Newcastle are looking to bounce back from yet another derby defeat as they welcome Stoke City to St James’ Park.
Any Magpies fans who thought the 6-2 win over Norwich represented a corner turned were brought back down to earth with the 3-0 reverse at the Stadium of Light, which sealed a sixth successive Tyne-Wear defeat for the Toon.
Newcastle have a good recent record against the Potters at St James’ Park, however; they have won three of the last four meetings, including a 5-1 success on Boxing Day 2013 which saw the visitors reduced to nine-men.
This fixture is also a repeat of the last Premier League fixture which fell on Halloween; on that occasion in 2011 Newcastle ran out 3-1 winners at the Britannia Stadium thanks to a Demba Ba hat-trick.
Stoke’s midweek success over Chelsea in the Capital One Cup provided a welcome boost and was the perfect response to a disappointing home defeat to Watford last weekend.
Mark Hughes’ side have recovered from a disappointing start but remain in the bottom half. They have lost just one of their last five away games and are hoping to win three in a row on the road for the first time in the Premier League.
Defeat in the north-east, however, and Stoke could end the weekend just three points above the bottom three – it would not be the start that Potters fans had in mind when exciting talents such as Ibrahim Affelay and Xherdan Shaqiri joined the club in the summer.
Fabricio Coloccini will take his place at the heart of the Newcastle back four after having his red card picked up against Sunderland overturned, but Jack Colback will miss the next six weeks after picking up an injury against his former club; Vurnon Anita is likely to deputise.
Defensive trio Marc Muniesa, Geoff Cameron and Phil Bardsley miss out for the visitors, but Hughes is boosted by a possible return for Ryan Shawcross, who is set to make his first league appearance of the season after coming through the midweek cup win unscathed.
League Position: Newcastle – 19th (6 pts); Stoke – 14th (12 pts)
|Last Meeting: Newcastle 1-1 Stoke – February 8th, 2015
Key Men: Newcastle – Georginio Wijnaldum; Stoke – Bojan Krkic
Form: Newcastle – LLDLWL; Stoke – LDWWWL
Shoot Says: Newcastle 2-2 Stoke