Newcastle United make the trip to west Midlands for this weekend’s Premier League clash against West Bromwich Albion.
The Magpies recently ended a two-match losing streak with a 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James’ Park.
The result has not done any favours for them and they are only three points ahead of Fulham, who are occupying the first of the relegation spots.
They face the Baggies away from home on Sunday and will be aiming to return to winning ways to pull clear of the drop zone.
The Baggies are nine points adrift of the Magpies at the moment and are favourites with bet365 betting to be relegated along with Sheffield United this season, and Newcastle will have to fight hard to ensure they don’t end up joining those two teams.
The Magpies have a mixed league record against the Baggies and have won two of their previous five meetings (two defeats and one draw).
Considering all competitions, Steve Bruce’s side have won the last two games in the FA Cup and Premier League respectively.
Miguel Almiron was the key player in those games with three goals. He opened the scoring within the first minute of the reverse league meeting (2-1 win) this season.
There has not been a goalless stalemate between the sides since January 2005 (a run of 23 matches across all competitions).
The Magpies suffered a double injury blow this week with both Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin out until April with groin and knee injuries. Aside from the duo, they are missing their leading scorer in Callum Wilson while Fabian Schar and Javier Manquillo are also on the sidelines. However, Emil Krafth and Federico Fernandez could return for the Baggies clash.
West Bromwich Albion:
The Baggies don’t have any major injury concerns to worry about. Winter signing Robert Snodgrass is the only absentee at the moment with a calf problem.
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Martin Dubravka; Emile Krafth, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Jamal Lewis; Joe Willock, Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden; Joelinton, Dwight Gayle, Ryan Fraser.
West Brom Albion (4-1-4-1): Sam Johnstone; Daniel Furlong, Kyle Bartley, Dara O’Shea, Conor Townsend; Okay Yokuslu; Matheus Pereira, Conor Gallagher, Ainsley-Maitland Niles, Matt Phillips; Mbaye Diagne.
The Magpies have picked up just seven points since the turn of the year and dropped like a stone in the Premier League standings. They suffered a big setback with Wilson’s injury last month, but Almiron stepped up during the club’s 3-2 triumph over Southampton.
The Paraguayan alongside Saint-Maximin have produced positive attacking displays lately, but both are now injured until April. Hence, it could be a tough few weeks for the club before the international break. In the present situation, a draw on the road won’t be a bad result.
West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Newcastle United
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and 11v11.com