It`s the long drive up to Newcastle, this Sunday, for West Ham United supporters as we continue with our Premier League campaign. After the 0-0 draw with Manchester City, last weekend, Sam Allardyce will be looking for a solid performance to frustrate his former club. His return to St James Park, also means that Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan will also be reunited with the Toon Army, whilst West Ham supporters will be giving a good reception to a Newcastle player – Demba Ba. It promises to be quite an occasion.
This fixture will see Andy Carroll make a return to the club where he made his name before being, subsequently, sold to Liverpool for £35 million, soon after Fernando Torres was moved on to Liverpool.
It`ll be an emotional time for the Geordie and ahead of the clash he`s provided the media with a few thoughts, commenting.
“I am looking forward to going home. I went back with Liverpool and I got a few boos and a bit of stick but it was all good.”
“I want to go back now and hopefully win this time because last time I went we got beat.”
A win will do us just fine Andy, just fine.
Newcastle Team News:
Alan Pardew, who this morning suggested that he`d love to bring Andy Carroll back to Tyneside has a few injury problems going into this fixture.
Out through suspension are Coloccini and Tiote whilst missing through injury are Perch and Simpson.
Demba Ba, a former Hammers favourite, is expected to overcome a shin injury to play.
Player to watch: Demba Ba
We recognized Demba as someone special when he had that short spell with us. We know what he can do and we`re hoping he doesn`t do it against us, that would be so cruel would it not?
West Ham Team News:
Sam Allardyce returns to St James Park, a place he knows so well, with problems at the heart of the defence with James Tomkins and James Collins both major doubts, if both fail fitness tests it leaves Winston Reid as our only fit centre-back.
Definitely out are Ricardo Vaz Te, Matty Taylor and Jack Collison, although Guy Demel is hopeful that he will have recovered from the hernia problem that has kept him out.
Player to watch: Andy Carroll
Our pony-tailed striker, back on home ground, will be keen to show the Bar-Codes that they were wrong to sell him. Wouldn`t it be nice to see him get that first West Ham goal on familiar territory?
Match Facts & Stats
The record books show that, for West Ham, St James Park Is not a happy hunting ground with the Hammers not having won there in the last 9 visits. Our last victory at St James Park was in October 1998, time to start redressing that balance!
Our officials are – Mike Dean (referee), J. Collin (assistant), J. Brooks (assistant), Neil Swarbrick (fourth official)
St James Park (and we`re so glad it has had its proper name re-instated) is a hard place to visit. Alan Pardew has done wonders on Tyneside and getting a result up there will be very difficult. But, last time out against Manchester City, we showed the resilience and the commitment needed to get a result so perhaps we`ll see more of the same on Sunday. Another draw please!
Our next Premier League fixture will see us entertain Stoke City.