Newcastle will be looking to cement their place in the top half of the table with a home win, and three points could see them move up to eighth place in the table and pushing for a Europa League spot. However, results going against them could see them drop as low as 13th in the table.
West Ham have finally hit a good vein of form with two wins and two draws from their last four games which has seen Avram Grant save his job, at least for now, by steering the club away from the bottom of the table up to 16th. Another win for the Hammers could see them further improve their position to 13th in the table, however if teams below them manage to pick up points it could be a return to the foot of the table for the Irons.
Newcastle won the reverse fixture at Upton Park earlier in the season 2-1 with goals from Kevin Nolan and Carroll as West Ham scored with their only shot on target of the game through Carlton Cole.Poor Home Form Meets Shocking Away Record
West Ham won their first away match for a huge 27 games in their last fixture on the road as they beat Fulham 3-1 at Craven Cottage. However, their defence will still be causing them concern as they have set a club record with 18 games without a clean sheet away from home.
It is Newcastle’s home form, in contrast, that is causing them concern with only two wins in their last nine games in front of their famously vocal support. The Magpies have also only managed one clean sheet in those nine fixtures.
If anyone is likely to be confident of scoring at St James’ Park it is Carlton Cole, who has bagged himself three goals in six games against Newcastle throughout his career.
Newcastle United have no new injury worries, but they will continue to be without their leading scorer Andy Carroll, whose thigh strain kept him out of the victory over Wigan.
The Magpies will also still be long-term casualties Ryan Taylor and Hatem Ben Arfa.
Having picked up a comfortable win away at Wigan on Sunday, Alan Pardew will be very tempted to pick the same starting line-up.
Possible starting XI: Harper; Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, Enrique; Barton, Nolan, Tiote, Gutierrez; Ameobi, Lovenkrands.
West Ham are in a similar situation as they also have no new injury or suspension worries, but are still unlikely to welcome back Herita Ilunga for the trip to St James’ Park.
They also have Manuel da Costa and Tomas Hitzlsperger still in the treatment room as it won’t be until next month before either return.
The return to first team action for youngsters Freddie Sears and Junior Stanislas is likely to continue, as the Hammers have hit some form in recent weeks and Avram Grant will be unlikely to change the team that dispatched of Wolves on Saturday.
Possible starting XI: Green; Ben Haim, Tomkins, Upson, Gabbidon; Sears, Parker, Kovac, Stanislas; Cole, Piquionne.