Premier League football returns to St James’ Park tomorrow when West Ham make the trip to the North East.
After the 4-0 humping at Manchester City on Monday, United find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table and will want to get their season going with a win in front of the home fans.
In contrast West Ham will be looking to build on their rather comfortable 2-0 opening weekend victory over Premier League newcomers Cardiff by pouring more misery on Newcastle, and with so many within their ranks eager to prove a point against Newcastle you know they will be up for it.
United will also be looking to put behind them a trio of home defeats at the tail end of last season which saw them concede ten goals without mustering one in reply at St James’ Park. It’s very early in the season, but is this already a must win game for Alan Pardew?
Loic Remy is likely to miss out again although he does have an outside chance of taking a spot on the bench. Jonas Gutierrez is out after aggravating a hamstring injury against Manchester City whilst Cheik Tiote is doubtful. Steven Taylor will serve the first of his three match ban after his silly sending off on Monday.
Andy Carroll won’t feature against his former as he continues to recover from a heel injury. Another player familiar with the North-East – George McCartney – will also miss out. Razvan Rat and Stewart Downing could make full debuts for West Ham.
Newcastle managed to take just one point off of West Ham last season courtesy of a 0-0 draw at Upton Park towards the tail end of the campaign. Earlier in the season West Ham turned party poopers at St James’ Park as former favourite Kevin Nolan struck to earn all three points for Sam Allardyce’s side.
At home we do have a decent historical record against The Hammers. There have been 59 games played at St James’ Park with Newcastle coming out on top in 31 of those. West Ham have won just nine times on Tyneside with the other 19 meetings ending in a draw.
Stats and facts:
Since being unceremoniously sacked as Newcastle boss back in 2007, Sam Allardyce has never lost a game when he has prepared a side to face us, winning three of those and drawing the other one.
West Ham were the only side that managed to keep a clean sheet both home and away against Newcastle United in the Premier League last season.
Newcastle have never lost four Premier League home games on the spin meaning that by avoiding defeat tomorrow we will also avoid breaking an unwanted club record.
Newcastle have been given three red cards in their last five Premier League games.
The mood is dark and we need a win to try and lift the spirits. Rather worryingly the mood looks bleak amongst the players also and although one game against Manchester City is not exactly a fair yardstick to measure things by, I saw some concerning things in that defeat at The Etihad.
Win though and it will give us a temporary reprieve and may even kick-start us on to better things? Maybe I’m just being hopeful but we’re under pressure right from the go and must come out on top in this one.
Howay the lads!
Date: Saturday, 24th August, 2013
Venue: St James’ Park