2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Newcastle United

Premier League Final Position: 15th

Review

Newcastle United have yet again failed to live up to their ‘big club’ status as their performances on the pitch were simply not good enough this season.

With the second worst defence in the league, they were lucky to avoid the drop and had Alan Pardew not of left we would not be talking about a side that marginally avoided relegation.

Current boss John Carver has arguably coached a half decent squad but only managed one win in their last 11 matches. So there a clear need to address performances and to improve consistency ahead of the next campaign.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment
Their best moment is a disappointing factor in that it was avoiding relegation on the last day. For a huge club like Newcastle, this is drastic at best as they are way off where they should be. However, their performance on the final day was impressive as they beat West Ham by two goals in front of their own fans.

Worst Moment

Losing manager Alan Pardew at the turn of the year was easily their worst moment of the season. Pardew has been a sensation for Crystal Palace since joining in January and Newcastle capitulated in his absence, despite continuous protest from supporters.

Player of the Year

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Daryl Janmaat – It was a tough call between him and Jack Colback, but the Dutchman gets the nod. After impressive displays in last year’s World Cup for the Netherlands he has continued to impress in the Newcastle backline; as well as providing as many as six assists.

Biggest Win

Hull City 0-3 Newcastle United (January 31, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Manchester City 5-0 Newcastle United (February 21, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season

There are a lot of things that need improving at the club, but top of the list is stability. Whoever ends the summer as the boss will need to identify a plan on how this club can go forward knowing that the current set of players are simply not good enough. This is very much a team in transition now and they need a stable platform to build success because their fans deserve better.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle vs West Ham United

Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs. West Ham United

Venue: St James’ Park – Sunday, May 24 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Newcastle 8/11 – Draw 3/1 – West Ham 100/30

Match Preview

Newcastle United can secure their own fate as they face West Ham United in the final gameweek of the 2014/15 Premier League season, with relegation still a real possibility.

It is hard to find any positives for Newcastle who have had a season to forget. Their chances of avoiding the drop are given a boost as it is unlikely Hull City will beat Manchester United in the other key relegation game, but stranger things have happened.

It is imperative Newcastle win their game so that they are not relying on other sides for their Premier League status.

The Toon Army have picked up one point from a possible 30 and will be lucky to avoid the drop. John Carver’s appointment has not really gone to plan but he is not solely to blame for how bad the Magpies have been.

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West Ham will have the backing of every Hull City fan in this one. Sam Allardyce has guided the Hammers to a mid-table finish but does not know whether or not he will be in charge next season.

The Irons are without a win in two and have one win in their last seven. This has not been a bad season for West Ham and they will be hoping to hold onto the bulk of this squad to improve ahead of next campaign.

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West Ham could already have their flip-flops on and that could work in Newcastle’s favour but this is not going to be an easy game.

Team News

Newcastle’s injury woes have gone on all season and seven players are going to be unavailable for this one. Check Tiote, Stephen Taylor and Massadio Haidara will miss out and Carver needs his side to win their first game in ten attempts to rule out any chance of relegation.

West Ham will be without five players. Andy Carroll will miss out on the chance to face up against his former club and has played just 14 times this season. Diafra Sakho will be a big miss as he has scored ten goals this season.

Key Points

Newcastle United’s last five in the Premier League: L/L/L/D/L

West Ham’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/W/L/L

Key Stat: John Carver has picked up a shocking ten points in 18 games while in charge of the club.

Key Player:  Stewart Downing – the playmaker has had a great season, scoring six, assisting eight and has created an impressive 85 chances for his teammates.

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Score Prediction

Newcastle United 1-1 West Ham – Newcastle’s search for a win will have to wait until next season as West Ham will bring a casual approach to the game but Allardyce will not let his side lose.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Leicester vs Newcastle

Competition: Premier League – Leicester City vs. Newcastle United

Venue: King Power Stadium – Saturday, May 2nd – 12:45 BST (07:45 ET)

Match Odds: Leicester 10/11 – Draw 12/5 – Newcastle 3/1

Match Preview

Leicester face Newcastle in a crucial Premier League game at the King Power Stadium on Saturday lunchtime as both sides look to avoid relegation.

Before the 3-1 midweek defeat at home to Chelsea, the Foxes had been on an incredible four-game winning streak which has lifted them out of the relegation zone and could potentially be the run that saves their season.

Nigel Pearson has apologised for his strange behaviour towards a journalist in the post-match press conference following the Chelsea game, but he must immediately focus all attention back to the on-field matters to ensure his side return to winning ways.

