West Brom (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

The penultimate home game of the season and a game that could see us relegate the Baggies – but don’t bank on it being as easy as their league position suggests.

We were all hoping Alan Pardew would’ve been the man to lead West Brom out this weekend, however it’s Darren Moore who will be in Rafa’s opposing dugout – the ex-centre back whose actually helped them regain some form recently (albeit a few months too late!)

They arrive on the back of an impressive 1-0 win at Old Trafford and more recently came back from 2-0 down to get a point from Klopp’s high flying Liverpool.

With them sitting 8 points adrift at the foot of the table, the chances of them pulling off the great escape are incredibly slim, but you’d expect them to put up a fight – with all involved knowing they’ll be officially relegated if they fail to win.

For us, we’ll be hoping for a reaction to Monday’s defeat, ending our run of four straight wins. It was a toothless display lacking in quality and composure, but being back in front of our own fans will help.

Win and it’ll be our FIFTH straight win at St James’ Park – something we mustn’t have done in the Premier League for a long time.

Also worth noting that it will be the last time we see Kenedy at St James’ Park this season, with him being unable to play against parent club Chelsea on the last day of the season.

On the subject of loan men, it’ll be a big day for Islam Slimani. Time is running out for him to impress but a home game with the league’s bottom side would seem like a perfect chance for him to open his account and show just what he’s capable of doing.

Preferred XI

Benitez has hinted at making a few changes over the coming weeks, but I’d prefer us to consolidate a top 10 finish before we mix it up too much:

Slimani will hopefully be handed another start. He’s a player I honestly think will suit this Rafa Benitez side to a tee when in full flow, so I’m really hoping he can do the business up top.
 
I’d be tempted to give Merino, Murphy and Mbemba rare starts, but I’m not convinced Rafa will change it up THAT much just yet (and Merino is out after a ‘bad tackle’ in training by all accounts). I do have a sneaky feeling Murphy may come in for Ritchie, mind.
 
Predicted NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1) – Dubravka– Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett – Diame, Shelvey – Murphy, Perez, Kenedy –  Slimani.

The Opposition

Here’s a few players to watch out for:

Jay Rodriguez – There top scorer this season on 11 goals and a player I rate. He’s a bit of a poor mans Harry Kane and has good technique. Will be dangerous if we give him space on the edge of the box.

Salomon Rondon – Doesn’t score enough goals, but he’s very powerful and no slouch either. It’ll be interesting to see how Lascelles handles him.

Matty Phillips – A direct winger and strong runner who’ll give Dummett a few problems IF he turns up.

Chris Brunt – I’m not sure how well he gets about the pitch these days for a central midfielder, but he’s got a wicked left foot strike on him. Hopefully we don’t give away too many needless set pieces or allow him to fire shots in from range.

Predicted West Brom XI – (4-4-2) – Foster– Nyom, Dawson, Hegazy, Gibbs – Phillips, Livermore, Brunt, McClean – Rodriguez, Rondon.

For an inside look into this weekend’s opponents, take a look at the latest edition of the ‘Opposition Opinion’ . A great insight into this weekend’s opponents.

 

Form

Newcastle – 10th (41 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 4 / Drawn: 0 / Lost: 1

West Brom – 20th (25 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 1 / Drawn: 2 / Lost: 2

 

Team news

Mikel Merino is OUT of this one after being on the receiving end of a ‘bad tackle’ in training according to Rafa. Christian Atsu is also set to miss out once again with a knee problem.

Daniel Sturridge is fit but is unlikely to force his way into the West Brom attack ahead of Rodriguez or Rondon.

Ex-Spurs winger Nacer Chadli is also in contention to make his long-awaited return from a hip problem that’s kept him out for several months.

 

Match Prediction

I’m really not sure what West Brom side will turn up here. They’ve generally been woeful this season, but Darren Moore has got them going (finally!).

They know failure to win will send them down, so I see them going for it and I’m quite certain we’ll see a few goals. I’m quite certain we’ll take all three points if we turn up, but we might be in for a shock if we just arrive expecting to waltz for another win at St James’.

My heart says 3-1 Newcastle and Slimani to fire us to victory on his first start at St James’, but my head’s saying a score draw.

Prediction: Newcastle 2-2 West Brom

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

72 thoughts on “West Brom (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

  1. Mackems probably would have gone down in last place anyway but if that Mitrovic goal holds up that will make it a certainty. Karma is a ****.

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  2. A draw today would have made it mathematically possible for Mackems NOT to go down in last place, bottom of the league for 2 years in a row. But that Mitrovic goal means they will be bottom of the league now!!!!! Mitro, Mitro, Mitro.

