Stoke City Vs Newcastle United match preview

Posted on October 30th, 2011 | 21 Comments |

Stoke City supporters
They have shirt hating weight watchers too!
Venue: Britannia Stadium, Sir Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-upon-Trent.
Date: Monday, October 26th, 2011.
Kick-off: 8:00pm.
Referee: Mike Dean.
TV: Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports HD 1.

Well, The Magpies must pick themselves up from their disappointing capitulation against Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup and prepare themselves for a trip to another of the nation’s great beauty spots, Stoke-upon-Trent.

A game against Tony Pulis’s hard tackling long throwing giants will be no Vicarage tea party, that’s for sure, and though there probably won’t be much “Champagne football” on the menu, it will be a stiff test for the lads. Especially so after a gruelling extra time midweek thriller which ultimately ended in disappointment. As if that wasn’t enough, we could also be without our own head of enforcement, Mr T, but more on that in the team news. Consolation for us however is that whilst the Magpies were exerting themselves in the ultimately doomed encounter at Ewood Park, Stoke were also playing in the competition, suffering the same kind of disappointment when they were knocked out by Liverpool in a 2-1 defeat.

If you won’t be at the game, make sure to check out our regular “match banter” feature, which will be posted around an our before kick off.

Focusing on Stoke City’s performance thus far at the Britannia Stadium this season, it’s unsurprising to find that they are undefeated. Starting with a 0-0 draw versus Chelsea, they then went on to defeat Liverpool 1-0 thanks to a John Walters penalty. Next up was a 1-1 draw against champions Manchester United, and most recently they defeated Fulham 2-0. As you can see, this season they have already encountered three of the top six clubs in the Premier League at home, and more than matched their opponents.

Now to focus on Newcastle and away from St James’ Park, we have played four matches, starting with a win at Sunderland. This was followed by a fortunate point at Loftus Road versus QPR, and a 1-1 draw at Villa Park against Aston Villa. The match against Villa was in my opinion, one of our best performances so far this season, and if it was not for Shay Given, we would have picked up the maximum points. Our last away day was in Wolverhampton, where we prospered 2-1 thanks to top scorer Demba Ba, and a great solo goal from Jonas Gutierrez. So with United yet to taste Premier League defeat as yet, and Stoke unbeaten at the Britannia Stadium, Monday should certainly provide an interesting duel between the Magpies and the Potters.


Probably to nobodies surprise, Stoke have the tallest squad in the Premiership according to Opta, with an average height of around 6’1″.

In regards to pass completion, Stoke City have a percentage of 66.73% compared to Newcastle’s 73.49%. The pass completion statistics also include throw ins, hence why Stoke’s completion percentage may be fairly low. Looking into the pass completion in more detail, I found that Tim Krul has a completion rate of just 45%. Krul has been brilliant so far this season, but the one criticism he is subjected to at times, notably from Alan Pardew, is his kicking. In comparison, his opposite number Asmir Begovic, has a pass completion of 64.14%. Both ‘keepers have kept 4 clean sheets so far, but Begovic has conceded 11 goals compared to Krul’s 6 goals. Krul has also caught more crosses than Begovic, with 23 catches, Begovic has currently 10 catches to his name thus far. Krul in total has made 23 saves this season, Begovic has made 30.

Away from the goalkeeping aspect, Newcastle have completed 62 dribbles, with Stoke only completing 36 dribbles. Stoke have attempted 196 crosses, with a completion of 20%. Newcastle slightly better that, with a total of 205 crosses, with a completion percentage of 24%.

Newcastle have a shooting accuracy of 44% from 89 shots, with Stoke having the lowest shooting accuracy in the Premier League with only a 34% success rate from 64 shots on goal. However, both Newcastle and Stoke share the same chance conversion percentage, currently on 13%.

Finally, Newcastle have yet to beat Stoke in the Premiership in their four previous encounters, and haven’t beaten the Potters at their place for 26 years. 1990 was the year of the Magpies’ last League victory against the Potters, so it’s definitely time for a change there!

Stoke City Vs Newcastle United – History

Since the Premier League’s formation, Newcastle and Stoke have met each other twice at the Britannia, with the first encounter ending as a 1-1 draw, with Andy Carroll looping in a great header to rescue a point for the Magpies during the 2008 – 2009 season.

Last seasons duel, resulted in Newcastle getting hammered 4-0. This was partly due to Alan Pardew tinkering with the tactics, and employing a 5-3-2 formation, to try and combat Stoke’s bombardment on throw ins and long balls into the box. The inclusion of the tree stump shape of Sol Campbell didn’t exactly help matters either, but Tony Pulis acknowledged what Newcastle had tried to set out and do, and combated it efficiently with Pennant and Etherington causing a lot of problems down the flanks. Pardew held his hands up after the match, and admitted he got it wrong, and admirably, didn’t blame the players (notably Campbell) for the poor display. This however was the last match we saw Sol start for Newcastle…

Team News

Shola Ameobi and Mike Williamson are both out and Cheick Tiote is rated as doubtful. Though Steven Taylor has a broken nose, he is expected to play after being fitted for one of those special face masks earlier in the week. Leon Best has contracted tonsillitis, so looks likely to miss out.

