Despite winning only one game in four and being a point behind Newcastle in the table, Stoke fans are more than a little cocky about Saturday’s match.

There is the odd voice of reason that it could be a tough game but the vast majority of the comments below from Stoke fans, show they believe there is a significant gap in class between the two teams.

Comments such as ‘They are utter utter rubbish’ and ‘They have a Championship standard attack whereas we have Champions League players’.

It is an interesting/amusing read but maybe the highlight for me is this (kid of) compliment…’The fans aren’t as deluded as they used to be’.

Stoke fans comments via their top ‘Oatcake’ message board:

‘Some people thought they would struggle but cleaning up West Ham 3 zip and then dispatching Swansea in their own back yard means they will be in the top half when we go to St James Park next weekend.

Rafa back from his operation too pulling the strings and of course Joselu (remember him?) leading the line.

What’s the plan?’

‘Our wing backs will pull them apart and we’ll muller them.

The NE in general and Newcastle away in particular have been tricky Prem fixtures with double sendings off and all sorts but I don’t like the vibe from ‘Castle at the mo.

Ashley offering big player bonuses for a Cup, contradicting previous ‘it’s all about the Prem’ messages, while seemingly not backing Rafa for this tilt.

And his hernia and absences from these initial games, and links to replace Bilic.

A touch of turmoil.

They were fairly dull (v Swansea), Joselu squandered three or four chances, subbed off, but they did nowt much to trouble a weak and narrow Swansea.

Nae mither.’

‘Resurgent? They have beaten a poor Swansea side and a shocking West Ham.’

‘Newcastle are facing a resurgent Stoke.

We’ve already held our own against two ‘big’ clubs. Newcastle are at best unproven in that regard.

It’s them that should be worried, not us.’

‘It’s always a tough away day, but I think they’ll be far more worried about our form than we will about theirs. It’s a winnable game and we should be going there to take the game to them.

This one should give us a glimpse of what we look like when the onus is on us to go and take three points from an inferior side. Looking forward to it.’

‘Great performance Sat but they’re looking more confident too. For me I think we have better players but they’re at home so a tough one to call.’

‘One of those games where the first goal is crucial. Newcastle look well organised at the back but fairly industrious all over the rest of the pitch.

Concede and they’ll aim to shut us out where we tend to struggle, take the lead and we can hurt them further as the game opens up.’

‘Take the lead and we should coast to victory.

They haven’t got much attacking wise so if we are on our game defensively then we should take this.’

‘Tricky away game for me this one. The fans aren’t as deluded as they used to be either.

Probably tempered from the relegation and the fact Ashley didn’t give Rafa ANOTHER load of cash on top of the £75+ million he had last year!

They have good players too like Richie and Diame that I rate and a lad up top that has a HUGE point to prove. Gutted to not be going this one, first one I’ve missed this year and I hate it when I have a break!

I would take a point happily!’

‘They will be in a resurgent mood and the crowd will be giving them strong support. They have had 2 good results and are sitting in the top half of the table above us and everyone will be expecting to win. Rafa will point out our performances against Arsenal and ManU.

We should remember they are still basically a Championship side and don’t have the depth of talent we have.’

‘I hope they are cocky that will play into our hands. Doubt Benitez will be so naive as to come at us all guns blazing but we have the quality all over the pitch to win the game.’

‘Be very disappointed if we don’t win. they have a Championship standard attack whereas we have Champions League players.’

‘Rafa will surely make them hard to beat. Need to stick in, defend as well as we have and take our chances. Shaq’s definitely due a goal.’

‘They’ve beaten Swansea and Wet Sham.

 If we have any hopes of winning ANY away games this season, this one should be pencilled in as a potential win. What bits I’ve seen of them, they are utter utter rubbish.’

‘We are the better side,we need to show that.’

‘Fancy us beating them myself. When was the last time Newcastle won 3 Premiership games on the bounce?’

‘I’m confident we’ll turn them over if we go there with the same confidence we showed on Saturday. Keep it tight at the back, plenty of energy in the middle, get the ball out wide and get at them.’

‘If we go up there and play our football we will win this game quite comfortably.