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Leicester have scored 12 goals in their last six games, totalling one third of their entire goals tally in the Premier League this season. They come into this game in 17th place and one point above Sunderland in 18th who have a game in hand, so they will be desperate for victory to open up a four point gap.

Newcastle would’ve felt they were all but safe after a 1-0 win over Aston Villa at the end of February but two months and seven straight defeats later and they now find themselves in amongst the frantic end of season dog fight to steer clear of the drop.

The Magpies are a club very much in disarray with thousands of fans boycotting the game against Tottenham two weeks ago, as well as further protests towards club owner Mike Ashley dominating the headlines following the 3-2 defeat at home to Swansea last time out.

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An away fixture could well provide a welcome break from all the negativity surrounding the club, although they couldn’t have picked much harder opposition than Leicester right now – only Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea have picked up more points than the Foxes in the last five matches.

John Carver has managed just two wins from 15 (D3, L10) Premier League games in charge of the club and the Toon Army have been in freefall for a while now, leaving them in 14th position, just five points above the relegation zone.

Newcastle won the reverse fixture 1-0 at St James’ Park back in October, although Leicester gained revenge with a 1-0 victory of their own in the FA Cup third round over the Magpies in the most recent meeting between the two.

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Team News

Robert Huth and Andy King are both doubts for Leicester after they both left the field with injuries in midweek, while David Nugent remains out. Jeff Schlupp is available once again following a calf problem.

Newcastle will still be without top goalscorer Papiss Cisse as he serves the last match of his lengthy ban. Steven Taylor, Cheick Tiote, Massaido Haidara, Rolando Aarons and Rob Elliott are all out with injury. Moussa Sissoko will be available once again after missing the last two games through suspension, while Paul Dummett could return and Daryl Janmaat is trying to shake off an illness.

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Key Points

Leicester’s last five: W/W/W/W/L

Newcastle’s last five: L/L/L/L/L

Key Stat: Newcastle’s current run of seven straight losses is their worst run of consecutive league defeats since 1977 when they lost a club record of 10 games in a row between August and October.

Key Player: Jamie Vardy – The Englishman has scored some vital goals for the Foxes this season and is always an exciting player to watch. With Newcastle’s current defensive frailties, he could cause chaos.

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Score Prediction

Leicester City 2-1 Newcastle United – Leicester have been playing well recently and defeat to the champions-elect in midweek won’t be enough to disrupt the high confidence in the camp at the moment. They should edge one step closer to Premier League safety and heap further pressure on Newcastle who are flirting dangerously with the bottom of the table.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle vs Tottenham

Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Venue: St James’ Park – Sunday, April 19 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Newcastle 21/10 – Draw 13/5 – Tottenham 5/4

Match Preview

Newcastle United welcome Tottenham Hotspur to St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon as both sides look to ensure their Premier League campaign’s don’t fizzle out to a disappointing conclusion.

John Carver has described the Newcastle managerial post as “the hardest job in football” following discontent from the fans after a run of five straight defeats has seen the Toon Army slip down to 14th place in the table.

Rumours of the Newcastle supporters planning to boycott the game against Tottenham in a protest against the way owner Mike Ashley runs the club has only intensified yet more negativity surrounding the club, making the job of the manager and players even more difficult.

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The Magpies have only managed to score once in their last five games and twice in their last seven – Newcastle have picked up the joint fewest points (4) along with QPR out of any team in the last eight games.

Tottenham have endured a miserable few weeks themselves with just one win in their last four games (D1, L2) including a disappointing defeat at home to Aston Villa last weekend.

Mauricio Pochettino‘s side have been unusually flat in recent weeks and it could be a case of a long season catching up with them having played 51 games in this campaign, which is more than any other Premier League team.

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Spurs are seven points behind fourth-placed Man City and if they are to maintain any faint hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, they absolutely have to win this game, otherwise it will be all but over for another year.

With that in mind, this is certainly a fixture that has the potential to feel like it’s just a formality as both Newcastle and Tottenham are almost at the stage of the season where there is nothing to play for.

But the Magpies need to step up their performances to guarantee their safety, while Spurs have to be ready to pounce on any potential slip-ups from the teams above them, making a positive result imperative for both sides.

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Newcastle edged the reverse fixture in the Premier League at White Hart Lane with a 2-1 victory in October, although Tottenham gained revenge in the last meeting between the sides with an emphatic 4-0 win in the League Cup just before Christmas.

