– Despite a valiant effort over 90 minutes, Newcastle fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Swansea last weekend.
– Jonas Gutierrez has been in typically all-action form this season, racking up 102 defensive contributions as well as a 68.6% tackle success rate according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Midfielder Moussa Sissoko continues to waste no time in introducing himself to Newcastle fans renowned for their love of goalscorers. Despite only arriving in January he’s been averaging a shot on target once every 58.4 minutes he’s been on the pitch.
– Senegalese striker Papiss Cisse has certainly been doing the business in front of goal in recent weeks for Alan Pardew’s side, however it will be his defensive misdemeanours which might have his manager slightly concerned. He’s committed 37 fouls this season, second highest in the Newcastle squad and sixth amongst Premier League strikers.
– Given the level of talent in the Newcastle midfield it might come as something of a surprise that fullback Davide Santon leads the squad for successful completed passes in the opponent’s half. The Italian has clearly been consistently finding himself in advanced positions higher up the pitch on his way to compiling 333 passes there.
– Stoke’s disappointing run of form continued last weekend as they were beaten 1-0 by West Ham. It was a performance which suggested that more goals willing be on the way for Stoke, having gone close on plenty of occasions here.
– American defender Geoff Cameron has been continuing the fine tradition of players from across the pond and adapting to the rigours of the Premier League. He currently boasts the highest tackle success rate of any Stoke player, successfully completing 68.8% of his 77 attempted challenges.
– Pace over the ground might not be defensive pairing’s Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth’s greatest strength but they more than make up for it with their instinctive reading of the game. Between them they’ve compiled a highly impressive 281 interceptions this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Getting Charlie Adam involved as often as possible will be key for Tony Pulis’ side should they wish to turn around their current slump in form. He’s currently average a successful pass in the opponent’s half once every 5.9 minutes, the lowest in the Potters’ squad.
– Despite a couple of slip ups this season, Jonathan Walters’ confidence has certainly not been dented, he leads the Stoke squad for attempts on goal this season with 37.