The Geordies will be up for it at the start, but that big home crowd gets mighty nervous mighty quickly which transmits itself to the players.

The key to this game is possession coupled with intelligent dynamic movement up front. We have the players capable of playing that game.

Get them chasing shadows and we will have an enjoyable Saturday.’

‘We will win this one. Even though they won at an out of sorts Swansea I wasn’t overly impressed. We have far better players.’

‘Not particularly concerned about Newcastle or their ‘resurgence’.

That team looks pretty average and, even though Tyneside hasn’t really been a happy hunting ground for us over the years, there is a big difference in quality between our respective first XI.

IF we play to our capability and what our form has shown so far this season, then we really should be coming away with a positive result.’

‘Joselu has really fitted in up there and fair play to him – like some have said he’s likely to score.

Rafa has set them up well, kept them disciplined and they break with flair. They could trouble us at the back with their pace, I just really hope we don’t get sucked into loads of possession with little end product.’

‘Maybe I’m being naive but Joselu really shouldn’t cause us any problems. Hasn’t got the pace or power to get the better of any of our CBs.. but football doesn’t work like that does it?! Unfortunately.’

  • Milo79

    Wow…and people call us deluded.

    • Jarlath OReily

      For a reason. Championship fodder

      • gallowgate26

        No, PL team in the championship, hence why we’ve bounced straight back, twice. See you on Saturday gob sh yte!

      • Milo79


  • Jimblag23

    If they had “champions league players” those players would indeed be in the champions league, rather than being at an extremely unglamorous bottom half PL team.

  • Grahame Johnson

    1400 reasons to be cheerful, sad turnout for all the talk, they will face a grounded Newcastle team and fans, yet again we take a verbal bashing we have a leader we trust

    • gallowgate26

      Awful turnout, I hope those tickets are made available to Newcastle fans. Let them talk the talk, Rafa will see if they can walk the walk. Sparkey is such a bad loser, would just love to send them packing me, jumped up nobodies, just coz they’ve had a few years in the prem! they think they are it! Champs league!!!

  • Rich Lawson

    ”Champions League players” I thought Mark Hughes was the manager ?

    • Kneebotherm8

      We’ve had “Champions League players” in our squad in the last couple of years,they moved on cos the couldn’t get a game for us(Doumbia and Ferreyra)😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    • Paul Busby

      They conveniently forget that their “Champions League” players were deemed not good enough for said level, which is how they ended up at Stoke, where they don’t play Champions league football 😂

      • Kneebotherm8

        Exactly,they’re ex champions league players,who’ll never play there again,with all due respect,if they stay at Stoke City.

  • hetonmag

    The last time we played them at home their goalie stopped a hammering I seemed to remember.

  • lukegte

    I hope Benitez chooses Shelvey as number 10 behind Joselu and with Merino and Hayden in the middle. With Benitez keeping it tight at the back, this could be a cracking game in terms of end to end. Stoke have the pace and energy (I can’t believe Shaqiri plays for Stoke!), Newcastle have those worldy passers. You could make a fantastic combined XI from the 2 squads

    • Jimblag23

      That would be good but I can’t see Benitez actually doing it. 😏
      It’ll be the standard Perez/Diame scenario.

    • Paul Busby

      I actually think I would prefer Merino as the more advanced player. He’s got a bit more pace.

      • lukegte

        I can see your thinking, and I’d definitely be interested to see that. But I think with Shelvey, he already has that established partnership with our wingers, particularly Ritchie. And Gayle too, if he ever gets a game again. Plus, I think Benitez looks for that defensive game from the 2 central midfielders, which Merino is so good at and doubly effective when combined with his distribution. Shelvey is a liability in this sense, he can’t be trusted to keep a cool head.

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Shaq is overrated. Score blockbusters odd time but hes no Laurent Robert.

  • Waxi

    You know what you will get with the ball lumped up to Crouch but the player they have and he is quality Jese from PSG. If we can stop him and Shaqiri we will win. They keep coming up with this garbage they have championship players but that’s total bull and with Rafa leading us i think they have more to worry about than us.

