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Pardew pressure palpable ahead of Newcastle’s trip to Potters

There is nothing to choose between Stoke City and Newcastle United in their Premier League head-to-head history; four wins apiece and a couple of draws. Couple that with back-to-back home defeats for the Potters and the Magpies’ winless away record this term, and odds of 23/10 on a draw with Coral look tempting.

It’s a battle between two sides at the wrong end of the table that are expected to do better. Neither is expected to lose top-flight status, however, as the Toon are 4/1 in the relegation market, while Mark Hughes’ men are as long as 10/1.

Hosts Stoke start as 11/10 favourites for three precious points, which will move them away from immediate danger, but have lost each of their last two league outings at the Britannia 1-0. Odds of 17/2 say Newcastle will win by this precise scoreline, while an away win whatever the exact result is 11/4.

Alan Pardew, meanwhile, continues to be at the centre of the latest episode of the Tyneside opera. His Magpies prop up the Premier League table ahead of this trip to the Potteries and, however much Mike Ashley insists his recent sack threat to Pardew was tongue in cheek, being in the basement is bad for anyone’s job prospects.

Thankfully, Pardew and punters can count on Papiss Cisse to give the travelling Toon Army something to celebrate. Senegal striker Cisse, who netted twice off the bench to rescue Newcastle in their last league outing against Hull City, has a perfect scoring record against Stoke.

Four goals in four appearances when previously paired with this opposition makes odds of 7/4 on Cisse grabbing a goal anytime splendid value. He missed the Capital One Cup extra time victory over Crystal Palace in midweek through illness, but former Monaco forward Emmanuel Riviere broke his Magpies duck in that match.

Born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, Riviere is 2/1 to net again at the Britannia, where Newcastle have won just once in history. Being a Toon Army member is never dull, and this season is no exception.

Each of the Magpies’ last four matches in all competitions have contained four goals or more. Odds of 17/5 say the total number of times the net will bulge at the Britannia will be more than 3.5.

Coral are offering a match special, with a £20 maximum stake, of Peter Crouch scoring and Stoke winning at enhanced odds of 9/2. The ex-England international target man has not netted against Newcastle since doing so in Liverpool colours both home and away in 2005/06. You can see this one of two ways; either Potters striker Crouch is long overdue a goal and take the price, or avoid this bet.

Jonathan Walters looks a much better bet to score in this game for Stoke, provided his passes a fitness test on a niggling calf problem. The Republic of Ireland forward has been on target in three of the last four meetings between these two at the Britannia, and is 2/1 to net again anytime.

Punters should definitely consider backing a score draw of 1-1 at 11/2 taking all the above into consideration. History suggests Cisse and Walters are the men to bank on in this battle, so even if neither is fit enough to start then they can make the required respective impacts off the bench.