Newcastle United vs West Bromwich Albion
Venue: St James Park
Referee: David Coote
St James Park host an encounter with West Bromwich Albion which might have been considered a six-pointer months ago, but with little time remaining, both sides fate appears sealed.
Despite a recent upturn in form for the Baggies, anything but victory would condemn them to the drop. However, Newcastle United shouldn’t take the game lightly, as Darren Moore vies to remain in charge next season.Embed from Getty Images
Moore’s appointment has galvanized a squad in absolute freefall and on the pitch produced vastly improved displays. He puts the turnaround in form down to “A collective effort from everyone at the football club”, in spite of only taking charge of three games the Baggies have secured more points than Alan Pardew’s final eleven.
In contrast, Newcastle’s Monday night loss at Everton halted a run of four consecutive victories and this is a test to see if they can regain momentum after a stutter. Although their home form has been excellent, they haven’t lost there since December against Manchester City. The North East can be an incredibly difficult place to travel when Magpies supporters get behind their side and provide a ferocious atmosphere. Couple this with the increasingly assured hands of Martin Dubravka, and in 2018 only Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United have conceded less goals than Newcastle.
Neither side have many injury concerns, West Brom will welcome back Daniel Sturridge who’s both fit and available. Ahmed Hegazi has also been cleared to play after an independent panel ruled him to be not guilty of punching Dejan Lovren. Further positive news is a return to fitness of Nacer Chadli, but a lack of match fitness may prevent an appearance this weekend.Embed from Getty Images
For the hosts, only Christian Atsu is a doubt through injury. While, Islam Slimani could make his first home start, after an impressive cameo.
Predicted Starting XI’s
Newcastle United: Dubravka; Dummett, Lejeune, Lascelles, Yedlin; Kenedy, Diame, Shelvey, Ritchie; Perez, Gayle.
West Bromwich Albion: Foster; Gibbs, Hegazi, Dawson, Nyom; McClean, Brunt, Livermore, Phillips; Rondon, Rodriguez.
Prediction: Newcastle United 2 West Bromwich Albion 1
Written by Harvey Sayer.