Stoke legend Lou Macari has given six reasons why the Potters should beat Newcastle for the fifth time in the last six matches at the Britannia Stadium.

The player turned pundit who also played for Manchester United, has given two on-field reasons and four off the pitch ones, as factors in Newcastle’s struggles.

Perhaps the most damning is that Lou Macari compares Newcastle with Aston Villa (who Stoke beat on Saturday) in terms of having been lacking ‘fight and character’ this season.

Dismissive of Newcastle’s reliance on signings from Ligue 1, Macari gives four off-field reasons that have also contributed to yet another relegation struggle for United, blaming ‘poor management, appointments, investment and recruitment’…all of which are hard to argue with, considering the mess we see at St James Park in the present day.

Lou Macari says he was shocked at how bad Villa actually were after watching them in the flesh at the weekend and he is expecting more of the same on Wednesday night, saying Newcastle are ‘there for the beating’.

With only seven goals in 14 away matches this season, plus only two fortunate away wins at Spurs and Bournemouth amongst defeat after defeat (draw at old Trafford the only other point gained), it will take something special to reverse that line of form.

I would love to say that the team will show the required ‘fight and character’ but it is definitely more with hope than expectation that for some daft reason that I’m bothering going to Stoke on Wednesday.

Lou Macari speaking to the Stoke Sentinel:

“Stoke will have their sights set on making it six points out of six in four days when they follow up Saturday’s win over Aston Villa with tomorrow’s clash against Newcastle at the Britannia.

Here’s two clubs struggling because they lack fight and lack character – and their away records suggest as much.

They still have to be beaten, but they are both there for the beating.

I bet Stoke fans at the game on Saturday were surprised just how poor Villa were after watching them in the flesh over an entire 90 minutes.

I know it shocked me, not least because this is a great club with a tremendous heritage but they are going down and there’s every chance Newcastle will follow them.

In both cases, poor management, appointments, investment and recruitment are catching up with them.

Not so long ago we were told that the French market was the place to shop because Newcastle had a bit of success with one or two players – but it doesn’t look so rosy for them now.

And it can’t be easy when they see clubs like Bournemouth and Watford, who were widely tipped to struggle and probably go down, doing so well this season.

Without any fight or character you have got next to no chance of staying up and that’s a lesson both Villa and Newcastle are finally learning, but probably too late.”