Newcastle United vs West Ham United: Preview and Prediction

Two teams competing for European qualification face off at St. James’ Park on Saturday lunchtime as Newcastle United play host to West Ham United.

The Premier League returns after the international break for Gameweek 30 with an intriguing match-up between Newcastle United and West Ham United, with both sides looking to strengthen their top-seven prospects.

After seeing their FA Cup dream end with a quarter-final loss to holders Manchester City a fortnight ago, Eddie Howe’s men will aim to secure successive European qualification and should prioritise this target for the final stretch of the season.

The Magpies have fallen out of contention for the European places following their 3-2 defeat to Chelsea in the Premier League last time out and are currently sitting in tenth place in the Premier League. If Chelsea win their game in hand, the Magpies would drop as low as 11th.

While David Moyes continues to split opinion in what may be his final season in command of the club, the Irons’ form improved before the international break. The Hammers came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Burnley before breezing past SC Freiburg in the Europa League to reach the quarter-finals and drawing with high-flying Aston Villa.

West Ham are only three points below the top six and have a four-point buffer over Eddie Howe’s side. So, it is essential they do not lose this game to keep Newcastle’s European push at bay. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides before they lock horns this weekend.

Team News & Tactics

Newcastle United

Sven Botman suffered a knee injury in the dying embers of the Manchester City game, and he is now confirmed to have damaged his ACL, making him unavailable for the rest of the season.

Botman joins Sandro Tonali (suspended), Callum Wilson (chest), Joelinton (thigh), and Nick Pope (shoulder) on the Magpies’ bucket list of long-term absentees, as does talented teenage playmaker Lewis Miley, who picked up a back issue while on England Under-21 duty and is expected to miss around six weeks.

However, Eddie Howe is still holding out hope that Kieran Trippier (calf), Valentino Livramento (ankle), and Harvey Barnes (thigh) will be cleared to return here. Jacob Murphy is on standby to operate at right-back again if the former two are ruled out.

Newcastle United were outclassed by Manchester City in the FA Cup final eight, as their defensively-focused system, which included five at the back in a 5-3-2 shape, failed against Manchester City. The hosts are anticipated to return to their more offensive 4-3-3 formation here.

Martin Dubravka will protect the goal, while the back four will include Dan Burn and Livramento as full-backs, and Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar as centre-backs. Bruno Guimaraes, Joe Willock, and Sean Longstaff will form a midfield trio. The offensive front three will have Miguel Almiron and the recently England-capped Anthony Gordon on the flanks, with Alexander Isak leading the line for Newcastle against West Ham.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Dubravka; Livramento, Schar, Lascelles, Burn; Willock, Guimaraes, Longstaff; Almiron, Isak, Gordon

West Ham United

West Ham’s key defensive midfielder, Edson Alvarez, will serve the first of his two-match ban here after receiving his tenth yellow card of the season. Maxwel Cornet and Mohammed Kudus are both injury doubts, but the latter should start here if given the green light to do so.

As a result, both Kalvin Phillips and James Ward-Prowse could return to the starting lineup. Maxwel Cornet (thigh) has expressed hope that he will be able to return to St. James’ Park, although he is likely to take a spot on the bench.

David Moyes is unlikely to alter his preferred 4-2-3-1 setup, with Alphonse Areola set to remain between the sticks. The back four will feature Vladimir Coufal and Emerson Palmieri at full-back, with Kurt Zouma and Konstantinos Mavropanos operating at the heart of the defence.

James Ward-Prowse could replace the potentially sidelined Kudus, joining Jarrod Bowen and Lucas Paqueta in an attacking midfield trio. Bowen has scored 18 goals in 37 appearances across all boards. Michail Antonio will lead the West Ham attack against Newcastle United on Saturday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Areola; Coufal, Mavropanos, Zouma, Emerson; Soucek, Phillips; Bowen, Ward-Prowse, Paqueta; Antonio

Key Stats

  • Newcastle United have lost just one of their past nine Premier League meetings with West Ham United, a 4-2 home defeat in August 2021.
  • However, the Hammers have lost just one of their past five Premier League games at Newcastle, going down 3-2 in April 2021.
  • Alongside Manchester City and Tottenham, Newcastle are one of three sides to have scored in all of their Premier League home games this season.
  • The Magpies have also kept a league-high seven clean sheets at home.
  • West Ham are on a run of nine games without a clean sheet in the Premier League, with only the bottom two sides – Sheffield United (12) and Burnley (11) boasting a worse record.

Player to Watch

Alexander Isak

Embed from Getty Images

Alexander Isak has had his own share of fitness issues this term. But he has been Newcastle United’s main goal threat when available this season. Isak has scored 12 goals in just 20 league games, making the Swedish international the club’s top scorer this term.

The 24-year-old striker has netted in five of his last seven Premier League games. But Newcastle United have lost four of those five matches in which he got onto the scoresheet. His ability to finish chances could prove crucial for the Magpies, as he will be a key man for the hosts.


Newcastle United 2-0 West Ham United

West Ham United have struggled to score goals on enemy territory in recent years, and a renewed concern over Mohammed Kudus’s fitness will do the away side no favours in that sense.

The international break came at an ideal moment for a Newcastle team that showed shaky in their FA Cup demise, and while they may be suffering from Botman’s crushing blow, The Hard Tackle fancy Howe’s troops will get back to the winning column owing to their tendency for producing their best at St. James’ Park.

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