West Ham take the long road to the north-east this weekend to take on a Newcastle side that were walloped 4-0 in their opening Premier League fixture against Manchester City. Managed by a former Hammers acquaintance, the fanatical Geordie support will be hoping that they`ll witness a first Newcastle win to allay fears that this season could be a struggle like last season. Can the Hammers win back-to-back games, I guess we`ll just have to wait and see.
Newcastle Team News:
Alan Pardew will be hoping that his team will put up a better show than they did on Monday night, however, if they are to do so it will be without the services of Steven Taylor who will be serving a suspension courtesy of the red card he received in that opening fixture. With the former Hammer Demba Ba sold to Chelsea in the January transfer window, Pardew has looked towards London for a replacement and has secured the services of Loic Remy.
Player to watch: Yohan Cabaye
The Frenchman has been the interest of Arsenal, plus some European clubs this week, he`s a class act, hopefully he`ll be sold before the weekend so that we won`t be nervous of his talents.
West Ham Team News:
Sam Allardyce returns to familiar territory hoping to put one over his former employers, just like last season. However, just like last week he`ll be without his record signing Andy Carroll who is still recovering from an injury to his heel.
Player to watch: Kevin Nolan
Our club captain will relish going back to his old stomping ground and I wouldn`t bet on the midfielder getting one over his former club with a goal.
Match Facts & Stats
Newcastle didn`t get off to the best of starts this season, crashing to a 4-0 defeat to highly fancied, for the title, Manchester City. West Ham on the other hand comfortably brushed aside the Premier League new boys Cardiff, 2-0.
Last season, in the fixture at Upton Park; the game ended 0-0 whilst the fixture at St James Park ended with a 1-0 victory, could history repeat itself?
Our officials for this encounter are:-
Referee: P Dowd
Assistants: S Bennett, D Bryan
Fourth Official: K Friend
Winning back-to-back Premier League games was something we failed to do all last season, can we manage it in the first two games of this season? Why not? I`m going for a Hammers win with Newcastle old-boy, Kevin Nolan getting on the score-sheet in a 2-1 win.
Our next fixture is this coming Tuesday when we entertain Cheltenham Town in the second round of the Capital One Cup before resuming our Premier League campaign when we host Stoke City next weekend.