Newcastle vs Stoke City
Newcastle didn't start the new season in the best possible way, but the side is improving slowly in recent times as they now have two consecutive victories - both without a goal conceded and the overall atmosphere is far better inside their locker room.
They suffered defeats against Tottenham and Huddersfield, but improved against West Ham and home and confirmed their good performance with a narrow victory over Swansea last weekend with a 1:0 result. Only goal was scored back in 76th minute via Lascelles, while it needs to be said that the guests were really better during the match and completely deserved the victory even though the Swans had much more of the ball possession, but the guests were way more threatening always knowing what they wanted with the ball to their feet.
Hosts should be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation with Joselu as central striker, plus Murphy, Perez and Ritchie as offensive midfielders. Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic (1/1) serves a suspension here, while injured remain left backs Paul Dummett (1/0), Chancel Mbemba (3/0) and goalkeeper Karl Darlow who anyway isn't their first choice.
Stoke City, on the other side, looks rather well in the new Premiership season, as the team suffered defeat away from home against Everton at the start of the season, but obviously had improved significantly since then.
They recorded victories over Arsenal and Rochdale in Carabao Cup, but also took a point on the road against West Brom and surprised many with a really good performance at home against Manchester United in a 2:2 draw last weekend. They took the lead via Choupo-Moting in 43rd, but the guests replied couple of moments late via Rashord, while Lukaku brought them into the lead in 57th, but Choupo-Moting leveled up in 63rd in a game where the visiting side surely had more of the chances created, but the hosts stood in defense rather well too.
Guests are set to play in 3-4-2-1 formation with Jese as central striker, but also with Shaqiri and Choupo-Motig behind his back as offenisve support. forward Julien Ngoy is injured, same as midfielders Stephen Ireland, Ibrahim Afellay and central defender Geoff Cameron (4/0).
- Newcastle are undefeated in their last 5 home matches against Stoke.
Both sides took positive results in previous round and should be able to come up here with positivity and boosted morale. Newcaslte will be looking for a victory, but the players of Stoke are far from naive and I expect them to be more than threatening in this one as well - therefore, first betting choice will be both teams scoring at least once.