Date: 28 November 2012.
Kick off: 7:45pm.
Referee: Howard Webb.
UK TV: None.
Hello, good evening and welcome to our “match banter” feature for this evening’s game, which sees Newcastle United facing the biggest, roughest, toughest, meanest hombres in the whole of the Premier League, the “Potters” of Stoke City.
Ti say that we need a win would be an understatement, with our last one in any competition coming exactly a month ago, a 2-1 demolition of West Bromwich Albion. The winning goal in that one came off Papiss Cisse’s backside in the last minute of injury time, and we may need that kind of luck this evening as no one else has managed to break the Potters at their Britannia Stadium home in the last 13 attempts.
Speaking in a rare interview before the game, Magpie manager, Alan Pardew, has suggested that this evening might well see the unveiling a new approach, with the Silver Supremo possibly abandoning the scintillating, fleet footed style we had before our two twinkle toed creative fulcrums, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, were cruelly struck down by the football gods.
The Grey Gaffer had this to say:
“The bottom line is that as a football team you have problems and you have to acknowledge them, otherwise you will not solve them. We’ve looked at all the problems we have, including set-pieces, and we are going to have to change and work with a different team.
“A big creative force of this team is in the treatment room, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye are two big players for us in terms of imagination. You cannot suddenly say to a team, start and deliver the type of imagination they give us. So we have to come up with a different game plan to win games”.
I’m sure that the whole of Tyneside will be awaiting this new creative direction from our Silver Supremo with bated breath. But anyway, if it’s an in depth look forward to the match you are looking for, may I suggest that you could do far worse than checking out my extensive match preview which I prepared earlier.
So for now I will wrap things with my usual reminders that I shall be updating this piece with the team sheets for the game when they become available, as well as a list of links for the game, which will not be broadcast live in the UK. When the carnage is over, I will also be posting highlights of the match soon after the final whistle, and possibly a video of the whole match in the fullness of time.
Which only leaves it for me to say:
Howay the Lads!
Stoke City (4-5-1): Asmir Begovic (G), Ryan Shotton, Ryan Shawcross (C), Robert Huth, Geoff Cameron; Jonathan Walters, Glenn Whelan, Steven Nzonzi, Charlie Adam, Matthew Etherington; Peter Crouch.
Subs: Thomas Sorensen (G), Matt Upson, Wilson Palacios, Michael Kightly, Cameron Jerome, Kenwyne Jones.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul (G), Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Davide Santon, Vurnon Anita, Cheick Tiote, James Perch, Jonas Gutierrez, Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba.
Subs: Rob Elliot (G), James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson, Gael Bigirimana, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Nile Ranger.