EPL: Newcastle United vs Stoke City Preview

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London, Mar 10: Newcastle return to Premier League action following a 0-0 draw in Russia against Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League, while Stoke City look to end their miserable league run.

Six points clear from the drop, Newcastle were expected to be in the top-half of the table following an impressive finish last season. Their consistency has been hit this season following injuries to key players and a run of poor results sent them rock bottom in the league.

Newcastle United vs Stoke City Preview

But the January additions and the French recruits have made a significant contribution in reshaping the squad. They have won three of their last five league games and will be looking to make it three consecutive home wins.

On the other hand, Stoke are known for their defensive strengths but Tony Pulis' side have fallen flat lately. Their home defeat to West Ham last time out was their sixth defeat in the last eight games.

The Potters have the worst league record in 2013, picking up only four points in eight matches and have failed to score 12 league games, more than any other club in the top flight.

Stoke were difficult to break down at the start of the season and also had the best defensive record. But that defence has failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 10 games.

Team News

Papiss Cisse will be given a late fitness test after missing their Europa League tie in midweek. Mathieu Debuchy and Yoan Gouffran return to the squad, but Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul are sidelined with injuries.

Robert Huth will miss the clash due to suspension. Potters winger Matthew Etherington could be available despite a back problem.

Trivia:

*Stoke won 2-1 in the reverse fixture at the Britannia Stadium

*Newcastle have 30 points from 28 games, 14 points less than at this stage of last season.

Probable Lineups:

Newcastle (4-4-2): Elliot-Debuchy, Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon-Gutierrez, Cabaye, Tiote, Gouffran-Sissoko-Cisse

Stoke City (4-4-2): Begovic-Wilson, Shawcross, Wilkinson, Shotton-Kightly, Whelan, Nzonzi, Etherington-Walters, Crouch

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