Rafa Benitez is steering a resurgent Newcastle away from the drop zone, and Paul Higham says they can get something from a tough trip to West Ham.
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West Ham v Newcastle (1730 GMT - Sky Sports PL)
It's a fiendish puzzle to unlock to round off Saturday's Premier League action with the unpredictable West Ham hosting the improving Newcastle - who have shot up the table after four wins in their last six.
All those four have come in the welcoming surroundings of St James' Park however, and they've still only registered two away wins all season despite some decent performances.
Although their bare results on the road are bad, Newcastle are always in those games with only Liverpool (4-0) winning by more than the odd goal and Rafa Benitez will again look to keep it tight as a priority.
It's important to stress then that the Magpies are a real tough nut to crack on their travels, especially against teams from outside the top six, as Newcastle haven't lost any of their eight contests this season - although six of those have been draws.
West Ham, though with one defeat in seven home league games are also a tough prospect at home but with new record signing Miguel Almiron and a huge boost in confidence, Newcastle are well capable of coming away with a point.
Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Newcastle (Sky Bet odds: 11/2)
Just a few games ago this would be a home win banker on my coupon, but not now Benitez has started to churn out the points to drag Newcastle away from the drop zone. On the face of it, just two away wins looks bad, but that unbeaten record against non top six sides is a pretty good marker so we're banking on them holding a good home side in West Ham.
Best bet: West Ham to draw with Newcastle at 5/2
There are a plethora of draws in Newcastle's away form and although West Ham have only had three at home this season they've had two in their last four games (one home, one away) and just one win in their last six league games shows their form isn't the best.
Goals: Michail Antonio to score anytime at 3/1
Two bruisers catch the eye with Salomon Rondon 9/4 to score anytime and both he and Antonio 9/1 to both net in the game, which could be worth a small investment, but preference is for the West Ham man to find the back of the net for the third home game in a row. He's looking somewhere near his best and is a real handful with pace, power and a prolific leap that always makes him a danger.
Odds correct as of 0932 GMT 01/03/19
West Ham v Newcastle Opta stats
- West Ham United, 3-0 winners against Newcastle in the reverse fixture, are looking to complete a league double over the Magpies for the first time since the 1998-99 season.
- Newcastle United are looking to win consecutive away Premier League matches against West Ham for the first time since September 2006.
- West Ham have lost just one of their last seven home Premier League games, and are unbeaten in their last four at the London Stadium (W2 D2).
- Newcastle United have won four of their last six Premier League games (D1 L1), as many as in their previous 22 combined this season (W4 D6 L12).
- No side has lost more Premier League away games in London than Newcastle (74, level with Everton).
- In all competitions, Newcastle have registered four victories by more than one goal during 2019 – one more than in the entirety of 2018 (3); the Magpies haven’t won an away Premier League match by a margin of more than one goal since a 3-0 win at Hull City in January 2015.
- Only against Wigan (6) has West Ham’s Javier Hernandez scored more Premier League goals than he has against Newcastle United (5).
- Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has won more Premier League games against West Ham than he has vs any other opponent (11).
- Despite being West Ham’s top scorer in the Premier League this season with eight goals, Felipe Anderson has failed to score in his last nine games in the competition.
- Sean Longstaff scored his first Premier League goal against Burnley in Newcastle’s last match – should he score in this game, he’d be the youngest Englishman (21y 123d) to score in consecutive Premier League games for the Magpies since James Milner in January 2007.