West Ham v Newcastle Utd – Match Preview
Author: Brian Knox. Published: 23 December 2017 at 1:30pm
Lots of people were unhappy about the midweek defeat to Arsenal in the cup and I can understand them. It did seem that we went there with our only intention to take the game to penalties and after they went 1 goal up we didn´t really try to get back in the game. Now I know we have a lot of games coming up but I really don´t understand why we are not going for it. Especially in a cup where the top teams really don´t give a damn. But with the games coming thick and fast I´m sure that 3 points this weekend will help us forget a disappointing night.
Newcastle travel down to the London Stadium on an absolutely terrible run of form. Picking up just 1 point from there last 6 games and you have to go all the way back to October 21st for their last win at home to Crystal Palace. But lets not get carried away I still remember our defeat up there early on in the season when they were also struggling at the time and then managed to put 3 past us back then. Lets not make the same mistake again. They currently occupy 18th position in the table a win tomorrow will see them leap frog over us by a point.
But a lot has changed since then. David Moyes has come in as manager and while it may have taken a while he has managed to find a system and style that has seen us pick up some points recently. While its hard not to forget the last game out I´m sure a Christmas 3 points will bring cheer to the Hammers fans. 2 wins and 2 draws in our last 6 games have dragged us out of the relegation zone. While we are certainly not safe its better to have the points on the board and not have to play catch up. Winning tomorrow could see West Ham rise as high as 12th which would be great for Christmas as a couple of weeks ago many people thought we might be bottom Bell.
As always the West Ham squad has a few injuries and doubts over some players. Noble, Byram, Fonte and Fernandes are definitely out while Kouyate, Carroll and Antonio have small knocks but should be available for selection. Newcastle on the other hand have no real injury doubts but will be without Jonjo Shelvey who completes his 2 game suspension as does Manuel Lanzini for the hammers.
Predicted Line ups :
West Ham United : Adrian, Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku, Kouyate, Obiang, Ayew, Arnautovic, Antonio.
Newcastle United : Elliot, Manquillo, Lejeune, Lascelles, Yedlin, Merino, Hayden, Atsu, Perez, Ritchie, Joselu.
I really don´t think we will have much trouble in this game but I´ve been wrong so many times before with West Ham its impossible to know if the team are up for it or not. I think we should be taking a bit more of a risk in this game, play with an extra striker in there somewhere, but I really don´t think Moyes will change from the system that has worked in the last 3 league games. I think we will win the game 2-0 with an early Ayew goal making Newcastle chase the game and then a goal from one of our subs will clinch the game in the last 10 mins.