Meanwhile, Stoke will be missing Mamady Sidibe and Ricardo Fuller, but Jermaine Pennant should feature after suffering from a thigh problem.

Stoke City (from): Asmir Begović (G), Carlo Nash (G), Thomas Sørensen (G), Andy Wilkinson, Ryan Shawcross, Jonathan Woodgate, Marc Wilson, Robert Huth, Matthew Upson, Danny Higginbotham, Ryan Shotton, Glenn Whelan, Jermaine Pennant, Rory Delap, Wilson Palacios, Matthew Etherington, Salif Diao, Dean Whitehead, Jonathan Walters, Diego Arismendi, Tom Soares, Michael Tonge, Florent Cuvelier, Matthew Lund, Kenwyne Jones, Peter Crouch, Cameron Jerome.

Knacked: Fuller (achilles tendon), Sidibe (knee).

Doubtful: Higginbotham (knee).

Suspended: None.

Newcastle United (from): Tim Krul (G), Rob Elliot (G), Ryan Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Steven Taylor, Danny Simpson, Davide Santon, James Perch, Tamás Kádár, Shane Ferguson, Jonás Gutiérrez, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Gabriel Obertan, Sylvain Marveaux, Haris Vučkić, Dan Gosling, Mehdi Abeid, Leon Best, Demba Ba, Hatem Ben Arfa, Peter Lovenkrands, Sammy Ameobi, Nile Ranger.

Knacked: Shola Ameobi (hamstring), Mike Williamson (ankle / foot).

Doubtful: Cheik Tioté (knee).

Suspended: None.

Probable formation

Our probable formation against Stoke.
Our probable formation against Stoke.
Had Leon Best been fit, I would expect a return to the frequent 4-4-2 from Wednesday nights 4-4-1-1, with Best recalled to the starting line up in place of Hatem Ben Arfa. Since it’s unlikely Best will feature, I would have expected Ameobi to deputise in a 4-4-2. Obviously Shola is absent, so that leaves us with either Lovenkrands or Ben Arfa as our forward options. I think Pardew will plump for Lovenkrands and partner him up top with Ba in a 4-4-2, though Pardew could use the 4-2-3-1 formation, and include an extra midfielder.

On the other end of the pitch, Danny Simpson will likely return to the defence as will Ryan Taylor. Gabriel Obertan will replace Sylvain Marveaux, but I expect Danny Guthrie to start in place of Cheick Tiote if our chief enforcer isn’t passed as fit enough to start.

We all know what to expect from Stoke, every team that travels to the Britannia Stadium has a game plan, or a way of trying to combat Rory Delap’s inevitable long throw, trouble is these plans rarely work. Stoke focus much of their attacking down the flanks, with Pennant and Etherington the main threat. Newcastle are very similar in that respect, focusing our play down the flanks, utilising Jonas and Obertan. I don’t envisage a pretty game of football on Monday night, but I don’t think Pardew will do anything specific to alter our usual game plan. He doesn’t need to remind the lads to stay alert during set-piece scenarios, nor to give away needless free-kicks in dangerous areas. The duo of Crouch and Walters up top are beginning to find some sort of cohesion, with Walters always impressing me, much like he did last season. Tottenham were supposed to have been our first “test” of the season, I’m more inclined to believe that this particular match should, at least on paper, be our most difficult test so far this season.


Don’t expect anything out of the ordinary on Monday night. Nothing will shock you about what you’re likely to witness. Again, every ‘pundit’ on the planet is tipping United to lose finally, so in the context of things, and my animosity towards most pundits, I will tip Newcastle to once again defy the odds and prosper come Monday night by avoiding defeat and picking up at least a point. Perhaps my confidence is not the general feel amongst most towards this particular fixture, but I can see us picking up something. If we don’t pick anything up, and we do lose, it’s not the end of the world. Stoke is a tough place to visit, just ask Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea…

You can also read our review of what the managers are saying in the build up to the game here.

Howay The Lads!

NUFCBlog Author: Jimbob Backpacker extraordinaire and current resident of sunny Sheffield. Loves Marmite, hates peanut butter. Sleeps twice a day, wrestles Polar Bears because he can and regards himself as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce. Jimbob has written 40 articles on this blog.

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21 Responses

  1. Just a thought, is it just a coincidence that Stoke has the narrowest pitch in the premiership (70yards) ?
    Mmmmm Delap,throwins. Embarrassingly sad I say.

  2. Austin says:
    October 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    “Just a thought, is it just a coincidence that Stoke has the narrowest pitch in the premiership (70yards) ?”

    Didn’t it used to be Arsenal at Highbury too Austin? Though their style was just about as far away from Stoke as you can get!

  3. Newcastle have completed 62 dribbles, with Stoke only completing 36 dribbles……
    I can’t think of a comment I wouldn’t be ashamed of !

    sorry Jimbob

    but I agree in hopeing for a 5 man midfield, leaving Ba upfront, Guthrie (earned his place) sitting back hehind Cabye and Gosling (got to use him sometime) – bringing on HBA when Stoke tire.


