Free Soccer Pick & Preview: Stoke City vs. Newcastle United

Lee Phelps

Thursday, September 25, 2014 9:11 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 25, 2014 9:11 PM GMT

Our tipster takes on the Premier League matchup between Stoke City and Newcastle United. Find out where he believes the best value lies for our soccer picks.

Poor old Newcastle. It appears the owner, manager and staff are as far from the fans as ever at the moment and protests can’t help anyone, BUT to the players’ credit they seem to be playing for Alan Pardew and it’s good to see. To come back from two goals down with fans baying for blood at St James’ Park was excellent (even if it did ruin my nap selection last weekend!)

The tables turned midweek as Newcastle looked to have booked their place in the fourth round of the League Cup, only for Crystal Palace to level the game in stoppage time. Taking them to extra time, but crucially a win.

This is a Monday night game, so the players should have ample time to recover from the trip to London, but it isn’t ideal of course.

 

Will The Real Stoke Please Stand Up
Stoke themselves booked their place in the next stage of the competition by beating the Geordies’ big rivals Sunderland. I was disappointed with Stoke last weekend at QPR. Twice they led, but couldn’t shut the game down and once again they seem to be caught between two styles and unable, at the moment, to marry the two together. When asked to do a job on Manchester City, the players understood their roles and carried Mark Hughes’ plan out to perfection. But within a game, they don’t seem to know whether to stick or twist. Each time they took the lead against Rangers, through crisp incisive play, they sunk back into their shells and discarded the tactic that had got them the goal. I’m not saying they should pour forward looking to score five, but don’t hand the initiative back to the opposition either.

Simon Lowe summed it up well in the Stoke Sentinel this week: “This game seemed to serve as a microcosm of Stoke's season so far. Better away than at home, where massed defences are proving difficult to unlock, City showed great pace and skill on the break. That hurts teams, but distinctly average finishing means Stoke are not scoring anywhere near the number of goals that they should. But for all the negatives which a late equaliser brings, no matter how it finds the back of your net, you have to say the side is shaping up well. Mark Hughes just has to find a way to produce a lot more penetration, better final passes and, of course, some clinical finishing in front of goal. Sounds easy, doesn't it?!”

Like this Cappers Pick? Check Out his Thoughts on Chelsea vs. Aston Villa Matchup!

Can the Magpies Steal a Result?
Lowe’s observations on Stoke’s fallibility at home could be exploited by a more confident team than Newcastle. At the moment, it’s hard to see them grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck. They have had two away games so far, one when they went to Villa and made it hard for the Midlands side to break them down (something we knew Villa struggled with). They went to Southampton and were hammered trying a similar thing. The one common denominator between both games was a blank for Newcastle’s strikers and still they haven’t scored an away Premier League goal this season. I find it hard to see how they can outscore Stoke given that stat and the way they set up. At this point I’d expect you to say ‘Aha! But Stoke are yet to score at home and have lost both 1-0’ and I would reply ‘Good point and that’s why I’m going low on the goals!’

 

Soccer Picks
I do think Stoke will win this match and with soccer odds against prices like 23/20, I could take that. Because of all the goals stats and the lack of finishing from Stoke I’m looking at under 1.5 goals at 21/10 as my main soccer pick here.

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