West Ham (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & prediction

After going out of the FA Cup just before the international break, Newcastle only have the league to rely on to achieve our European aspirations.

With Anthony Gordon giving a good account of himself donning the Three Lions’ shirt, confidence can be gained from the international break. But, because it’s Newcastle United, the drama that has come to typify this season has not gone away.

After Sven Botman was ruled out for nine months ahead of ACL surgery, Lewis Miley picked up a back injury playing for England U20s which could end the teenager’s breakout season. News of Sandro Tonali’s additional charges by the English FA for bets placed after his move to the Toon perhaps came as no surprise to Geordies; however, the timing of the charges will feel like a kick in the teeth to a team looking to treat the run in as a mini-season of sorts.

We can remember big wins over West Ham in recent years and with the Hammers also in the hunt for a European place, this game gives us a chance to take points off a genuine league rival – it is a certified six-pointer.

Toon boss Eddie Howe is treating the run in as a mini-season himself, with his sights set on a top seven finish. “With these ten games it is an opportunity for us to finish the season strong,” Howe said. “We are looking for consistency in results. We are focused on building and finding some positive momentum.”

Howe also said that the team were “desperate” to finish the season well and recapture the same form that saw them jump up the table after beating Wolves recently – only to tumble again with defeat to Chelsea.

“We want to be closing that gap, [West Ham] have done well, they are a dangerous team,” the gaffer said. “We are back at home, we left on a good note in our last game against Wolves and we are desperate to carry that on again. This is a home game, expectation will be on us, we will attack the game in the way we know we can.”

Team news

Miley could be out for around six weeks with a back injury. Howe updated fans on Sven Botman’s knee injury which will see him miss up to nine months of football. The Dutchman refused surgery that was advised by club staff, Howe said. Pope and Wilson remain sidelined. Tonali is banned until August (unless the FA extend his punishment, which Howe said would not be in the best interests of the player’s recovery from a gambling addiction).

Meanwhile, there were positive signs that Harvey Barnes, Tino Livramento and Kieran Trippier could all be in contention to be part of the squad.

David Moyes’ Hammers will have to travel to Newcastle without holding midfielder Edson Alvarez who is suspended. Moyes’ side have not won any of the four league games they’ve played without the Mexican. Mohammed Kudus missed Ghana duty because of a knee injury and may not make the squad either.

Predicted line-upDubravka; Trippier, Schar, Lascelles, Burn; Bruno, Longstaff, Willock; Almiron, Isak, Gordon.

Howe was coy on the possibility of Trippier’s involvement, however we have seen him employ similar tactics with returning players to place less pressure on their reintroduction to the squad. Lascelles will partner Schar after Botman’s injury. The remaining front six picks itself given the constraints squad fitness has placed on team selection.

Prediction: Newcastle 3 – 1 West Ham

There are no ifs or buts, this game is a massive one in our season. We are at home, against a direct rival for European football. With the potential for West Ham to be without both Kudus and Alvarez, we have the potential to inflict our customary intensity on their, at times shaky, backline.

I’ve been confident in a result before and been burned, but it feels bigger and different this time. This season cannot be allowed to wane into insignificance. Let’s get right into them and deliver a sucker punch to their European hopes.


About Joshua Nichol

Joshua is a freelance journalist currently training at Sunderland Uni, but is a lifelong Newcastle fan and enjoyer of retro football kits.

35 thoughts on “West Ham (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & prediction

  1. I suspect that line up to be about right – however I’d rather see Murphy for Miggy.

    I don’t see a win as comprehensive as 3-1 though. I think it’ll be a close game with only 1 goal in it – but in favour of who .. I can’t decide that yet.


  2. Al be there today even tho metros are off. X34 from south shields it is.. ad play hall left back, give the lad the last 10 games. Cant do any worse than burn tbf. A like burn but he aint a lb. Need a win massively. 2-1 isak and willock.


  3. Miggy has to go off

    now convinced someone has hexed us this season this is some serious voodoo **** or something.


  4. Barnesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss
    That was a brilliant goal


  5. Sorry Kim I know you’ve been on your own there – I couldn’t bring myself to post – couldn’t keep up!!.

    I think I’ve had 3 heart attacks & 5 strokes through that!!.

    Need to get my head round it before commenting on the game I think – but outstanding character by ALL the players!!.

