West Ham United make the long journey north to face Newcastle United this weekend, with the east London outfit desperate for more points to banish the spectre of relegation that is hovering over their season. The Toon are just about comfortable in mid-table, but will still be keen for victory.
The Hammers head into this game on the back of a 3-2 win over Chelsea in which they shrugged off a controversial VAR decision. That kind of resilience pleased manager David Moyes. Newcastle will also be confident, having hammered Bournemouth 4-1 in midweek.
Steve Bruce’s Newcastle side look to have little left to play for this season. They are in 13th place in the Premier League table with 42 points – a tally that looks to have them safe from relegation. They exited the FA Cup last weekend, losing 2-0 at home to Manchester City, so any chance of silverware is now out of the window. What their current situation means for their motivation heading into this game remains to be seen, especially as there will be no Toon Army to cheer the team on. Bruce will wang more than his players just turning up, however.
West Ham head into this game on the back of one their finest results of the season, after winning 3-2 at home to Chelsea. The east London outfit were in desperate need of a victory, after losing both of their matches since football resumed in June. They lost both of those matches 2-0 – at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers and away at Tottenham Hotspur. They did not have it easy against Chelsea either, with VAR ruling out a goal in a decision that left Moyes “spewing”, as he put it. Still not free from relegation worries, the Hammers will be keen to win on Sunday.
These two sides have a long history, as you might expect from two of the iconic names of English football. There have been 43 head-to-head meetings in the Premier League. Newcastle have the upper hand from those games, having won 20 times. Out of those 20 victories, 11 have come at St James’ Park. West Ham have beaten the Magpies 13 times in the Premier League in total, with four of those wins coming on Tyneside. There have been 10 Premier League draws. There hasn’t been a draw in any competition since 2013, when there were two consecutive 0-0 results in a calendar year.
Neither side has players who score a lot of goals, as you can see from the stats below. Declan Rice’s hard work could be key for West Ham, with the midfielder leading his team-mates in both passes and tackles made this season in the Premier League.
This game has a draw written all over it, a result which will probably favour the home side more than West Ham. Neither team scores many goals.
We suspect that this game is going to be close, and will end all-square. Neither side is especially thrilling when it comes to attacking football, but the Hammers have shown that they can score goals with their win over Chelsea. Despite there being no home fans in the ground, we think that the Londoners will still be hampered by having to make a long trip to St James’ Park. Anyone betting on there being less than three goals in the game can probably look forward to success. Our recommend bet is to wager on the game ending in a draw where both teams score, which has a price of 4.20 at Paddy Power. Also at Paddy Power, you can find odds of 3.10 on the 1X2 market on the game ending in a draw, which looks quite a tempting bet to us. Our prediction is that it will end 1-1.