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  3. Eric – Mackems should have had a pen, the Fulham go score – then Mitros goal was offside. Don’t feel sorry for the Scum, but I would feel for Cardiff if these 3pts ultimately means Fulham finish above them and drop them to the play-offs

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  4. Sharpy17:
    Eric – Mackems should have had a pen, the Fulham go score – then Mitros goal was offside.Don’t feel sorry for the Scum, but I would feel for Cardiff if these 3pts ultimately means Fulham finish above them and drop them to the play-offs

    But it is still funny that Mitro makes them absolute bottom of the league with no chance for even second from bottom now. I don’t care about Fulham or Cardiff, I am just laughing at Sunderland.

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  5. As for our game, I think I’d start Gayle over Slimani personally.
    Slimani has looked better as an impact sub, and if his price tag is £21m, then there’s nee future for him with us so play Gayle who I think would run an ageing WBA defence harder.

    I can’t say I see as many goals as 2-2 personally. It’s a game we should really be able to win, but I’m not sure. WBA have played well recently, so it could be hard game I think.

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  6. Eric Sykes: But it is still funny that Mitro makes them absolute bottom of the league with no chance for even second from bottom now. I don’t care about Fulham or Cardiff, I am just laughing at Sunderland.

    Eric – I didn’t realise it meant they finish rock bottom. In that case, the ref was spot on ?

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  7. Bottom of the Premier League

    Bottom of the Championship

    Successive seasons

    But they do have a couple of mocking banners and a few wins against NUFC to desperately cling to as their absent owner sends them into administration.

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  8. Sharpy17: Eric – I didn’t realise it meant they finish rock bottom.In that case, the ref was spot on

    Yeah Sharpy. They had to get at least a point today to even give them a chance of not being last for 2 seasons in a row 🙂 🙂 🙂

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  9. Sharpy17:
    As for our game, I think I’d start Gayle over Slimani personally.
    Slimani has looked better as an impact sub, and if his price tag is £21m, then there’s nee future for him with us so play Gayle who I think would run an ageing WBA defence harder.

    I can’t say I see as many goals as 2-2 personally.It’s a game we should really be able to win, but I’m not sure.WBA have played well recently, so it could be hard game I think.

    They can ask 21 million but they wont get it. So, play him and see if he is any good. If he is, then pay what a 30 year old failed Leicester striker is worth, about the same as Gayle.

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  10. ERIC from last thread,all needles up to date but breasts are not improving ?

    Wearside jack still giving me the needle like

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  11. That Mitro goal has gotta sting mind.

    As for tomorrow, don’t think it’s gonna be easy at all, Darren has them playing with pride again, shows what a heap of poop Pardew was.

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  12. kimtoon:
    That Mitro goal has gotta sting mind.

    As for tomorrow, don’t think it’s gonna be easy at all, Darren has them playing with pride again, shows what a heap of poop Pardew was.

    They will conveniently forget that it was a NUFC player that condemned them to last place in The Championship as they chirp about 2-1 and 6 in a row from the third division. For now, but administration awaits.

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  13. I really think they are going into administration. I know I have written long posts on here explaining why, and you don’t have to read them, but I think they are doomed. Doomed, I tell you.

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  14. And… I think it was a total dereliction of their jobs for the NE journalists not to tell the Mackems what was going on. The slow motion dive into the 3rd division as nobody questioned the players’ attitudes, the signings, the extraordinary and exorbitant wages, the executive arrogance…

    I could go on… But there are NE journalists who turned a blind eye. Craig Hope. Louise Taylor. That “respected journalist” from the London Times. The Northern Echo, Chronic. Luke Edwards.

    ALL OF THEM FIDDLED AND DIDN’T WRITE ANYTHING whilst SAFC burned. Shame on them. Shame on them.

    Now they write the obituaries but there was not one of them to stand up and be counted.

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  15. I am a bit pissed off that the Mackems are going to go into administration. It was easy to spot, but nobody said it. I have nothing against Mackems really. We’re not Florence and Sienna. We are ruled by the all powerful Lundun.

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  16. Eric Sykes: They can ask 21 million but they wont get it. So, play him and see if he is any good. If he is, then pay what a 30 year old failed Leicester striker is worth, about the same as Gayle.

    Eric – I think the trouble is I don’t want him mate, at any price.
    He’s never done anything at Leicester and has largely been a sick note for us. He’s looked better than what we have when he’s played – but bloody Shola would have to be fair.

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  17. Sharpy17: Eric – I think the trouble is I don’t want him mate, at any price.
    He’s never done anything at Leicester and has largely been a sick note for us.He’s looked better than what we have when he’s played – but bloody Shola would have to be fair.

    Agree Ice, not sure he’s the answer and not at £21m !, let’s look for better if we can .

