It’s an important game against West Ham on early Sunday afternoon at St. James’ Park. The KO is at 1:30 pm.
Important because the team needs to recover from the very disappointing display on Monday night, and get back on track in the league. Since we are not in Europe this season we have to take every league game seriously and get as many points as we can from each one.
That’s the best way to get back into Europe next season, where we belong.
West Ham are similar to Newcastle in having a bunch of new players and have made a decent start to the season including a win we saw on TV last weekend against Middlesbrough at Upton Park where they woke up in the second half with 3 goals and deserved the win and the score.
West Ham have a good 10 points from their first 5 games with 3 wins, a draw and one defeat on the first day of the season to much improved Manchester City. They lost 2-0 at Upton Park to City and are currently in 6th place in the league. Newcastle have 8 points from the first 5 games with 2 wins, 2 draws and a defeat against Derby County at Pride Park on Monday, which we all know about only too well. We are currently in 10th place in the league.
Newcastle have done well at St. James’ Park under Sam Allardyce this season, still having to concede our first goal having won 2 and drawn 1. On the other hand West Ham have won all their away games and are looking for their fifth consecutive away league win. The Hammers are the only club not to concede an away goal in the Premier League and Newcastle have yet to concede a home goal in the Premiership â€“ interesting isn’t it? Hope that doesn’t mean a 0-0 draw though 😀
Another stat that is interesting is that West Ham have not won on Tyneside for 9 seasons. Also, the last hat trick for Newcastle we remember very well was Michael Owen against West Ham, in the 2-4 Premier League win at Upton Park on 17 December 2005, when Michael partnered Alan Shearer in a memorable game.
The really interesting item from a Newcastle fans’ viewpoint is what the team will be on Sunday. We have a gut feeling that Michael Owen will not make the game through injury, although we hope that Mark Viduka does, since he’s already been out 3 weeks with his hamstring problem.
Steve Harper will again start in goal but we expect Shay to be back for the Arsenal game in the League Cup on Tuesday night at the Emirates. We would like to see Habib Beye start his first game but comments from Sam today suggest that may not happen. In any case this is the team we hope Sam goes with on Sunday, but there are still some injury doubts and we are assuming right now that Owen will not make it.
Beye Rozehnal Cacapa Taylor
Milner Smith Butt N’Zogbia
Subs: Given, Ameobi, Faye, Enrique, Geremi
The referee will be Mike Riley (Leeds, Yorkshire).
Injury doubts lie with Rozehnal, Viduka and Enrique.
Former Newcastle players Bellamy and Dyer are both out injured and will not make the trip to Tyneside, but we expect to see Lee Bowyer start. We hope to see Scott Parker, recently returned from injury, and the great Nobby Solano, both on the bench.
We have to think we can win this game, but we do expect it to be very close and hopefully a good competitive and entertaining game, 2-1 to Newcastle 😀
What do you think?
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Comments always very welcome.