Premier League: Newcastle United vs Stoke City match preview
A look ahead to the Boxing Day clash at St James’ Park
Wednesday 25 December 2013
After their disappointing campaigns last season, both sides will be delighted with their improved performances this term, with both occupying the top half of the table at Christmas.
Stoke will feel their decision to part company with Tony Pulis has been vindicated, with successor Mark Hughes rebuilding his reputation and confounding his critics with a succession of solid results and a definite departure from the ugly pragmatism of the Pulis years.
Nonetheless, Stoke are not exactly scoring for fun, with just five goals in their last six games, and they may find it tough against a Newcastle defence that have kept four clean sheets in their last eight matches.
The French connection is well and truly back at St James’ Park, with Mathieu Debuchy outstanding at right-back, Yohan Cabaye pulling the strings, and Loic Remy banging in the goals. With this Gallic flair allied to their defensive steel, Newcastle will be strongly fancied to continue their fine home run.
KICK OFF: Thursday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS
Newcastle 2 (Cabaye, Cisse) Stoke 1 (Walters), Premier League, March 2013
Stoke 2 (Walters, Jerome) Newcastle 1 (Cisse), Premier League, November 2012
Newcastle 3 (Cabaye 2, Cisse) Stoke 0, Premier League, April 2012
Newcastle and Stoke are locked at 3 wins each from their 8 Premier League meetings. They are also tied at 13 goals apiece in these encounters.
Newcastle have won the last 2 meetings at St James’ Park, though Stoke triumphed 1-2 in 2010.
Excluding own goals, 22 of Newcastle’s 23 Premier League goals this season have been scored by Frenchmen. Paul Dummett’s strike against Liverpool remains the odd one out.
Stoke have lost just 1 of their last 8 Premier League matches.
Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse has netted in the last 3 matches between the teams – but he hasn’t scored in the Premier League this season.
Newcastle to win: 1.72
Stoke to win: 5
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.25.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant