Newcastle vs West Ham | Saturday 17th April 2021, 12:00 | Sky Sports
Newcastle's trip to the London Stadium on gameweek one of this Premier League season was one of the most successful away days of the season for Steve Bruce’s men. Beating West Ham 2-0 with new signings Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick getting on the scoresheet made the campaign that lay ahead look a lot brighter and hopeful than it has turned out to be.
Since that win they have only picked up three others on the road, with one coming in their last match and an enormous one at that. The Magpies 2-1 victory at Burnley last time out has stretched the gap between themselves and the drop zone to six points, with the Hammers dreaming of a Champions League campaign the pressure is off for the hosts, it is a winnable free hit.
Glimmers of hope in a rough season are emerging, brought about by the return of Allan Saint-Maximin more than anything else. Newcastle, not helped by Bruce’s conservative approach, have posted very poor expected goals (xG) figures, under Mike Ashley’s ownership relegation battles are an all too familiar tale at the club.
In a season that has seen low hanging fruit at the foot of the table, ranking 16th for xGF and xGA is shockingly bad for a club with the Magpies’ experience and size but in all seriousness, probably enough to keep them in the division.
The Hammers thrive when playing on the counter, David Moyes’ side have been excellent at absorbing pressure and hurting teams with their speed in transition. Jesse Lingard and Jarrod Bowen’s direct and incisive running proved third placed Leicester's downfall at the weekend and will run them close to European qualification.
However they are likely to be given more possession than they are accustomed to against the Magpies who will try and beat them at their own game, get men behind the ball in a low block and chance their arm on the break, such tactics that worked a treat in the reverse fixture.
Newcastle have the ability to contain the Hammers and with a new lease of life in attack could threaten an upset here. With less space in behind for the visitors to exploit, I am looking at an unders play.
- Newcastle have scored in seven of 10.
- Newcastle have conceded in nine of 10.
- Newcastle have seen both teams score in seven of 10.
- Newcastle have seen over 2.5 goals in six of 10.
- West Ham have scored in seven of 10.
- West Ham have conceded in seven of 10.
- West Ham have seen both teams score in five of 10.
- West Ham have seen over 2.5 goals in six of 10.
For a change there will be a weight of expectation on the plucky Hammers, it will be a good test of their top six credentials.
Newcastle vs West Ham – Under 1.5 1st Half Goals and Under 3.5 Goals (22/25 Bet365)