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  18. Louise Taylor, Craig Hope and Luke Edwards just sat back in their ever more faded pink chairs and said nothing. Watched as the Mackems turned up in fewer numbers. They hardly mentioned that the season ticket holders were staying at home and that crowds that were said to be 28,000 were actually 15,000 and then 10,000 after half time.

    These people watched a very good football club go into the ****ter and hardly even mentioned it in passing. They are scum and now pick over the carrion like crows. They are scum. Not the Mackems. The journalists who turned a blind eye.

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  19. I am mad, actually. That I could see the slow motion train wreck from 4,000 miles away and none of the NE journalists were willing to stand up and be counted about it.

    We all make fun of the Mackems but they are a good football club that should exist. Be 17th in the PL.

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  20. They had some characters as well. Brian Clough played for them. Bob Stokoe. Peyter Reid, Naill Quinn. I am pissed off that nothing at all was said about their demise as it happened in front of our eyes.

    It was all Pogba’s hair as a great football club went down the drain.

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  21. I do not take delight in the demise of SAFC. I laugh a bit, and joke because of karma and banners, but I do not delight.

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  22. Imagine. Imagine…

    There go for the grace of God go us. I am not religious but that is an apt quote about NUFC and Ashley. He didn’t even call Shearer for 2 months when he said he had the job. We lost 6-0 at Orient and then Hughton resurrected us and put it an imbecile and his Ugly counterpart.

    SAFC could have been us.

    But NOW, Rafa 🙂 🙂 🙂 Don’t fck it up Fatman.

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  23. Eric, it’s not good for NE football. I was glad they dropped to Fizzy cause they needed a wake up call and some humility but what’s happened now is an absolute tragedy for that club, like you I can see them going to the wall.

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  24. kimtoon:
    Not football but, Rest in peace little Alfie Evans , may the next life be kinder to you.

    Here here Kim, that poor family have been through so much and so much of their pain has been so public – can’t imagine what they’ve gone through. I just hope the press back off and allow them to grieve properly.

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  25. kimtoon:
    Eric, it’s not good for NE football. I was glad they dropped to Fizzy cause they needed a wake up call and some humility but what’s happened now is an absolute tragedy for that club, like you I can see them going to the wall.

    Kim – also here here. I have family and friends who support the Mackems, and whilst there has always been a rivalry, there’s never been a hatred (well maybe for a few days after those derby defeats).
    But if they go to the dogs there is no other club close enough to be classed as a true derby or rivalry – and that isn’t good for us or football imo.

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  26. I think both Stoke and WBA could both be relegated today – certainly WBA. I have no issue with us being the ones to send them down – I’ve never liked WBA personally.

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  27. Sharpy17:
    I think both Stoke and WBA could both be relegated today – certainly WBA.I have no issue with us being the ones to send them down – I’ve never liked WBA personally.

    Any particular reason Sharpy, I don’t mind them, it’s West ham that get my goat and Southampton a bit.

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  28. West Ham because of their holier than thou attitude, and trying to kill the orient. MK Dons for trying to kill Wimbledon, the club I grew up supporting. And Liverpool, just for being Liverpool.

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  29. Surprised by Gayle in for Slimani. I thought he’d give the big guy a few games to impress. Maybe he’s less than impressive in training. It’s not a good sign if he’s looking for a permanent move.

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  30. georgio:
    Surprised by Gayle in for Slimani. I thought he’d give the big guy a few games to impress. Maybe he’s less than impressive in training. It’s not a good sign if he’s looking for a permanent move.

    not that surprised mate, wasn’t that great last week which is understandable given lack of playing time. Looked better as an impact sub in previous game I thought.

    Anyway HWTL

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  31. Gadgee Gerry‏ @Gerry0504

    Follow Follow @Gerry0504

     More

    #JamesMcLean on @SkySportsNews now:

    ‘No disrespect to Alan…..but when we go on the pitch now, we know what we’re doing’

    #Pardewed

    😆

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  32. What a pile of crap. I think all our players on their hols except for Diame. ????????????

    Fuming at that ****e… we had a chance for 8th… ?????

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  33. This is actually a good thing, it strengthens Rafa’s hand when he makes his case for quality needing to come in.

    Well done West Brom

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  34. Dubai Toon:
    What a pile of crap. I think all our players on their hols except for Diame.

    Fuming at that ****e… we had a chance for 8th…

    Aye especially with Leicester getting walloped .

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  35. And that ****e ref can go straight back to the championship as he was total ****e too… maybe it’s part of referee training.. don’t give Newcastle a pen no matter how blatant it is…

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  36. I feel really let down by those players today. Those fans that paid good, hard earned money and filled our stadium deserved better. The players should pay back all those fans that they robbed.

