Michael Owen has been looking at this Saturday’s game at St James Park.
Four and a half hours of football ago, West Ham were 13th with eights points and Newcastle only one place off the bottom on goal difference with three points
The present day sees Newcastle now in 13th, above the Hammers on goal difference.
Only one win for West Ham since September, three victories in a row for Rafa’s players.
Six goals in six away games for the visitors and six in seven at home for the Magpies, doesn’t suggest a lot of goals.
However, Newcastle have started to find the net a little more regularly whilst Manuel Pellegrini and Hammers fans are despairing of their defence. Ten goals conceded in their last four matches (all competitions) including four at home to Man City last Saturday, even their one win since September saw them concede two at home to Burnley, West Ham only winning thanks to two goals in the last six minutes.
The Hammers could be missing as many as eight first team squad players when it come to Pellegrini picking his team and all eyes will be on Arnautovic, top scorer (five goals) and easily their best attacking player, he hobbled off at the end of that Man City defeat and is a big doubt.
Newcastle have a great record at home against the East London club and indeed the Hammers have only won once in the last 20 years on Tyneside. Kevin Nolan scoring the only goal back in November 2012.
Michael Owen predicts a draw due to it being two well-matched teams but you could have said that about any of the last three Newcastle games.
Which actually Michael Owen did to, forecasting draws against Watford, Bournemouth and Burnley, only for Rafa Benitez to see his team win all three.
As an interesting aside, Newcastle fans gave Michael Owen stick for always referring to Man U as ‘United’ when they played Newcastle United!
So he changed and for some time now he usually refers to Newcastle as ‘United’. On this occasion though, obviously he has forgotten about West Ham United. There’s another group of fans he has upset!
Both Newcastle and West Ham have a December full of matches where they could potentially take points from any game, with seven games each, it is only Newcastle’s trip to Liverpool that involves a ‘big six’ side.
With home advantage, West Ham’s injuries and the results down the years between the two clubs at St James Park, every reason to think Newcastle can make it four PL wins in a row. However, just like these last three victories, Newcastle will have to be well up for it if they are to do so.
Wednesday has also seen the club release training shots showing all but Paul Dummett missing, suggesting the likes of Shelvey, Muto and Lascelles are set to be putting pressure on the team that has won these past three matches. Newcastle fans aren’t suddenly thinking their team/squad are World beaters but certainly this month has given us a lot of things to be more optimistic about, with even luck in games starting to turn our way and now what looks a more or less full and now competitive squad available.
Michael Owen speaking to BetVictor:
“Newcastle face West Ham at St James Park with both clubs sitting on twelve points and identical playing records.
“United were delighted to take maximum points from Monday’s trip to Burnley which was their third win on the bounce.
“The Hammers have had some eye catching results but have struggled for consistency and were thrashed 4-0 at home against Manchester City last weekend.
“They have a strong forward line so it’s not often they fire a blank and I expect them to find the net in the North East.
“With the teams so well matched this has draw written all over it however and 1-1 can be backed at 11/2.”
Newcastle v West Ham Match Betting:
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