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.
‘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.’