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Saturday, 06 December 2008

Newcastle United vs Stoke City: Premier League Prediction Panel 2008/9 - preview and predictions

With much of Newcastle's big squad now back from injury there is something of a selection dilemma; Owen, Martins or Viduka?  Balance suggests that Viduka should come in as he offers balance and link play from midfield to attack - so Owen or Martins?  Difficult choice as Owen's people are casting around for a transfer next month and Martins is easily upset, but will probably be at Newcastle longer.  Awkward choice for Kinnear as he seeks his first win since being confirmed as manager for the season.

Of course there is more to Stoke than Rory Delap's long throws; but the team is fairly pedestrian by Premier League standards and it does need to maximise its results from set plays as a result.  As Stoke's pitch is narrower than most Premier League pitches, the long throw arrives in a different and less dangerous place away from home (ie in front of the near post).  This is a good indicator as to why Stoke has won no away games in the league.  Good home results briefly lifted Stoke into mid-table but it has now drifted to within three points of the drop and safety is a long, hard slog away.

Newcastle are 4/5 odds on favourites to beat Stoke and move above them in the league, the draw is 5/2 and a Stoke win available at 7/2.

Newcastle United vs Stoke City; Kick Off 3:00pm 06 Dec 2008

Prediction Panel
Our panel contains both Squarefootball writers and readers, the writers are marked: (sqf).

Tony Bellew : 2 - 2
Dave Blackburn : 2 - 2
Sue Gardener : 1 - 1
Chris Goodwin : 2 - 1
Paul Grech (sqf) : 2 - 1
Colin Illingworth (sqf) : 2 - 1
Hugh Larkin (sqf) : 1 - 1
Peter Lee : 1 - 0
Don McMahon : 1 - 0
Antony Melvin (sqf) : 1 - 0
Stephen Orford (sqf) : 1 - 0
Tony Ratton : 2 - 0
Peter Rendle : 2 - 0
Dan Taylor : 2 - 0
Bill Urban (sqf) : 2 - 2
Andy Wakeman : 2 - 0
Isaac Williams : 2 - 1
Mark Williams : TBC - TBC

Panel Verdict
The panel is nervously predicting a Newcastle win, 2-1 or 2-0.

Home: 12; Draw: 5; Away: 0; TBC: 1;

* Do we have it right, or do you know better? Please don't bother with derisory comments on the predictions after the match - unless you also pulled us up before it!

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