West Ham United welcome Newcastle United to the London Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Hammers started the campaign in fine fashion but four successive games without a win has seen them drop to 10th in the table, and another season of mid-table mediocrity looms unless they can pick back up.
For Steve Bruce the landscape is slightly different on Tyneside with the Magpies currently scrapping it out at the foot of the table. Three points in the capital could prove vital in the relegation race come the end of the season.
Read on for West Ham vs Newcastle predictions, preview, TV info, key players and more.
When is West Ham vs Newcastle and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: London Stadium
Date: Saturday, 2 November 2019
Kick-off: 3:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): N/A
Last five meetings: West Ham vs Newcastle
20 Jul 2019: Newcastle 1-0 West Ham (Premier League Asia Trophy)
02 Mar 2019: West Ham 2-0 Newcastle (Premier League)
01 Dec 2018: Newcastle 0-3 West Ham (Premier League)
23 Dec 2017: West Ham 2-3 Newcastle (Premier League)
26 Aug 2017: Newcastle 3-0 West Ham (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: West Ham (LWWLL) 7-7 Newcastle (WLLWW)
Ones to watch
West Ham: Sebastien Haller
West Ham have been below par these past few weeks but they will be itching to get back to winnings ways this weekend and Haller will no doubt be hungry for more goals. The French forward looked isolated up-top against Sheffield United, but when the Hammers manage to feed the ball to him, his link-up play and awareness are second to none.
Should Manuel Pellegrini find the right formula further back, then Haller could seriously thrive in the Premier League. Newcastle will need to stifle West Ham in the midfield area, otherwise Haller could run riot in the final third.
Key stat: Haller is West Ham’s top goalscorer in the Premier League this season with four goals.
Newcastle: Allan Saint-Maximin
Saint-Maximin has only started four matches this season as the Frenchman has struggled with a thigh issue, but when he has taken to the field, Newcastle have looked electric. The summer recruit offers bursts of energy and an explosive drive that Bruce’s side so desperately lack when he is absent.
If the Magpies are to have any chance of avoiding relegation this term, then keeping Saint-Maximin fit will be crucial. His directness offers Newcastle a completely different dimension and should trouble the West Ham backline this weekend.
Key stat: Saint-Maximin has completed more successful take-ons than any Newcastle player in the Premier League this season (20).
Lukasz Fabianski remains sidelined for West Ham and will not return for some time, while Michail Antonio and Winston Reid are also long-term absentees.
Jack Wilshere suffered a groin strain and was forced to miss West Ham’s clash against Sheffield United. He may not be risked for this weekend’s encounter.
Predicted XI: Roberto; Fredericks, Diop, Balbuena, Cresswell; Noble, Rice; Anderson, Lanzini, Yarmolenko; Haller.
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Sean Longstaff will sit this fixture out after picking up a red card in the 1-1 draw with Wolves, meaning Isaac Hayden will take his place back in the side after serving out a three-game suspension.
Fabian Schar and Matt Ritchie could return for Saturday’s clash after the former missed the Wolves match with a knee injury, while the latter hasn’t featured since August.
Predicted XI: Dubravka; Yedlin, Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark, Willems; Almiron, Hayden, M Longstaff, Saint-Maximin; Joelinton.
As mentioned, West Ham have been rather cumbersome of late, so Pellegrini will look to rectify that recent woe. He is a shrewd tactician who will likely tinker from the weekend’s lukewarm draw with Sheffield United. If he starts Lanzini from the off and sends his side out with the bit between their teeth, then this could be another difficult afternoon for Newcastle.
Scoreline prediction: West Ham 2-0 Newcastle