Stoke v Newcastle
Stoke City will be confident ahead of their fixture with Newcastle this weekend despite their 3-0 loss to Chelsea last week. The Potters are currently on course for their best ever Premier League finish as they sit in 10th with 40 points. Mark Hughes’ men will be keen to exploit Newcastle’s recent poor form, which saw them lose 4-0 at home to Manchester United last weekend. A win for the Potters would see them go within 3 points of 9th place which is currently occupied by Newcastle.
Arguably Stoke’s best chance of the match was when N’zonzi’s through ball found Marko Arnautovic one on one with Czech; but the Austrian failed to control the ball. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has only scored 2 times this season in 25 appearances and has a shot accuracy of 25% with 9 shots on target but leads the way in assists, with 7 to his name.
The return of Charlie Adam as a substitute, following his ban, failed to spark a Stoke comeback. The Scot did make an impact however with Stoke’s only registered shot on target coming from his boot. Adam will play an integral role against Newcastle this weekend.
Steven N’Zonzi will provide the creative foundation for the Potters in attack this week. N’zonzi set up Stoke’s best chance of the game and looked to be the foundation from which Stoke could launch an attack. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the Frenchman completed 33 passes in the Chelsea half and has a completed an impressive 769 passes in the opposition half this season.
Newcastle will be hoping that they can put last weeks embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Manchester United behind them as they travel to Stoke this weekend. A United without first choice frontmen Rooney and Van Persie dominated the Magpies and thoroughly deserved the win which was Newcastle’s 10th top-flight defeat in 15 matches. Newcastle are currently 9th in the table with 46 points. Alan Pardew, who is still banned from the touchline, blamed Newcastle’s poor recent form on the absence of key players.
Alan Pardew has told the media that Newcastle star-man Loic Remy might be fit for Saturdays match with Stoke. Newcastle have missed the Frenchman’s prowess in front of goal recently. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has scored 13 goals in 23 appearances and has a shot accuracy of 51% with 31 out a possible 61 shots finding the target.
Michael Williamson has been the go-to man for Newcastle this season in defence. The Englishman has won 45 out of a possible 57 tackles, that’s a win percentage of 79%. He also leads the way in defensive contributions (tackles won, blocks, interceptions and clearances) this season with 321.
On the day, Papiss Demba Cissé came closest to scoring for Newcastle. The Senegalese international came close with a powerful early header which Manchester United keeper Anders Lindegaard tipped over the bar. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that Cissé has found the target 22 times out of a possible 40 attempts in 22 appearances; that’s an accuracy of 55%.