Both teams are going into this game on the back of 2-2 draws in the previous round of matches. Newcastle drew with Hull at St James’ Park, amid increasing pressure on manager Alan Pardew, Papiss Cisse scored two late goals to cancel out Nikica Jelavic and Mohamed Diamé’s Goals. Stoke City will be glad to be returning to the Britannia Stadium after a late goal for Niko Kranjcar stole QPR a point at Loftus Road.
Newcastle lead the head to head record by 38 wins to 25, with 18 games ending in draws. The last 6 matches have been split between the two teams, with each team winning three out of the six, including a 5-1 win for Newcastle in December 2013 and the most recent 1-0 win for Stoke City in April 2014.
Stoke have had a mixed start to the season, with one win, two draws and two losses, however performances from Diouf, Crouch and Moses will have pleased manager Mark Hughes. Diouf has two goals in five games, and has had the most attempts on goal in the Stoke City squad. Former England striker Peter Crouch has one goal and one assist to his name so far this season, and has attempted more shots than any other Stoke City player. Despite this, the stand out player for Stoke City so far has been on loan midfielder Victor Moses, who has attempted 17 crosses and 19 dribbles earning one assist in his three matches.
Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross, midfielder Stephen N’Zonzi and defenders Phil Bardsley and Marc Wilson have all played every minute for Stoke this season, as well as goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who can be happy with his record so far in the Premier League, only allowing his side to concede five goals in five games, the third least in the premiership. Shawcross is key to these defensive strengths as well, and the England International has covered 50 km this season, third highest in the squad. The 26 year old has also got 11 tackles won, 52 clearances and 11 interceptions to his name.
Pardew will be hoping his team can take some of the pressure off of him with a win at Stoke, and midfielder Jack Colback will be crucial if this is going to happen, the 24 year old has the most passes completed and attempted for his team, as well as topping the crosses attempted charts. Colback has also covered an incredible 59km, which is trumped by just four players in the whole league.