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Newcastle United Must Be Up for Physical Test at Stoke City

After surrendering the only unbeaten record in English football to Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday evening, Newcastle could be forgiven for seeking an easier task than a trip to the Britannia Stadium for their next outing.

The Magpies went in to the mid-week Carling Cup tie at Ewood Park the only English club unbeaten in all competitions this season. Conceding in the final minute of extra time saw to that though, as Alan Pardew’s side went down 4-3 in what was a lively encounter.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Newcastle after recovering from a two goal deficit, however it is that never say die attitude that boss Pardew will require from his team when they travel to Stoke City on Monday evening in the Premier League.

Barring current title favourites Manchester City, the Magpies are the only side that remain unbeaten in the top flight, sitting alongside Chelsea in fourth spot on 19 points.

Monday’s trip to Stoke could prove to be Newcastle’s toughest test of the season so far, with no team yet to win at the Britannia in the league this season.

If the Magpies aim to extend their unbeaten league run to 13 games they will have to match Tony Pulis’ men for physicality, as well as deal with the electrifying atmosphere the City fans provide. Better footballing teams than Newcastle have come away from the Britannia empty handed in the past; making it imperative the Magpies are equal to their hosts in all departments.

Pardew will be hoping he can call upon both Steven Taylor and Cheik Tiote, both of whom are doubtful with a broken nose and a knee problem respectively.

Newcastle won’t want reminding of last season’s demolition at Stoke, as the Potters completed the league double over the Magpies with a 4-0 win. A tighter affair is expected this time out though, with the visitors currently boasting the tightest defence in the league – conceding only six goals.

Even the most of optimistic Newcastle fans couldn’t have predicted this start to the season, however it is tough trips to the likes of Stoke that will really show Pardew what his side are made of.

If Newcastle cope with the physical side of Stoke’s game then there is no reason why they can’t continue their unbeaten league run. Much has been made of Newcastle’s team spirit this season, and that will no doubt be called upon in what will be a thankless 90 minutes of football.

Pardew’s men have remained unscathed from whatever the Premier League has thrown at them this season, so confidence will no doubt be high within the visiting camp and the travelling support.

Approximately 4,500 Geordies descended on Blackburn in mid-week and it is their unquestionable support that Newcastle will look to as a 12th man to combat the increased noise the Potters’ fans never fail to provide.

Stoke’s impressive home form stands in the Magpies’ way. A tough test will no doubt ensue, but it’s how the visitors respond which will determine the outcome of this game.

If Newcastle are up for a physical battle there is no reason why they can’t come away with at least a point in what will be one of their toughest games of the season.

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  1. IanCransonsKnees

    November 1, 2011 at 3:16 am

    If Newcastle play like that all season they’ll finish in the top 6 easily. Pace all over the park and a fantastic workrate. Huth is off to Spurs apparently, I assume to offset the Crouch and Palacios fee.

  2. taimur huk

    October 31, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    gr8 game today. Stoke play better football than what people give them credit for. they can stroke it around the ground; it’s not like they rugby punt it from their own half every time. the two penalties were soft. i think three players from Newcastle United stood out. Demba Ba, Leon Best, and Jonas Gutierrez. they’re doing very well so far. but it’s still 10 games into the season and it’s going to be a challenge finishing in the top 6. they’ve still got to play the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea…that’ll be a real test for them. But if they keep playing like this, then they’ll get European football next season and be able to attract good players. I just don’t want them to get in the top 5 at the expense of Arsenal!!!

  3. taimur huk

    October 31, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    BA BA BA Black Sheep has a hat-trick!!! But a soft penalty on both ends!

  4. tom

    October 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Ba Ba ba black Sheep, can you score a goal?? Yes sir, yes sir, two (onion) bags full!!

  5. IanCransonsKnees

    October 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Nice to see that recognised by a non-stoke fan Guy. Have a look at everybodies darlings Arsenal in the same table and tell me why they aren’t described as physical or even dirty? It’s down to lazy journalism and a lack of perception, the same as everyone buying into Owen Coyle being a great manager and playing different football to Allardyce and Megson. It’s Bollocks.

    Here’s another one, look at how many goals the Bolton defence have conceded since Coyle took over and tell me why Cahill is becoming a fixture in the England squad and Shawcross by comparison (in a relatively strong defence) doesn’t get a look in.

    I’ve got a spare ticket so am taking a Liverpool fan with me tonight, it’ll be interesting to get their take on things.

    If any of you bet on football make sure you lump on Bolton this weekend. No home wins, manager under pressure praying for a break, what ho! What’s that chink of light over ther? It’s registered charity no 1863 Stoke City FC, lining up to put 3 easy points into Mr Coyle’s begging bowl. Our away form is awful and is why we’ll finish no higher than 12th again if Pulis doesn’t attempt to resolve it.

  6. Guy

    October 31, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I would like to see someone write an article about Stoke without once using the word “physical”. I really think that analysis or presumption is outmoded and not supported by the statistics, which you would think would be reflective of such a style.

    Given the fact that Stoke is only 7th on the Disciplinary Table (tied with Newcastle) and has only one player with 3 yellow cards (same as Newcastle) I’m not sure “physicality” is going to have all that much to do with tonight’s match. The Britannia is just a tough place to play. The home team and crowd are always, but always stoked. (couldn’t help it) 😉

    • Yespage

      October 31, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      Huth seems to be a goon at times. Shawcross isn’t nearly as bad as some suggest, though he is physical. Wilkenson has his moments of goonery. The way some go on about Stoke, you’d think that they were run by the Hansen Brothers.

      Stoke not firing on all cylinders with the offense today. They had a stretch there of good ball positioning, but weren’t connecting the passes necessary to break through. Solid win for Newcastle.

  7. Yespage

    October 31, 2011 at 10:18 am

    This match up is of equal importance to Stoke City. Stoke has been facing a daunting schedule recently, facing Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle, and a pair against Maccabi Tel Aviv over a period of ten days. Currently, they are on a two game losing streak. They haven’t played poorly, but they don’t want to get into a rut.

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