Newcastle's Vurnon Anita recalled for 'tough' Stoke clash


Vurnon Anita returns to Newcastle United's starting XI for this afternoon's match against Stoke City.

Anita replaces the suspended Jack Colback, who is also facing up to six weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury.

United head coach Steve McClaren has otherwise kept the same team for the Premier League match (3pm kick-off).

McClaren said: "Vurnon has done very well this season.

"It's just at some stages, we have needed a more attacking midfield player there and he's been sacrificed for that.

"But in every game, he's been great for us. He's very disciplined, knows the job and does the job. He's a tough character and someone who without Jack, we will need him in the up and coming games."

On Stoke, McClaren added: "They are always tough and were under Tony Pulis, but Mark (Hughes) has come in at a difficult time and done a great job with his staff.

"They have bought good players in. They are a good team as they proved (against Chelsea) on Tuesday. They have won five of their last six games, so it is not easy, not easy at all."

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Newcastle team: Elliot; Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett; Sissoko, Anita, Tiote, Wijnaldum; Perez, Mitrovic. Subs: Woodman, Lascelles, Haidara, Gouffran, Thauvin, de Jong, Cisse.

STOKE CITY: Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters; Adam, Whelan; Shaqiri, Bojan, Arnautovic; Walters. Subs: Haugaard, Ireland, Wilson, Afellay, van Ginkel, Biram Diouf, Crouch.