Team News

Newcastle will welcome skipper Fabricio Coloccini back into the team following his suspension, while Siem De Jong could make his first appearance since he suffered a collapsed lung back in August. The Magpies will still be without the suspended Moussa Sissoko and Papiss Cisse.

Tottenham have a number of doubts for the game as goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is trying to recover from a knee problem and Kyle Walker missed the game with Aston Villa because of a foot injury. Jan Vertonghen has been trying to shake off an illness and could be unfit for action.

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Key Points

Newcastle United’s last five in the Premier League: L/L/L/L/L

Tottenham Hotspur’s last five in the Premier League: W/L/W/D/L

Key Stat: There has never been a goalless draw between these two sides in the Premier League.

Key Player: Harry Kane – Two Premier League games without a goal for this man is almost considered a drought by the unbelievably high standards he’s set this season. Spurs will be looking to the Englishman for a moment of inspiration on Tyneside as they look to score their first goal away from home in 202 minutes of football since Kane struck at Loftus Road on March 7th.

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Score Prediction

Newcastle United 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur – This game is a battle of two sides who find themselves far from at their best and desperately looking for a spark, and for that reason we could see a tight game that ends all square.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Liverpool vs Newcastle

Competition: Premier League – Liverpool vs. Newcastle United

Venue: Anfield – Monday, April 13th – 20:00 BST – (15:00 ET)

Match Odds: Liverpool 2/5 – Draw 7/2 – Newcastle 7/1

Match Preview

Liverpool host Newcastle in this week’s Monday night Premier League game with the Reds looking to keep their faint Champions League hopes alive in front of their own fans at Anfield.

Brendan Rodgers has watched his side’s form drop in the past few weeks as defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal have left Liverpool’s top four hopes hanging by a thread.

The Reds are seven points behind Manchester City going into the weekend, with seven games to go, though City travel to United on Sunday and defeat in that will give Liverpool the chance to close that gap to four.

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Spurs are level on points with Liverpool and face Aston Villa at home on Saturday, so there is lots to play for still.

The Reds will see a home game against Newcastle as a perfect chance to get back to winning ways, especially as they’ve won eight of the last nine meetings at Anfield in all competitions, drawing once.

The Magpies are in trouble, having lost their last four on the bounce, scoring just one in the process, and last weekend’s derby defeat to Sunderland intensified supporters’ frustrations.

Newcastle have only won one of their last eight in the league and have not been able to find the net in their past three away from home.

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They don’t look to be in any real danger of relegation but if they continue to lose matches, they could be sucked into a survival battle late on.

Team News

Liverpool will be without Mamadou Sakho (hamstring), Jordan Ibe (knee), Mario Balotelli (illness) and Adam Lallana (groin). While Martin Skrtel and Steven Gerrard will also miss the game as they are both suspended. Daniel Sturridge is a doubt but should be fit to start. Dejan Lovren, Emre Can and Kolo Toure are set to start in defence.

Newcastle have a worrying long injury list to worry about and will be without Jack Alnwick (wrist), Rolando Aarons (thigh), Massadio Haidara (knee), Paul Dummett (knee), Siem De Jong (lung), Cheick Tiote (knee) and Steve Taylor (calf). John Carver will also have to cope without Papiss Cisse and Fabricio Coloccini as both are suspended. Daryl Janmaat is a doubt but should be fit to start.

Key Points

Liverpool’s last five: W/W/W/L/L

Newcastle’s last five: W/L/L/L/L

Key Stat: There has not been a 0-0 draw in a game between these two in 64 games – a stretch of 41 years.

Key Player: Jordan Henderson – The Liverpool midfield ace has been thriving as captain in recent weeks and has scored four goals in his last five league games. Expect him to prove the difference again in this one.

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Score Prediction

Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle – The Reds to get back to winning ways in a tight contest. Newcastle have scored in their last three trips to Anfield and will likely continue that run, but without picking up any points as their miseries look set to only worsen.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Sunderland vs Newcastle

Competition: Premier League – Sunderland vs. Newcastle United 

Venue: The Stadium of Light – Sunday, April 5th – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Sunderland 7/5 – Draw 11/5 – Newcastle United 2/1

Match Preview

Sunderland play host to Newcastle United this Sunday in the Tyne-Wear Derby with nine points separating the sides.

The Black Cats desperately need to pick up points now as they want to avoid the possibility of being dragged into the bottom three of the Premier League. Their fight for survival can take a huge step in the right direction if they can win this one as they are just one point above the drop with eight games to play.

