Newcastle United will play host to Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Magpies are heading into this match on the back of successive league wins against West Ham and Swansea City, and their morale is further boosted with Rafa Benitez returning from illness.
A lot has been said and written about Newcastle’s poor transfer window, and how Benitez wasn’t backed properly by the Magpies owner, Mike Ashley.
It is something Newcastle cannot rectify at the moment before the next transfer window kicks in, so Benitez will have to work his magic out with the resources he has at his disposal.
Stoke City are also approaching this game with loads of confidence, after getting positive results against the likes of Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion, and Manchester United already.
In their last match, they earned a 2-2 draw against Jose Mourinho’s side and will be looking to frustrate the Magpies at St James’ Park.
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson says he can’t separate the two teams at the moment, and predicts a 1-1 draw. However, he adds that if Newcastle manage a win here, Tyneside will be a happy place.
“Both teams had good results last weekend and I can’t separate them at the moment. Stoke have found their feet and Newcastle have had a couple of good results,” said Merson to Sky Sports.
“Newcastle put in a good performance at Swansea and if they get another win then it’s happy days at the club. It’s a funny old game.”