Last week’s win considerably eased the burden on Sam Allardyce’s broad shoulders. The West Ham manager had come under extreme pressure, following a winless run stretching back six games. A trip to the Welsh capital proved to be just the remedy his side needed; the victory over Cardiff their first league win since November.
The victory intensified West Ham’s central defensive problems though. James Tomkins got shown a second yellow for connecting his foot with the side of Frazer Campbell’s face, while Guy Demel, who operated as a centre back on Saturday, was forced from the game on a stretcher. That leaves loanee Roger Johnson as the only available senior centre back in the squad, giving boss Sam Allardyce a problem to solve.
The win lifted the Hammers out of the relegation-zone, but they need a win against Newcastle to ensure they keep their heads above water.
Newcastle meanwhile still feel aggrieved from last week’s refereeing decisions. Check Tiote was convinced he had levelled against Manchester City, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.
The week has seen Argentine winger Jonas Gutierrez leave the club to join fellow Premier League side Norwich. He had found himself on the fringes of a squad with a more than capable forward line. In the likes of Loic Remy and Hatem Ben Arfa the Magpies have more than enough French flair to take advantage of West Ham’s defensive woes, should they be on form.
A win against the Hammers will stop the rot; Newcastle have lost three on the bounce and are gradually slipping down the table.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS:
Newcastle 0 West Ham 0, Premier League, August 2013
West Ham 0 Newcastle 0, Premier League, May 2013
Newcastle 0 West Ham 1 (Nolan), Premier League, November 2012
Only one goal has been scored in the last three meetings between the two sides.
West Ham have won just one of their last seven.
Despite being nine places below Newcastle, the Hammers have only conceded three more.
The Magpies have lost three league games on the bounce.
West Ham to win: 2.9
Newcastle to win: 1.67
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.20pm
Newcastle United - January transfer targets
Newcastle United - January transfer targets
1/13 Kurt Zouma - The highly-rated defender is also reportedly wanted by Chelsea but Alan Pardew has had success recruiting in France before and will hope to lure the St Etienne youngster to St James' Park.
2/13 Anthony Knockaert - Another Frenchman reportedly on Newcastle's radar is the Leicester winger who has helped propel the Foxes to top of the Championship.
3/13 Aaron Hunt - German born but with an English mother, Werder Bremen's attacking midfielder is reportedly on the Magpies' radar. Hunt's contract expires in the summer but it remains to be seen whether his club will cash in now.
4/13 Gueida Fofana - Another Frenchman in Newcastle's sights is Lyon midfielder Fofana. Reports suggest they may face competition from Stuttgart.
5/13 Siem De Jong - Why sign one brother when you could sign two? That appears to be the story for Newcastle who are reportedly interested in the Ajax forward and brother of Luuk.
6/13 Joleon Lescott - The Man City defender is reportedly a loan target for Newcastle although his club have denied he'll be leaving this January.
7/13 Remy Cabella - Montpellier midfielder Cabella has been quoted by some as being Newcastle's main target this January although their interest seems to have waned a little recently.
8/13 Thomas Ince - Blackpool midfielder and son of Paul, will Newcastle beat the likes of reported suitors Tottenham, Swansea and even Udinese to his signature?
9/13 Bafetimbi Gomis - Nearly signed by the club in summer according to reports, the Lyon striker could be a January acquisition although exorbitant agent's fees are thought to have put the club off somewhat.
10/13 Dele Alli - The MK Dons wonderkid is reportedly wanted by a host of Premier League teams including Newcastle who will hope to win the race for the 17-year-old midfielder's signature.
11/13 Ishak Belfodil - The Algeria striker is looking to move away from the San Siro to boost his World Cup chances and Newcastle are said to be interested in either a permanent or loan move.
12/13 Jonny Heitinga - Hugely experienced but out of favour at Everton, the Dutch centre back would represent a good option for Newcastle in January.
13/13 Demba Ba - The former Magpie could be the man to reinforce Newcastle's frontline as he looks to get more first team football.
Demba Ba - The former Magpie could be the man to reinforce Newcastle's frontline as he looks to get more first team football.