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» Premier League: Newcastle - Stoke
Premier League: Newcastle - Stoke
Alan Pardew's side have struggled to keep goals out in front of their own fans in recent weeks, but have seen their form improve since the turn of the year
Newcastle manager Alan Parew's biggest injury concerns lie within the defense as both Fabricio Coloccini (back) and Ryan Taylor (knee) miss out.
Goalkeeping options Tim Krul (ankle) and Steve Harper (knee) both remain sidelined, allowing Rob Elliot to continue between the sticks.
Papiss Cisse was an absentee during his sides trip to Russia following illness but should return up front in a lone role ahead of Moussa Sissoko.
Hatem Ben Arfa completed 64 minutes on his return to the Newcastle team against Anzhi in midweek having recovered from a hamstring injury, and will add depth to Pardew's attacking options from the bench.
Stoke will be able to welcome back Matthew Etherington and Michael Owen - both of whom are available for selection having recovered from a back and hip injury respectively.
However Tony Pulis will have to contend without centre-back Robert Huth, who is serving the second of his three-match ban picked up for violent conduct during the defeat to Fulham.
Debuchy, Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon,
Gutierrez, Cabaye, Tiote, Gouffran ,
Wilson, Shawcross, Wilkinson, Shotton,
Kightly, Whelan, Nzonzi, Etherington,
DID YOU KNOW?
Newcastle United have conceded two goals in each of their last four home league games, losing twice.
The same fixture last season resulted in a comfortable 3-0 win for the Toon and saw them climb into the top four above Tottenham.
Over the past two seasons, whichever side emerged victorious in the first fixture between the two sides has gone on to win the second. Stoke City won the previous fixture 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium.
Stoke City's only away win in the league this season came at the start of December when Dean Whitehead scored the only goal of the game against West Brom.
The Potters have failed to score a single goal in five of their last six away games, which incidentally, is a run that immediately follows the victory at the Hawthorns.
Pulis' side have scored the fewest goals away from home (eight) than any other side, yet also have the best defensive record than any other team in the bottom half of the league when on their travels.
This fixture brings back bad memories for Stoke striker Peter Crouch (pictured above), who saw three of his teeth knocked out by Fabricio Coloccini during the 2-1 victory over Newcastle earlier in the season.
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