  • tonytoon

    Us deluded, just listen to yourselves. Never mind, just go on believing we are only a championship team against your group of Champions League contestants. West Ham, Swansea made the same error of judgement.

  • Kneebotherm8

    I hope their players are as over confident as their fans,it could be egg on faces time.

    • Toonrobbybobson

      Egg on face… best served cold

  • Jimblag23

    The bad news is Merson hasn’t predicted us to lose.

    • Kneebotherm8

      Oh sht.

    • Georgia Peter

      Cos he knows he cant get it right so hes sittin on the fence with a draw.

  • 1957

    One of them thinks SloMo is a good player….

    • Peaky Magpie

      It’s called legal high addiction now apparently.

  • East Durham Mag

    I really think the main picture of this article says about enough.

    • Peaky Magpie

      Believe me mate I live amongst them and the two above are quite normal in comparison to most of the muppets.I don’t live in Stoke by the way it’s about 25 miles away but what a dump,makes Sunderland look like Milan.

      • Georgia Peter

        Hawareman, divnt be silly.!

    • Leazes Ender

      Yes, Vikings never had horned helmets or lived in Stoke for that matter.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Does Clarko know that ?

    • Kev Newcastle England

      Let them be over confident.Pricks.Awful place Stoke.

  • Andy Mac

    “We should remember they are still basically a Championship side and don’t have the depth of talent we have”

    Same sort of comments that those Swansea fans made as they seem to think a year in the Champiosnship suddenly makes us a lightweight outfit ? OK Rafa didnt get the players he wanted but we’re still capable of beating PL dross.

    • Clarko

      Benitez didn’t get Caballero and Abraham, it’s not a massive loss is it.

      • ToonNL

        We will never know though. As much as I see the value in tangible stats, life and by extension football, has a certain measure of the immeasurable. Like the right manager in the right atmosphere with the right group of players which can make or break a player

        Caballero always looked better than Hart and Bravo like

        • Clarko

          Two players is not a “group”, a 19 year old loan striker and a 35 year old goalkeeper, both were just stopgaps, stopgaps that I don’t think would’ve impacted our season a great deal if we had signed them. Given the choice between signing Joselu and loaning Abraham, I’m signing Joselu.

          • Toonrobbybobson

            Especially when he cost more than Joselu loan fee and you never get that back. We have an asset for our money that will give a return at some stage. I like the look of the lad so far. Think he’ll get better. Big game for him this weekend.

          • ToonNL

            I wasn’t referring to these players… any group of players that bring the best ouf of each other: leicester and Athletico adrid are/were good examples.

            so quick to argue though that the point is wayy over your head as always.

          • Clarko

            I knew you weren’t referring to the two players, the conversation was about missing out on Abraham and Caballero, you tried to change the subject to include the whole squad or “group” (straw man), I changed it back to the original subject matter.

            The point has went way over your head, as always.

  • Paul Busby

    Newcastle in the Championship: “Well they are basically a premier league team so of course they are going to win everything”
    Newcastle back in the Premier League: “Basically still a championship level squad, should be an easy 3 points”

    • Toonrobbybobson

      No such thing as easy 3 points in prem. hard work gets you further than a disjointed team of names with no cohesion. You know that a Rafa team will work hard and be well drilled. Inhope eventually hes backed to raise the quality at some stage to really see what he can do as he sprinkles stardust on a team to mix in. Heres hoping… someday

  • Peaky Magpie

    What is it with people who support teams in red n white stripes ???

  • goggsy

    More populist nonsense. Man I despise football fans.

    • Whitehurst

      Decent footie fans are indeed a dying breed!!

      • Georgia Peter

        Arn’t we just.

  • Whitehurst

    Thinking Slomo is decent says it all!! Ha ha

    • Toonrobbybobson

      For all he gets knocked we got 30m for sissoko and he has done more for us than him… apart from the £££. Cant complain too nuch he did a job.

  • Steve Pearce

    Well we seem to have another load of red and white shyte on our hands! I really don’t care what these inbred pottery sniffers have to say and am surprised that they can string more then two words together. Like the Swansea fans before them they are deluded into thinking they’ll beat us, especially at a home game where Wor Rafa will be in charge once more. Roll on Saturday and roll down those sad Potter’s faces the tears of bitter defeat!