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The Toon Army haven’t lived up to expectations this season and look like they’re going to end mid-table. They might not have too much to play for in the league but will want a strong run in to attract players this summer to rebuild for next campaign, starting with a victory over their bitter rivals.

Sunderland are without a win in seven league games and have registered just one win in their last 13 so something is going to need to change if the Black Cats are to pick up all three points.

A win in this one will lift spirits sky high but given their recent run of form, the chances of that happening look slim for Dick Advocaat’s men.

Newcastle’s form hasn’t been an awful lot better, winning just one of their last seven league games and losing their last three on the bounce as John Carver is struggling to get his players to perform to full potential.

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Sunderland haven’t lost this fixture since 2011, winning four of the last six meetings and will be hoping they can continue that unbeaten record in the derby come Sunday evening.

Newcastle will be itching to put that run to an end at the Stadium of Light and their ever-optimistic fans will feel this is a good opportunity to heap some more misery on their struggling rivals.

Team News

Sunderland have four injury concerns to deal with. Wes Brown, Ricardo Alvarez, Will Buckley (all knee) and Emanuele Giaccherini (ankle) are set to miss out. The Black Cats will be hoping Jermaine Defoe can give them something to cheer about in attack, while Adam Johnson is in line to start after coming off the bench against West Ham last time out.

Newcastle have nine key players missing for this tie through injury and two suspensions. Papiss Cisse and Fabricio Coloccini are both serving bans. Cheik Tiote (knee), Steven Taylor (calf), Rolando Aarons (thigh), Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara (both knee) are all sidelined. John Carver’s options are so limited, but we can expect Mike Williamson and Daryl Janmaat to be paired at centre-back, with Jack Colback likely to start at left-back.

Key Points

Sunderland’s last five: D/L/D/L/L

Newcastle United’s last five: L/W/L/L/L

Key Stat: Newcastle haven’t won this fixture since 2011 and need to put that run to an end.

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Key Player: Jack Colback – The ex-Sunderland man will be returning to the Stadium of Light for the first time since leaving on a free transfer to his boyhood club Newcastle. He famously scored for Sunderland against the Magpies in last season’s fixture and could play a vital role and write himself into Newcastle folklore in this one.

Score Prediction

Sunderland 1-2 Newcastle – The Toon Army will put that winless run in this fixture to bed in a typically heated tie against their struggling rivals to pile the misery on Dick Advocaat and his Black Cats.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs Arsenal

Venue: St James’ Park – Saturday, March 21 – 15:00 GMT (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Newcastle 9/2 – Draw 3/1 – Arsenal 4/7

Match Preview

Newcastle battle Arsenal at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon as both sides are looking for vital Premier League wins with the international break looming.

A win for Newcastle will push them closer to a position in the top half of the table, whereas Arsenal are now in a battle for second with reigning champions Manchester City.

Newcastle take to Arsenal having only won only twice since the turn of the new year – a complete contrast to their opponents Arsenal, who have lost only twice since then.

The Magpies are bouncing back from a crushing 3-0 defeat at Everton last week, which would have knocked the stuffing out of them as they only managed a measly four shots-on-target compared to Everton’s nine.

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Arsenal are coming off a superb win away at AS Monaco in the Champions League but have again failed at the last-16 hurdle for a fifth straight season.

A win for Arsenal would see them further grasp their hold on the top four position and with the form they are in at the moment, it’s easy to see why the Gunners are being tipped to finish in those all important Champions League places.

The reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium in December saw Arsenal run out comfortable 4-1 winners over Newcastle with the red hot Olivier Giroud grabbing two goals along the way, with Santi Cazorla also contributing two.

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Team News

Newcastle United will still be without Papiss Cisse who is serving a suspension. Captain Fabricio Coloccini begins his three-match ban following his sending off against Everton last weekend, while Cheick Tiote, Paul Dummett and Siem De Jong remain long term absentees, hampering Newcastle of key players heading into this one.

Arsenal also have a few injury concerns of their own with Alex Oxlade Chamberlain out, along with other notable injuries to former magpie Mathieu Debuchy who could return to training in a few weeks. Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere are still recovering so will be unavailable, but they could both be back before the end of the season.

Key Points

Newcastle United’s last five in the Premier League: D/L/W/L/L

Arsenal’s last five in the Premier League: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Arsenal last lost to Newcastle in November 2010 thanks to a solitary Andy Carroll goal.

Key Player: Olivier Giroud – The Frenchman has five goals in his last five games against Newcastle.

