Predicted Newcastle Starting 11 v Stoke
Stoke v Newcastle United
Monday 29 September 8pm Live On SKY Sports
As proof of how uncertain the Premier League can be, Stoke managed to beat Champions Manchester City at the Etihad but then have fallen to both Villa and Leicester at home without scoring a goal.
Traveling optimists will be looking at a win taking us above Sunderland, while pessimists will be dreading a defeat that would see us continuing to keep Burnley company at the rock bottom of the league.
The problem comes once you are down there, that even what would normally be a decent point would do little to cheer the Newcastle fans as it would still leave United in the bottom three with what look tougher fixtures coming up.
While [intlink id=”48103″ type=”post”]Cheick Tiote made the tabloid headlines for unusual reasons today[/intlink], hopefully his mind will be on the job because I believe he is vital to Newcastle’s chances tonight.
He kept things just about together in the midfield against Hull and then of course made Cisse’s crucial first goal. Without the Ivory Coast international I feel it leaves the midfield without a leader and instantly dilutes the cover in front of our ever so slightly wobbling back four.
All the signs are that there is no problem with the trio who had a sickness bug in midweek, with Krul, Gouffran and Cisse all recovering. However, Alan Pardew has admitted that the missed training means Cisse won’t be anywhere near fully fit.
The gamble paid off against Palace but I can’t believe the Newcastle manager would risk playing Cisse from the start. On the other hand the signs appear to be encouraging that Janmaat should have shaken off the knock which forced him off on Wednesday night.
I personally would look to leave Gouffran on the bench as he has offered very little going forward, the assist against Hull apart. However, I think it is a certainty that Pardew will have him on the team sheet for his energy, especially going backwards…
In the likely absence of Cisse missing from the line up, it guarantees Riviere will start, even without his two goals at Palace.
Hopefully that can spark him into life in the Premier League, whilst his countryman Cabella may have benefited from sitting out that League Cup win. I could even see Alan Pardew leaving Cabella out in favour of a workmanlike midfield featuring the likes of Anita, Colback and maybe Sissoko pushed up as the midfielder closest to Riviere.
Nobody is making headlines with goals for Stoke either and Crouch and Diouf have got a couple each.
Despite fans still appearing to prefer Haidara, Alan Pardew stated after the Palace Cup match that Dummett had now overtaken the Frenchman as first choice, so it will be a major surprise if it isn’t Dummett on the left. Though it will be interesting if Janmaat didn’t make it, Dummett deputised there after half-time on Wednesday while Anita is another option.
I can see Newcastle lining up as follows;
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