Preview: Stoke v Newcastle

Under-pressure Stoke boss Mark Hughes is desperately in need of a result when Newcastle visit the Bet365 Stadium on New Year’s Day.

The Potters are in danger of being dragged into the relegation scrap after picking up just two wins in the last two months, which has left them two points above the bottom-three in 15th place.

Chelsea piled more misery on Hughes with a comprehensive 5-0 victory at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as his team ended 2017 winless in their last two games.

Magpies counterpart Rafael Benitez has endured an almost identical run of results since the start of November, with a dull goalless draw against Brighton on Saturday leaving the Toon without a win in their last two outings.

Nine defeats over a two-month period sees Benitez’s side only one point above the drop zone in 16th position.

In team news, Hughes is expected to ring the changes once more after fielding an under-strength team against the Blues.

Xherdan Shaqiri, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Joe Allen and Eric Pieters are all set to come back into the side after being controversially rested against Chelsea, along with Kurt Zouma, who was ineligible to face his parent club.

But the hosts remain without key defensive trio Ryan Shawcross (calf), Glen Johnson (knee) and Bruno Martins Indi (groin).

Benitez made numerous changes in the last two games and could do so once more on Monday, although he must do without Rob Elliot (thigh), Jesus Gamez (ankle), Florian Lejeune (foot) and Aleksandar Mitrovic (back).

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