Newcastle United vs. Stoke City: 5 Key Battles for Magpies and Potters

Thomas Atzenhoffer@socceratzCorrespondent IIOctober 28, 2011

Newcastle United vs. Stoke City: 5 Key Battles for Magpies and Potters

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    Newcastle continue to hold onto their unbeaten record after a 1-0 victory against Wigan Athletic this past weekend. Their trip to Stoke City and the Britannia will be a daunting task as the Potters are ruthlessly stingy at home.

    However, after four games in close to 10 days between a Europa League match, Arsenal, Liverpool in the Carling Cup and finally Newcastle United, the Potters may be a little winded and could be in position to drop a few points to the top class Magpies.

    Alan Pardew will field his best squad at the Britannia and hope for another solid performance by his underrated squad that has been one of the biggest surprises of the season so far, as they remain in the top four of the EPL week after week at the moment.

Demba Ba vs Ryan Shawcross

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    Damba Ba has been quite for a pair of games but his goal scoring threat continues to stalk in front of any opposing net.

    After a frustrating extra time loss to Blackburn Rovers, Ba is sure to do all he can to claim victory at the Britannia Stadium as he failed to make a difference in the match.

    Ryan Shawcross could be recalled at the heart of Defense is Jonathan Woodgate and Robert Huth are rested again as they were against Arsenal in order to be ready for the next round of European play.

Yohan Cabaye vs Dean Whitehead

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    Few new tinker men in the middle of the park have been as influential on their new club as Yohan Cabaye has since joining Newcastle. The former Lille player has been nothing short of magnificent for the Magpies.

    Dean Whitehead needs to be on his game to try and control some of the flow of play though the middle. If he does not at least help to limit Newcastle's control in the center half then it will be a long, tough road against both Cabaye and Ismael Cheik Tiote.

Peter Crouch vs Fabricio Coloccini

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    Peter Crouch should start after being rested in midweek against his former club Liverpool.

    The towering striker has been in decent form of late and could trouble Coloccini in the air.

Rory Delap vs Tim Krul

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    It may seem like a strange matchup by pairing Newcastle Keeper Tim Krul and Stoke City midfielder Rory Delap together but it makes perfect sense in context.

    Delap is certain to have a number of long throws into the box and will likely have more of them than his side has corners. Krul will have to be on the top of his senses to defend against the constant aerial threats of Stoke.

Jonas Gutierrez vs Jonathan Walters

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    Jonas Gutierrez and Jonathan Walters have both been creative influences on their sides in a big way for their clubs.

    They will have to be on their game as either team has a chance to take this game if they can create the right chances.

Conclusion

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    Newcastle will face a tough test at the Britannia Stadium and this is one of several great threats to their unblemished record that they will face over the next month.

    Both clubs will be feeling the burn after being knocked out of the Carling Cup midweek and will be looking to get back on track.

    For more information on all 10 of this weeks EPL matches you can check out English Premier League: Week 10 EPL Match Previews and Predictions.

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