    So that’s how it feels being the right side of a 4-3 🤯🤯🤯


  6. Prem , your’e welcome mate.

    Nearly choked on my chicken lunch when that screamer from Barnes flew in, what a fab goal that was.


  7. Huge win, amazing goals and we should have scored at least a few more but all those injuries and potentially a few playing on in the red, the result is class but if we lose any more bodies we have no chance of Europe


  8. Sharpy, it had everything, but oh my the injuries , something seriously wrong with our training regime there has to be, it’s not normal all these injuries.

    No Gordon for toffees game either, big loss.


  9. I’m buzzing for Barnes!!.

    I was so excited when we signed him because the quality he’s shown today was exactly what I thought we’d be getting in – he’s been so unlucky with injuries – then ironically lucky with injuries as if it wasn’t for Miggy coming off Barnes stays on the bench.

    The ref today was a joke mind. Their second goal decision was a disgrace & Gordon’s second yellow was pathetic!!. He hardly kicked the ball into the stands – it went back to the keeper!! Did it need a sending off?!?!!!


  10. Kim – you’re dead right.

    Its been my concern all season while people have suggested hectic schedules, I’ve always questioned that – the CL only resulted in an extra 6 games this season – but we didn’t go as far in the cup so not even that many.

    We’ve just had 2 weeks off – and Lascelles & Tino in particular stayed with the club.

    It’s the type of issue that Ashworth would have responsibility for.

    This has been an issue all season & it’s not something that can wait til the summer to sort imo – there needs to be a ‘what’s going on’ meeting about this TOMORROW and a plan put in place ASAP.


  11. The Tino injury is a freak one, can’t really say it’s to do with training – we have been hugely unlucky that is a certainty. Some players have played too much too and that is down to Howe not rotating, and maybe there is too much intensity in the training sessions – we can’t really say. But again, Lascelles and Miggy barely feature lately and didn’t even make it to ten minutes so again it feels like more bad luck with those two.


  12. Newkie – I can accept some bad luck, and ok the Tino one is freak. Hopefully that’s just a turned ankle and it was more cautious 🤞🏼.

    I actually think Krafth went off injured too. Not just coz he was a sub subbed but he seemed to head straight down the tunnel rather than take his place on the bench – maybe suggesting he needed some treatment.

    I’m not suggesting the meeting is had as a blame game mate. I just think blaming scheduling & bad luck is not addressing what may be the real cause of the problem.


  13. Sharpy – yeah seemed same for Lascelles, a bit of a weird collision because it didn’t look that bad on the replay. No question more rotation should have happened earlier in the season – that being said I still think a huge amount of our injuries have been freak ones and long ones at that and, to an extent, that has limited Howe’s options. Our medical/physio approach has always seemed bad but this season is something else.

    Still at least Hall is now forced to play, if we are committed to buying him then lets at least see what he can do otherwise he’ll be a massive waste of cash, such a poor option when we were going in light in other areas.


  14. Kim – he did, it might have been good timing because West Ham definitely took their foot off and didn’t pressure us thank god, risky with a whole new backline now trying to get to grips with each other and you could see Kraft was rusty, but at least we can see how Burn does at CB and Hall at LB.


  15. Agree Newkie. Everton will be interesting, hopefully we take that energy from last 20 mins today into that game. I am worried about missing Gordon though.


  16. Sorry guys, I’m up in Scotland with family so wasn’t posting during the game. What a match. Talk about highs and lows. Thought the ref was just going to keep adding time at the end too. Awful ref. Gordon was amazing, involved in everything, but then stupid too getting sent off. So many goddam injuries too. Not sure my heart can stand being a toon fan.


  17. Yeah Gordon was immense, also amazing late on on the right, Murphy had a shocker, surely an option now to start Barnes and Gordon with Isak in the middle, that is a pacey and skilful front three who can all put it in the net, will cause anyone problems. The way I’m looking at any suspensions is at least it is a rest – Gordon looked knackered late on after another massive shift and likely played a part in his brain fart.

    Nice to see more cut backs when we know an isolated Isak isn’t going to do much with crosses coming in, Longstaff and Isak both had huge chances to score. Moyes complaining Gordon kicked Phillips for the second pen, hilarious. The ref was poor but we definitely deserved the win.


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