HomeOTHEREPLNewcastle v Stoke | Stat Attack Preview

Newcastle v Stoke | Stat Attack Preview

How to win this one

Every team knows what to expect when Stoke come to town. They play as direct a game as ever a team has and will look to get the ball into the Newcastle penalty area at every opportunity. And, it has been this kind of play that has been NUFC’s shortcoming at times this season, albeit when the squad has been at its weakest.

Stoke - Last 10 goals (excl. pens)

A look at Stoke’s last 10 Premier League goals highlights exactly how keen they are to use the direct ball into the box or scoring from crossing opportunities. Very little of their play comes through central areas and they wont look to take advantage of the space in behind Newcastle’s’ back 4.

It is worth highlighting however, that Stoke produce just 1 more cross per game on average than Newcastle United at the moment in the Premier League (22 to 21) and just 2 more long balls per game (67 to 65).  The difference is that Stoke have very little possession in games and look to get the ball forward at the earliest of opportunities.

Being at home and on the run Newcastle United are on, Alan Pardew will be looking to stick with his newly acquired 4-3-3 formation in which Hatem Ben Arfa has been a star of late. Stoke’s back 4 are not known for their quickness and agility, and the enigmatic Frenchman could be key for Newcastle’s success once again.

Having said that, it was the earlier favoured 4-4-2 that produced such a good tactical and defensive display against the Potters at the Brittania earlier in the season; Jonas Gutierrez particularly playing very well helping out at full back and nullifying Stoke’s wide threat. This will be on the agenda again.

NUFC_Stats prediction: 2-0

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