Newcastle vs. West Ham
Venue: St. James’ Park
Kick off: 12:30PM
West Ham United will travel to Newcastle United this afternoon knowing that a win would see them move into third position in the Premier League table.
The Hammers are currently fourth in England’s top flight, one point behind third-placed Leicester City, while Newcastle occupy 17th position, now six points clear of the relegation zone.
Newcastle are far from out of the relegation picture, but it would be fair to say that last weekend’s 2-1 success at Burnley was a huge result in the context of their fight to remain at the top level of English football.
For all of the criticism aimed at Steve Bruce’s side, they have actually only lost one of their last six in the Premier League and have managed to pick up four points from their last two fixtures at home to Tottenham Hotspur and away to Burnley, which have boosted their chances of staying in the league.
As it stands, the Magpies are 17th in the table, six points clear of 18th-placed Fulham, and they also have a game in hand over the Cottagers, who are now in danger of being cut adrift in their fight for survival.
Newcastle have been boosted by the recent returns of Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin from injury, and the latter came off the bench to score a brilliant winner for Bruce’s side at Turf Moor last weekend.
The four-time English champions will now be looking to put another important three points on the board this weekend, but they have struggled on home soil this term, picking up just 17 points from 15 matches.
West Ham, meanwhile, will be bidding to make it three Premier League victories in a row, boosting their chances of claiming a Champions League position in the process.
Since losing 1-0 at Manchester United on March 14, David Moyes’s side have picked up seven points from their three matches against Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City, holding on to beat Wolves and Leicester 3-2 in their last two fixtures.
As it stands, the London club are fourth in the table, one point behind third-placed Leicester, while they are one point clear of fifth-placed Chelsea; Liverpool in sixth are just three points off the Champions League positions, meanwhile, and it is set to be a fascinating battle for a top-four spot.
West Ham will feel that they are in an excellent position to claim at least a position in next season’s Europa League, which would represent a brilliant campaign for the Hammers.
Moyes’s team have the second-best home record in this season’s Premier League, but they have dropped points in eight of their 15 top-flight fixtures on their travels.
Newcastle possible XI: Dubravka, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Murphy, Almiron, Shelvey, Longstaff, Ritchie, Saint-Maximin, Wilson.
West Ham possible XI: Fabianski, Diop, Dawson, Balbuena, Coufal, Noble, Soucek, Masuaku, Lingard, Bowen, Fornals.