in Newcastle, England.
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