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Score Prediction

Newcastle 0-3 Arsenal – Olivier Giroud will spearhead the attack as Arsenal heap more misery on John Carver’s Toon Army in their own backyard.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs Manchester United 

Venue: St James’ Park – Wednesday, March 4th – 19:45 GMT (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: Newcastle United: 3/1 – Draw: 5/2 – Manchester United: 19/20 

Match Preview

Newcastle United entertain Manchester United at St James’ Park tomorrow evening as both sides come into the game off the back of weekend victories.

The Toon Army are looking likely to finish the campaign in mid-table, unless they can dramatically step up their efforts for European football, whilst Manchester United are currently sitting fourth in what could be the tightest race for the top four in Premier League history.

Before the weekend Newcastle had been without a win in four games, but that win against Aston Villa will give them confidence. Manchester United are in good form and have lost just one in their last six league games.

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Louis Van Gaal has stuck to his guns for much of the season and United have been quietly going about their business but they will be in for a tight game at St James’ Park.

Despite Newcastle’s relatively poor season they have enjoyed victories over some of the better sides in the league, something Van Gaal will have warned his players to be aware of.

Newcastle United’s Premier League home record: Played 13 – Won 6 – Drawn 4 – Lost 3

John Carver recorded his first home victory at the weekend and he needs his side to push on to ensure they have a strong end to the campaign in order to rebuild for next season. Their home form hasn’t been too bad and is the main reason why they’re not finding themselves lower in the table and possibly in the relegation scrap.

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Papiss Cisse has been enjoying brilliant goalscoring form and he boasts the best goals per minute ratio in the league so far this season, with a goal every 84 minutes on average.

The Magpies had put together a run of four consecutive home wins earlier in the season and they will want a positive result against Manchester United tomorrow night, as their next two at home don’t get any easier as Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur travel to Newcastle.

Manchester United’s Premier League away record: Played 13 – Won 3 – Drawn 7 – Lost 3

Louis Van Gaal’s side on the road have been a shadow of former Manchester United teams. The fear factor has possibly been eradicated but they have been picking up points, which is the main aim for their run in.

They have the worst away record of all the sides in the top seven and need to start picking up more points away from Old Trafford to ensure they qualify for the Champions League next season.

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Having spent big last summer, a lot was expected of this United team, but they have taken a long time to gel. You would be mistaken for thinking they have been poor defensively, having only conceded 26 goals, making them the third best defensive unit in the league.

Draws away from home have been a bit of a problem for United as they have racked up seven so far but will want all three points on Wednesday night.

Team News

Newcastle United: Paul Dummett (knee), Remy Cabella (knee), Cheick Tiote (knee), Rob Elliot (hip), Rolando Aarons (thigh), Siem De Jong (lung) and Steven Taylor (calf) all remain on the sidelines and are unlikely to feature. Yoann Gouffran could return to the starting eleven having been replaced by Gabriel Obertan in the weekend’s victory over Aston Villa.

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Manchester United: Robin Van Persie (ankle) looks to be the only definite absentee as Louis Van Gaal has his squad in good shape. Phil Jones (illness) and Luke Shaw (hamstring) missed the win against Sunderland but should return to the squad here. United are likely to remain unchanged after their weekend win and Wayne Rooney will be hoping to maintain his preferred forward position having bagged two in that win on Saturday.

Key Points

Newcastle United’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/D/L/W

Manchester United’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/W/L/W

Key Stat: Goals – These sides have provided entertainment in their last two meetings, scoring eight between them, seven of which were scored by Manchester United.

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Key Player: Wayne Rooney – The England captain has endured a relatively difficult season so far and showed in the weekend’s 2-0 win against Sunderland just why people are calling for him to be playing further up the field with two goals.

Score Prediction

Newcastle United 1-2 Manchester United – Louis Van Gaal’s side cannot afford to finish outside the top four this season and should be too strong for Newcastle on Wednesday.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle vs Stoke

Premier League: Newcastle vs Stoke 
Venue: St. James’ Park – Sunday, February 8 – 14:05
Match Odds: Newcastle 13/10 – Draw 11/5 – Stoke City 11/5

Newcastle take on Stoke City in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon in what looks set to be an intriguing matchup, with both sides coming into the game off the back of wins last weekend.

Newcastle United are hoping to win their first home match under new interim head coach John Carver, following their win at the KC Stadium last Saturday, crushing Hull City 3-0.

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Whilst Stoke City go into the game at St. James’ Park off the back of two wins in their last three matches in the league.

