Newcastle United host Stoke City at St James' Park on Sunday, with the Magpies looking to finish a poor season on a high. The hosts' recent good form - three wins in the last five Premier League games - has bought them a buffer zone to the relegation dogfight but they need to keep going to hit the traditional 40-point safety mark.
Stoke, meanwhile, have, more or less, ensured a comfortable mid-table finish to the campaign and could be forgiven for taking their foot off the gas in the final weeks. They will be aware, though, the last time they travelled to Tyneside it finished 3-0 to the hosts.
The reverse fixture, from earlier this season, finished 2-1 to the Potters, with Jonathan Walters and Cameron Jerome sealing all three points.
Where to Follow Live
Kick-off is set for 3pm GMT. Live commentary will be available on BBC Newcastle. Catch highlights of the game on Match of the Day, on BBC One and BBC One HD at 10.25 pm GMT.
Newcastle return from Russia with a strong performance in the first leg of their Europa League knock-out tie against Anzhi Makhachkala. The 0-0 draw leaves Alan Pardew's men in control of the tie and they will be confident of progressing at home.
Domestically, the last league game was a disappointment. A late goal from Luke Moore gave Swansea City all three points at the Liberty Stadium last week. The good news is Newcastle's home form is reasonably impressive; seven wins in 14 games. And that compares favourably with Stoke's away record - one win and seven defeats in 14 games.
Newcastle have won two league games, at home, on the trot. But the fact those were separated by a host of away games and European fixtures reduces the wins' significance. Nevertheless, expect Pardew's men to be fired up for this match.
Tony Pulis has managed only one league win in 2013 and will be thankful the poor run has come when it has. The Potters are reasonably safe from any relegation concerns although, unless they start winning games soon, West Ham, Norwich, Sunderland and even today's hosts will start asking serious questions.
The problem is that the goals have dried up. The side has managed only two goals in the last four games and only nine in 11 games this year. Stoke remains one of the tightest teams, defensively, in the league, with only 33 goals conceded; only Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal have given away fewer goals.
Stoke come to St James' Park on the back of two consecutive 1-0 defeats, to Fulham and West Ham.
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): D L W W D
- Last Match: Anzhi Makhachkala 0 - 0 Newcastle United
- Last Five (all competitions, nost recent first):L L W L D
- Last Result: Stoke City 0 - 1 West Ham United
Newcastle are without captain Fabricio Coloccini (back) and Ryan Taylor (knee). Goalkeepers Tim Krul (ankle) and Steve Harper (knee) are also out, leaving Rob Elliot as No 1. Senegal striker Papiss Cisse is expected to be available, after having missed the Anzhi game with an illness. French midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa continues his return from injury and is likely only to start from the bench in this game.
Probable Line-Up: Elliot; Debuchy, Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon; Gutierrez, Cabaye, Tiote, Gouffran; Sissoko; Cisse
Pulis is expected to be able to call on Matthew Etherington and ex-Newcastle United striker Michael Owen. Centre-back Robert Huth is unavailable, as he is serving a three-match suspension for violent conduct.
Probable Line-Up: Begovic; Wilson, Shawcross, Wilkinson, Shotton; Kightly, Whelan, Nzonzi, Etherington; Walters, Crouch
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