An away day at West Brom is on the agenda this afternoon as Newcastle United look to banish the memories of their poor showing in the Tyne-Wear derby last weekend.
The Baggies are sitting comfortably in the top half of the table and whilst a stab at qualification for the Europa League may seem a long shot they need to win to keep any outside hopes of clinching a place in continental competition for next season.
Having recently bowed out of the Europa League, United are looking for the points for altogether different reasons. Relegation is the main concern these days and the quicker we can manage to get the points required to stay up the quicker we can turn our attention to perhaps trying to sneak into the top half of the table just in time for the season to end.
Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves though. As things stand our destiny is in our own hands but a helping hand wouldn’t go amiss. This is why the rest of the fixtures today provide an interesting backdrop to our game today. Those fixtures are as follows:
Fulham v Arsenal
Norwich v Reading
QPR v Stoke
Sunderland v Everton
Swansea v Southampton
West Ham v Wigan
All of those fixtures involve at least one team that are in and around us currently. It’s tight, very tight, and looking at the West Ham fixture demonstrates just how tight it could be. A Wigan win would mean we are just one point above them in the table assuming we lose, whilst a Wigan win will see us draw level with West Ham on points should we win. The other team not mentioned in that, Aston Villa, visit Manchester United on Monday evening.
For a bit more background on the match itself including news on the injury front for both sides, a history of the fixture, some facts and stats and a rather depressing ‘final thought’, why not have a look at my match preview if you haven’t already done so? You can view it by clicking here.
The game itself, being a 3pm kick-off, is not being shown live here in the UK although it is scheduled for broadcast on plenty of channels overseas. Only 3,000 (approximately) fans will be able to make it inside the ground today so plenty of people will need access to streams. This is the part where we all help each other out by leaving links to streams in the ‘comments’ section below.
Team news will be added in below by either myself or Big Dave. I’m currently off having a picnic with the wife and boy but I may well be back in time to add the team news in myself. If I’m not then Big Dave will ride to the rescue and fill my boots once more.
That’s about it to be honest. I’m not feeling confident at all, I just hope that the players show more urgency, passion and commitment than they showed last week which in fairness won’t be hard to achieve.
Howay the lads!
West Brom: Ben Foster; Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson, Goran Popov; Graham Dorrans, Claudio Yacob, James Morrison, Chris Brunt; Marc-Antione Fortune, Romelu Lukaku
Subs: Boaz Myhill, Kemar Roofe, Markus Rosenberg, Steven Reid, Shane Long, Liam Ridgewell, Jerome Thomas
Newcastle: Rob Elliot; Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara; James Perch, Yohan Cabaye; Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko, Jonas Gutierrez; Papiss Cisse
Subs: Steve Harper, Mike Williamson, Vurnon Anita, Dan Gosling, Hatem Ben Arfa, Adam Campbell, Shola Ameobi