  4. kruls kicking 45% Christ they do stats on kicking??, didn’t know hoofing the ball clear would be a percentage

  5. 1 point & we finish october in 3rd – who would have predicted it? unbeaten & best defence in the PL
    – we won’t finish this high but it’s no fluke
    – with the way Spurs, Liverpool & Arsanal are going we should finish in the top 7 in the most open season for years, so let’s get the job done the morra !


  6. FFS, crosses, dribbles, shots, what the hell do we care about meaningless stats, this aint baseball or basketball !
    And you expect, Obertan, Guthrie and of all people Lovenkrands ?
    C’mon Jimbob !
    We have two great players in Marveaux and Ben Arfa, and you want them to sit, to let fu**ing Guthrie and Obertan start ?
    Been watching Man citeh and Barca, lately ?
    All little skillful guys, who can interchange positions and both set up and get their goals.
    Watch the Arsenal/Chelsea game, this is modern football, stop thinking in terms of fixed positions and roles, it’s as much out of date as the 2-3-5 lineup.
    Shit i give up!
    Still looking for the messianic number “9” with two wingers to supply him, Aaaaarrrrggghhh !

  7. Jaysus !
    thats some trio of cave men, hopefully all the Stoke fans dont look so intimidating.
    Used to think the big bellied topless Geordie fans, we are used to seeing were a macho bunch, but these guys are summat else.
    All part of the Britannia experience i suppose.
    I think we can take the points, that is if they don’t field Jimbobs selection and the fact Stoke have been poor lately.
    Well its a late lunch at the local followed by a few Amstels, while watching us beat Stoke.
    Dont take it to heart Jimbob, you are doing a great job and it’s appreciated.

  8. Krul
    SImmo Saylor Colo Raylor
    Guthrie Abeid(Tiote/Gosling)
    Jonas Cabaye Marveaux

    Five man midfield with some options going forward too.

  9. Jimbob,

    The team you suggest looks good to me. Usual defence. Hopefully Saylor’s mask doesn’t make him too hesitant.

    As Stoke attack down the wings we therefore need Jonas and Obertan who we know will track back and support our fullbacks and have the pace for a quick counterattack.

    The only query I have is with Lovenkrands. I feel we need to bolster our central midfield more than our attack. We need to contain or stop Stoke building play from the middle. Therefore, I would consider Mehdi Abeid or Dan Gosling (over Smith) as alternatives with a preference for Abeid.

    I had wondered whether Santon could play in this role as he has height (much needed against the Stoke giants), can tackle, has pace and can shoot. It would be a high risk selection especially as he hasn’t yet come to terms with the premiership, bit like Enrique when he first arrived.

    If we get a draw we would have played really well and have yet again confounded the pundits.

  10. Where do I say that formation and team is what I want Chuck? It is the team I think Pardew will pick. If Best is not fit, Lovenkrands will start. Read the article properly in the future.

  11. Kamar, I would also opt with a midfield 5. Wigan caused us trouble with theres until we changed to 4411. Everytime we play against teams who play with a 5, we struggle.

  12. Couple of questions:- Why would we use Lovenkrands upfront, sorry but we wouldnt pick up anything with him uptop. we surely have to go with HBA. what a kick in the teeth if our playmaker gets overlooked for loverman??

    second of all.. This prediction league (that im top of by the way hehe) does it end at the end of december or does it end in 3 games time? cheers

  13. hba would get raped by stoke, perhaps we cant protect the boy too much – but i could see them breaking his goddamn spine.

    I’d prefer Gosling to start in 5 mid – but suspect Obertan will get the nod in 4-4-2, just hope he starts finding his stride with all the game time he’s getting.






    -Then SammyAm for last 15/20 mins to push forward and grab a point.

  14. My 5 man midfield would be an ideal way of replacing Tiote (it takes 2, Guth and Gos, cos Tiptoe’s THAT good), they can provide def cover to either wing, while wide men with pace get up and into attacking positions that support Ba – i’m not talking about just crossing, played on the deck being preferred.

  15. Damn!@!@! Cheers hugh. looks like ill just have to step up my efforts for the final push :)

  16. @milner. i second that formation. Im a fan of gosling and would love to see him in the team. anything but lovenkrands tho.

  17. Chuck @ 6 and 7.

    Chuck can I ask a question? We all know you have watched man city and Barcelona but have you actually watched the toon play lately?

    If you did you would understand why Obetan would come in for marvaux and lovenkrands for arfa.

    I will let you tell me how great both marvaux and arfa played before being brought off against blackburn.

    Yes they are both very skillfully players but marvaux does not defend like Obetan and Jonas do, leaving us week at the back. Stoke isn’t a game marvaux would help us with.

    Lovenkrands had a better few minutes than arfa had all game.

    And I attend every home and away game just Incase you are wandering.

    So chuck on your paper your ethics,might work.
    But in the real world……….

  18. Saylor & Milner – I agree, see my post at 3 above. Guthrie has earned his place & Gosling needs a atart.