Newcastle - West Ham Prediction and Analysis
Newcastle hosts West Ham in a match of the 22nd round of the Premier League.
The hosts will be looking to extend their unbeaten run at St James' Park.
Here the Magpies won 6 times and the remaining 4 championship matches ended in a draw.
Even more valuable for Eddie Howe's team is that the last 5 matches of this series have been without conceding a goal.
In fact, Newcastle are also the team with the strongest defense in the Premier League, conceding just 11 goals in 20 games.
At this stage, their title chances look illusory with those 11 points adrift of leaders Arsenal.
But the possibility of getting into the Top 4 seems completely realistic.
Which would also secure them participation in the group stage of next year's Champions League.
West Ham, on the other hand, are gravitating around the danger zone, where it has been very hot this season.
This is mainly due to their poor performance abroad. The Hammers went 1-2-7 in ten outings .
So things are heading towards another win for Newcastle.
Which also dominate in the last 8 games with West Ham - 5-0-3. Like 4 of those 5 successes were by exactly 1 goal difference.
I predict that we will witness something similar today.
Given the economical game shown by Eddie Howe's players.
Newcastle - statistics and info
Newcastle reached the Carabao Cup final in midweek.
Thus keeping alive the Magpies' hopes of winning a first major cup since 1969.
As well as a first domestic trophy since 1955, when they triumphed in the FA Cup.
It would be a fitting reward for a season in which they look set to break into the top four .
And at the same time , they remain undefeated on home soil so far in the Premier League (6-4-0).
Their midweek victory, however, was a bit of a pyrrhic one.
As Bruno Guimaraes' late red card means he now begins a three-match ban.
In addition, Alexander Isaac left with a suspected concussion.
It was Isaac who headed home the late winner in Newcastle's last home game against Fulham.
It was the only goal scored by the Magpies in their last 4 Premier League matches.
But despite that, they didn't lose any of them - one 1-0 win and three goalless draws.
As Newcastle are on a remarkable run of 6 consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League.
West Ham - statistics and info
West Ham will breathe a little easier after a vital 2-0 win over fellow rescue strugglers Everton.
Which eased their relegation worries a bit.
They then progressed to the FA Cup after a 2-0 win away to League One side Derby.
To secure a visit to Manchester United in the fifth round.
The key to their recent resurgence has been Jarrod Bowen.
Who ended a three-month goal drought with both goals against Everton.
And then scored another and assisted in Darby.
Manager David Moyes commented:
“Jarod has been a great player for us over the last few years and he's proven it. But the first 4 months of this season, from August to November, he probably had his biggest decline.”
Bowen's return to fitness gives the Hammers hope they have something to cheer about.
But their miserable away record of just one win and as many as 7 defeats in 10 matches makes them easy to dismiss.
Squads and injured footballers
Lineup: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Bothman, Byrne; Wheelock, Longstaff, Joelinton; Almiron, Wilson, Saint-Maximin
Injured: Kraft, Target, Manquillo, Isaac (questionable)
Punished : Guimarães
Lineup: Fabian; Kerer, Ogbonna, Agerd; Kufal, Suchek, Rice, Emerson; The Packet, Bowen; Antonio
Injured: Korne, Skamaka, Zouma, Ings (questionable)