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  37. Rubbish! Could see that we didn’t need to win and to be honest that’s no excuse but it happens every year. Hope Rafa makes changes next game.

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  38. Terrible twice in a row. Kennedy value going down (good thing), we need 2 good strikers because at the moment we have none.

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  39. KIMTOON:
    This is actually a good thing, it strengthens Rafa’s hand when he makes his case for quality needing to come in.

    Well done West Brom

    could be our loan C/F last game,he done a Mitro near the end kicking out at their player if the FA look at it hes gone for three games,Rafa looked very unhappy about it too,dont think Jon Joe wants to go to world cup his last two games have been really ****

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  40. On that showing I’d be happy to see the back of Gayle, Slimani and the Jos… all ****e. The only player who really stood out for me today and actually tried was a Diame. Motm for me, but in that team it’s not saying much.

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  41. Dubai Toon:
    What a pile of crap. I think all our players on their hols except for Diame.

    Fuming at that ****e… we had a chance for 8th…

    B/Mouth did us a good turn as well getting beat,thowing away a couple of mil by finishing higher

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  42. icedog: could be our loan C/F last game,he done a Mitro near the end kicking out at their player if the FA look at it hes gone for three games,Rafa looked very unhappy about it too,dont think Jon Joe wants to go to world cup his last two games have been really ****

    Aye, you can bet he’ll get retrospective alright Ice.

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  43. That’s 3 really good games WBA have had against the mancs pool and us .
    Still think with better finishers we’d of gotten something though.

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  44. kimtoon:
    That’s 3 really good games WBA have had against the mancs pool and us .
    Still think with better finishers we’d of gotten something though.

    we need at least two strikers and a no10 up top without any others we need mate

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  45. That was horrible, 2 very poor teams.

    Dubai – Diame May have worked hard but his passing was atrocious today mind. There wasn’t a single player good enough for me today like.
    Totally agree with you about our forwards as well. We got to the final third but the lack of quality has been the story of the season – desperately needs addressing this summer.
    Another disappointment for me today was Murphy. Rafa suggested fringe players might get a chance in the last few games now we are safe – he was hopeless.

    I know WBA had more to play for today than us in terms of a survival fight. But that performance today just highlighted to me how amazingly well Rafa has done with this side (and that group of forwards).

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  46. I’m a big fan of Dummett and he’s much improved. But that ball over the top and in behind him is still a massive weakness.
    I assume he picked up a knock for his substitution?!.

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  47. I wonder if the FA will take retrospective action against Slimani for that kick out on Dawson?.
    Can’t say it was worse that the one they let Mitrovic off with, but seen players get the ban for less like.

    I watched the Fulham game last night. I know Mitrovic has his problems and Rafa doesn’t want him, but personally I’d have him in ahead of Gayle, Slimani and Joselu.

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  48. Tend to think some of our players think they are automatic choices. Time to ring a few real changes Rafa just to wake them up. Shelvey been really poor last two games. Try somebody from the reserves. Give Mbemba a game. At least he can pass the ball.

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  49. Shamrock:
    Shelves is an idiot. He should be right on it to get himself on the plain this summer.

    Sham – do you really think he has a chance?, even if he performed at a 10 against Everton, today and for the rest of the season – do you really think Southgate would take him?

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  50. We had 17 attempts today with only 2 on target, and around 60% possession.
    If you look at all of our 1-0 defeats this season, I better most (if not all) have similar stats.

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  51. So I’ve just checked the 1-0 defeats. There have been huge 9 fixtures for us this season with that result (just under a third of the games we’ve played). Here are those fixtures with the changes created and shots on target:

    Huddersfield – 13/5
    Brighton – 17/5
    Burnley – 12/5
    B’mth – 16/6
    Everton – 16/4
    Arsenal – 10/2
    Man City – 6/2
    Everton – 9/2
    WBA – 17/2

    Of those fixtures, there was only Arsenal and Man City with more chances and shots on target. All of the rest are either the same chances created or more.
    I know I’m not shining a light on anything new here, but I for one didn’t realise how many games finished 1-0.

    Just imagine where we could have been with better forwards. Maybe it would have been us playing European football instead of Burnley.

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  52. To further bore you all, there has been around 5-6 draws where we have created more chances than our opponents too, and I believe there was only Palace who created more than us of those results too.

    I know I’m probably labouring the point now, but I bet there’s a good 12-15 points from those 14/15 games dropped because we don’t have the players to convert the chances created.

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  53. Sharpy17:
    To further bore you all, there has been around 5-6 draws where we have created more chances than our opponents too, and I believe there was only Palace who created more than us of those results too.

    I know I’m probably labouring the point now, but I bet there’s a good 12-15 points from those 14/15 games dropped because we don’t have the players to convert the chances created.

    spot on, we have wasted so many points

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