Newcastle are currently sitting in 11th place and a win this Sunday afternoon will see them rise above their opponents Stoke and go into 10th.

The Magpies registered their first win since December 28th with victory against Hull last time out and will now hope to win back-to-back league games for the first time since November.

With their lack of consistency this season it’s no surprise they are lingering around mid-table and for a club the size of Newcastle they should be a lot higher. However at home Newcastle have defeated league leaders Chelsea and last season’s runners-up Liverpool so they will expect to pick up all three points against the Potters.

Newcastle’s home record: Played 11 – Won 5 – Drawn 3 – Lost 3

Stoke City had a mixed January in the Premier League with two wins, a loss and a defeat in the league but ended with two wins on the bounce, along with a win against Rochdale in the FA Cup.

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The Potters are without Bojan for the rest of the season so they will lack some creativity considering how important he has been to the side since he joined from Barcelona last summer. A win for Stoke could send them into 9th if Swansea slip up on Saturday against Sunderland at home.

Stoke City’s away record: Played 12 – Won 4 – Drawn 3 – Lost 5

If you cast your mind back to the reverse fixture at the Britannia back in September, Stoke took all three points thanks to a Peter Crouch goal in a 1-0 win.

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With both teams coming off big wins last weekend it will be hard to call the result in this one. Mark Hughes will want to erase the memory of Stoke’s 5-1 loss at St. James’ Park last season by defeating the Magpies. Expect this to be close.

Newcastle United’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/L/L/W

Stoke City’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/L/W/W

Key Stat: Jon Walters has scored four times in previous nine meetings between the sides in the Premier League.

Key Player: Jon Walters – The Republic Of Ireland striker scored a hat-trick against Queens Park Rangers last week and will be hungry for more goals as he comes into the game thriving on confidence.

Score Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Stoke City – Stoke to earn a hard fought win at St. James’s Park.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Hull City vs Newcastle United

Competition: Premier League

Venue: KC Stadium – Saturday, January 31 – 12:45PM

Match odds: Hull 8/5 – Draw 21/10 – Newcastle 9/5

The early kick off in the Premier League on Saturday will see John Carver’s Newcastle United travel to the KC Stadium to take on a Hull City side that is desperate for a win.

Both sides have lost their last three games in all competitions and Hull and Newcastle come into the game needing to turn things around, which should make this an intriguing match.

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Hull City have been poor this season and have struggled to threaten their opposition in attack, with their last goal coming on New Years Day. They have failed to score in six of their last eight league games.

Hull City’s home record in the Premier League: Played 10 – Won 2 – Drawn 3 – Lost 5

Much of this is down to the lack of availability of their forwards as Abel Hernandez and Nikica Jelavic are both still out with groin and knee injuries respectively.

That means Sone Aluko should continue up front and Steve Bruce will be hoping he is the man to break the drought, as he knows that the pressure is really on the Tigers as they sit in the relegation zone going into the game.

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Newcastle have had another mid-season crisis having lost their manager, Alan Pardew to Crystal Palace, leaving interim boss John Carver to see out the season.

With one win in their last seven in the Premier League, they are in dire need of a victory at the KC Stadium though they have only won one of the last seven meetings with Hull.

Newcastle’s away record in the Premier League: Played 11 – Won 2 – Drawn 3 – Lost 6

That win came at the KC Stadium last March in a game that was more memorable for Alan Pardew’s headbutt on David Meyler than the Magpies’ 4-1 win.

Much of Newcastle’s hopes this season lie on the shoulders of Papiss Cisse and he has potential to play on Saturday as Senegal were eliminated earlier this week from the African Cup of Nations. If he can return to the club in time he could feature.

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Cisse was of course the catalyst for Newcastle in the reverse fixture as he grabbed a late brace to salvage a point at St. James’ Park back in September as the two sides drew 2-2.

This one could go either way and should start off a cracking weekend of fixtures with a bang. Neither side can afford to lose again.

Hull City’s last five in the Premier League: W/L/W/L/L

Newcastle’s last five in the Premier League: L/W/D/L/L

Key Stat: Hull City have only beaten Newcastle at home twice in their history. Their last victory in front of their own fans came back in November 1990. Incredible.

Key Player: Moussa Sissoko – The midfield powerhouse has the ability and presence to change this game in one attack and will be key to Newcastle’s plans. Hull City must contain him.

Hull vs. Newcastle Prediction: Hull City 0 – 1 Newcastle United – The Tigers lack enough bite to turn things around here.