    • Toonrobbybobson

      All clubs have early season optimism but there is usually a reason clubs like PSG let players go for instance which comes out in the wash.

  • Biggs Darklighter

    I’d swap 4 of their players so our line up is easily as good as theirs. Will be interesting to see how the formations face up. Have we faced a 343 under Rafa?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    The Spaniard will be out to stick it up them & if the Potters think they are in for an easy game they better think again

    • Georgia Peter

      The more over-confident the better eh…!

  • Steve Smith

    Stoke play in the Champions League?

  • Jarlath OReily

    The Oatcake is laughed at by genuine Stoke fans wouldn’t pay the slightest bit of attention to the idiots on there. I don’t see Stoke losing though, they look a really tight and solid side this year and some real quality all over the pitch.

    • Albert Stubbins

      so you’re basically saying the same as those “idiots” as in the oatcake then? hmmmm. Stoke who?

      • Jarlath OReily

        Stoke who have had 10 comfortable seasons in the Prem. maybe that’s why you missed hearing about them. No offence but after beating Arsenal, drawing with Man U then a draw at a newly promoted club not a huge expectation.

        • Albert Stubbins

          10 comfortable seasons never playing in champions league or finishing top 5- that Stoke you mean?

          • Jarlath OReily

            Oh yeah that was recent. Haven’t you been in The Championship twice since we came up? Deluded as they are the facts ? Newcastle are a bang average side who will do well to stay up. Get over it. Facts don’t lie. Enjoy your relegation battle

          • Toonrobbybobson

            Tbh the team we have now is better than the one we got relegated with when McFoolish managed. Who we lost? Sissoko?!?

            We have a drilled hard working team managed by a manager who has won european trophies… we actually defend now and have match plans… fancy we give you a game myself like. Might not always be pretty but its a results business.

          • Albert Stubbins

            Enjoy your relegation battle you mean?

        • anyobrien

          Deluded me thinks

      • Georgia Peter

        I think the general point should be to respect all comers. we are in the Premier Division. Come out steady and concentrate fpr 95 mins. Go about our business as rafa dictates and win if we can… Can’t ask for any more. Settle for a 3-2 or a 2-1. Howaaaaaaaaaay the Lads.

  • gallowgate26

    Meh.. W/Ham & Swansea fans were overconfident also, we well and truly burst their bubbles. Bring it on Stoke! We’re Newcastle United and we’ve PLAYED in the Champions League, who are you?

  • Lord

    Will be interesting pre match press conference tomorrow – first time we’ll have heard from Rafa in, what, 3 weeks? I wonder what his mood will be like when pressed on the transfer window.

  • Dublintoon

    To be fair they look a much better side since they got rid of glen whelan. Shame we couldnt ship off ginger pirlo as a like for like replacement

    • gallowgate26

      Aye, they’ve got far superior players to us, champions league players all over the pitch, Peter Crouch, Steven Ireland, Berahino & Glenn Johnson. I’m quaking in me boots!!

      • Marveauxless

        They have more Champions League winners than any other team in the Premier League

        • gallowgate26

          Okay they’ve got Afelley and Shaqiri, big club (barca & Bayern) rejects, what’s your point?

          • Marveauxless

            …that they have Champions League players?

          • Toonrobbybobson

            But they arent in the champions league… so they arent

  • anyobrien

    Ground hog day…. And may it continue, two bit fans from bang average clubs nevermind teams giving it large…. It plays exactly into our hands……. Siege mentality for me… Let’s stay organised, fit, well drilled, hungry and well do them. Hwtls

  • GToon

    None of the numerous Stoke fans I see think they will win and would be delighted with a draw. The local papers aren’t full of optimism either. I think we will win 3-1.

  • Peter Stabler

    Stoke’s so called star players v Rafa’s team, starting to feel a bit confident mesel

  • Toonrobbybobson

    They were lucky it wasnt a cricket score today. Joselu was their man of the match!

  • Georgia Peter

    And…….Its poopy time. !