Stoke v Newcastle Treatment Room
We are proud to bring you the Stoke v Newcastle Treatment Room, the latest in our regular feature where before each match, industry specialist Ben Dinnery brings you all the latest injury news ahead of the game.
If you use Twitter then make sure you follow @BenDinnery for all the up to date injury information, both for Newcastle United and across the rest of football.
Stoke will be hoping to avenge their Boxing Day defeat at St James’ Park in what Mark Hughes described as his side’s “best away performance of the season up until the two dismissals.”
Newcastle got off lightly that day after an extraordinary turn of events just before half-time and the 5-1 scoreline was flattering to say the least. Maybe it was the performance and not the result which would signal our intent for the New Year because our form ever since has been one of real concern (Played 15 – Won 4 : Drawn 1 : Lost 10) scoring a pitiful 9 goals with a stomach churning 28 goals conceded (discount the 7 goals scored away at West Ham / Hull & Newcastle have returned just 2 goals from 13 games).
Newcastle are a team suffering from a huge crisis of confidence and when we need our big players to stand up, their reaction told us all we needed to know. Loic Remy will once again miss out, but is the striker really injured?
Until Wednesday the club were extremely confident that the forward would be available for Stoke following his calf injury, presumably Tuesday’s scan confirmed his inflammation had subsided and that Remy was good to go; but his absence was confirmed during Thursday’s pre-match press conference. However, what concerned me most was Pardew’s response to yet another week without our leading scorer and the missing duo Sissoko and Debuchy; “The French manager needs to see them fit and ready before the World Cup.”
Debuchy is another for whom his recovery has taken longer than expected, the original prognosis indicated a return this weekend but the full-back will not train until next week; Sissoko was said to be out for around two weeks but the Swansea game now seems highly unlikely.
What further enraged me was the fact that all three could return ‘next weekend’ in theory according to reports, but then again they may miss out; but don’t worry if we really need them ‘they would be available’.
Am I just being cynical here? Firstly, a player is either available for selection (fit) or not (injured) – with Remy firmly in the driving seat regarding his future, is he merely using this to his advantage to ensure that he is available for the World Cup and not risking the possibility of further injury.
Of course every player wants to play at the highest level, showcase their skills on football’s grandest stage, but ultimately your loyalties must remain true to your employers.
Secondly, is Pardew implying pressure from Didier Deschamps?
In a recent interview Spurs manager Tim Sherwood was quoted as saying, “I can’t be worrying if the Brazil national manager wants him (Paulinho) to play every week. I am going to do what is best for Tottenham, not any national manager.”
Shouldn’t Pardew be doing the same ….?
With Tim Krul expected to return this weekend following a knee problem, his thoughts first and foremost remain with Newcastle regardless of the fact he may risk losing a potential World Cup spot through injury.
Adam Armstrong could feature amongst the substitutes again, but Pardew is “resisting the urge” to play the England Under 17 international despite his earlier promises to blood our young talent during the season run-in; “I’m not sure he is quite ready to start at this level in his own confidence, so I don’t want to damage him in any way.”
Isn’t this though a part of the learning curve?!
Stoke have been in decent form of late winning four of their last five home games, a run which included wins over the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United, and Mark Hughes is hoping to record their best Premier League points tally since promotion back in 2008. Robert Huth and on-loan Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi (both knee) remain sidelined while Matty Etherington continues to struggle with an ongoing back problem.
Stephen Ireland has recovered from the virus which ruled him out of the Chelsea game and Charlie Adam is a doubt after breaking his nose in several places in training this week; the Scottish international is hoping to have a protective mask fitted on Friday allowing him to take part.
More of a rant than a preview this week but hey-ho it is what it is, the tribulations of United get to us all at some point …..
To view all Stoke City vs Newcastle United betting click HERE (Prices can fluctuate up and down)
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]