Stoke City v Newcastle
Monday, Jan 01 – 15:00pm
Just when it looked as if Mark Hughes’ days at the Bet365 were numbered, Stoke City managed to string together a positive run of results in December, putting some daylight between themselves and the relegation zone. The Potters have struggled both home and away this season; however, their home form seems to have improved over the last few weeks, with notable victories over Swansea and West Brom. The game plan for Mark Hughes is to survive the current injury crisis and look ahead to the new year. Stoke will be a much more proficient outfit when the likes of Shawcross, Martins Indi, Johnson, and Pieters return.
Newcastle have struggled to find top form recently, and December has been a tough month for Rafa Benitez’s side. The Magpies have experienced their fair share of bad luck over the last few fixtures. An own goal gifted three points to Leicester, a goalkeeping error led to a defeat at Everton, and they were narrowly beaten by Arsenal. Benitez is desperate for investment in January, and a couple of good signings could turn Newcastle’s fortunes around.
What the stats tell us:
- Stoke have won their last four home matches against Newcastle in the Premier League – they have never won five consecutive against a single side in the competition.
- The last and only time Newcastle have beaten Stoke City both home and away in a single season was back in 2011/12 under Alan Pardew.
- The Potters last home loss on New Year’s Day was back in 1988 – which coincidentally, was the last time Newcastle won an away match on January 1st.
- Xherdan Shaqiri has found the back of the net in each of his last two matches against Newcastle in the Premier League – he is yet to score three on the bounce against a single opponent in the competition.
When these two sides met back in September there was very little to separate them. Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles scored a 68th minute winner for the home side; however, Stoke had plenty of chances in the match, with Xherdan Shaqiri the stand out player for the Potters. Once again, there is very little between the two sides, so we’re banking on a similar scoreline, with Shaqiri netting for Stoke.