Newcastle United vs Stoke City Preview: Magpies searching to make it three straight Premier League wins

Rafael Benitez’ men have won back-to-back games over West Ham United and Swansea City and will target the Potters for another three points.

Newcastle United vs Stoke City Preview: Magpies searching to make it three straight Premier League wins
(Image: GettyImages/ Athena Pictures)

Newcastle United host Stoke City on Saturday, hoping to make it three straight wins in the Premier League.

After losing their opening two league games, plus a Carabao Cup exit to Championship side Nottingham Forest, a possibility of three consecutive wins for the Newcastle supporters would have been beyond their imagination.

A home game against the Potters seems a winnable tie for Rafael Benitez' men as they target three points that would establish an early top 10 place.

Team news

The Magpies welcome back Benitez on their touchline after he missed their win at the Liberty Stadium last weekend.

Chancel Mbemba will miss his second successive game having picked up a groin strain on international duty. Karl Darlow is also a doubt so youngster Freddie Woodman will act as number two.

Florian Lejeune returned to the United bench on Sunday but Paul Dummett remains out of action for the foreseeable future. Both players went off injured in the opening day 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Aleksander Mitrovic serves the second of his three match suspension after the FA stepped in to give the Serbian respective action following an incident involving West Ham United’s Manuel Lanzini.

For the visitors, captain Ryan Shawcross is likely to miss the trip to St James’ Park while Geoff Cameron is rumoured to facing a late fitness test.

Good form shown by both sides

A 3-0 win over West Ham and a 1-0 away victory at Swansea City fired the Benitez’ men into the top ten with a healthy six points from four.

Stoke sit one point behind Newcastle but have arguably faced, on paper, a tougher start to the season.

The Potters have shown their credentials with a victory over Arsenal, returned with draws against West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United.

The records – positives for the Magpies and the Potters

United have also lost once at home to Stoke in their previous 13 games, winning nine and drawing three.

In that period, the Potters’ only win on Tyneside came in 2010, where they recovered from a goal down to win 2-1.

But Stoke themselves also hold a good record over the Magpies as they are unbeaten against them in their last five games.

Likely Toon line up – one or two changes to be made

Rob Elliot is nailed on to keep his place in the United goal as he seeks a third successive clean sheet.

DeAndre Yedlin returned from injury last weekend so Benitez may opt to utilise the versatility of Javier Manquillo by slotting him in at left-back, or possibly Jesus Gamez will retain his place.

Jonjo Shelvey is back ready for selection after he served out his three-match ban to return against his former club. Benitez may opt for a Shelvey and Mikel Merino partnership with Isaac Hayden more likely to miss out instead of the ever-impressive Merino

Christian Atsu may return from the bench to take the place of Jacob Murphy, who made his first top-flight start for the Magpies at the Liberty Stadium.

Ayoze Perez has emerged as Benitez’ preferred number 10 – starting all four of United’s Premier League fixtures. Joselu should start up front against his former side.

Likely line up: Elliot; Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Gamez; Hayden, Merino; Matt Ritchie, Atsu, Perez, Joselu