Newcastle V West Ham - Head-to-head

Shay Given David James APPEARANCESMinutes on pitch3240 2160 SHOT STOPPINGGoals Conceded48 28 Clean Sheets9 9 Saves119 103 Saves/Shots 71% 79% DISTRIBUTIONGK Distribution1449 908 Distribution %65% 48% CATCHINGCrosses Caught43 46 Crosses Dropped4 5 DISCIPLINEYellow Cards2 0 Red Cards0 0 OPTA INDEX SCORE844 1,049 Shay Given David James

Two international goalkeepers go head-to-head on Saturday when David James and the rest of the West Ham team travel to the northeast to take on Newcastle at St James' Park.

The Magpies own goalkeeper Shay Given has been in magnificent form this season and his performances between the sticks were rewarded when his fellow professionals named him in the PFA Premiership XI for the campaign.

Given's 119 saves this term is the third-highest behind international team-mate Dean Kiely and Blackburn's Brad Friedel, and that fact goes some way to illustrate how valuable he has been in helping Newcastle secure a Champions League place And if he can keep another clean sheet on Saturday it may give Bobby Robson's team a chance to snatch third place from Manchester United.

Safeguarding the visitor's goal will be England's David James. The former Aston Villa custodian boasts the better saves-to-shots ratio, keeping out 79% of attempts on target compared to Given's 71% rate.

However James is likely to be jealous of the fact that Given is first-choice goalkeeper for his country while the Hammers goalkeeper still faces a nervous wait to see if he makes the final squad for Japan ahead of rivals such as Richard Wright and Ian Walker.

The 31-year-old has even ditched his dyed 'afro' in order for a more conservative cut - perhaps a wise choice to make before running out of the tunnel at St James' Park where he would have been an endless source of amusement for the supporters in the Gallowgate end.

James will aim to let his goalkeeping do the talking but he faces a tough task in keeping out the likes of Alan Shearer and the fit-again Craig Bellamy on Saturday. He was also on the wrong end of a 3-0 drubbing in Newcastle's win over Aston Villa in the Magpies' final game of the 2000-01 campaign.

There has been speculation that could be Given's could be on his way to from St James' Park after he refused a new five-year extension to his current deal which runs out at the end of next season but despite being linked with a move to Celtic he is unlikely to want to miss out on Newcastle's first entry into the Champions League for five seasons.

Benji Romaner