Stoke City - Newcastle United pre-match analysis: Can the Magpies climb to safety?

Newcastle United travel to Stoke City hoping to take advantage of their relegation rivals failing to pick up three points.

Stoke City - Newcastle United pre-match analysis: Can the Magpies climb to safety?
Photo source: Sportsmole

Fans and pundits alike will be asking 'Can Newcastle's players do it on a cold Wednesday night in Stoke?' as the Magpies travel to Stoke City hoping to get an invaluable three points.

The facts and figures

Newcastle United head into this fixture with a poor record in recent weeks. They have lost their last six games away from home and have conceded ten goals in their last three. To make the reading even gloomier for Newcastle fans, since Steve McClaren joined last summer, 11 of the club's 14 away games have ended in defeat and 22 of Newcastle's last 27 away matches have ended in defeat.

Stoke City have had another good season so far under Mark Hughes and currently sit in ninth place. However, they have failed to keep a clean sheet in five games despite winning two of those matches convincingly.

Stoke have won six of their nine games this season against the bottom six clubs so far this season which will ensure Newcastle fans head into this tie even more nervous.

Stoke have also beaten Newcastle the last three times the sides have faced each other at the Britannia Stadium.

Newcastle's injuries

Newcastle usually suffer from injuries around this time of year and there is no change this season. Players including Fabricio Colccini, Chancel Mbemba and Cheick Tiote all face late fitness tests to see whether they will feature in the tie, whilst players such as Kevin Mbabu, Tim Krul and Massadio Haidara have been sidelined for the last few months.

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Vurnon Anita are both set to return to the squad for Wednesday's game.

What a win means

A win for the home side could take them to within two points of fifth place which shows the Potters are firmly in the running to achieve a European spot if they keep on performing at the level they have been.

A win for Newcastle is slightly more important however. Three points would lift the North East outfit out of the relegation zone and move them three points clear of the drop zone. 

Norwich City and Sunderland both failed to win earlier in the week to add some extra incentive for the Newcastle players.