Newcastle V West Ham - Opta Preview

Newcastle United St James' Park Saturday 27th April West Ham United 36 Games36  ATTACKING 70 Goals scored45 1.94 Ave goals per game1.25 44% Shooting Accuracy43% 15% Goals to shots %11%  PASSING 15,595 Passes13,513 76% Pass completion %73%  DEFENDING 72% Tackle success rate %73% 48 Goals conceded53 1.33 Ave goals conceded per game1.47  DISCIPLINE 532 Fouls548 49 Yellow cards62 2 Red cards3 9,867 Opta Index Score8,859
Newcastle United v West Ham United

In the Premiership's end of term report, the headmaster's special award for 'biggest improvement in the last year' would more than likely be a straight fight between Newcastle and West Ham.

Under Bobby Robson the transition from a mid-table outfit into a Champions League team has not only been phenomenal, it has also been most entertaining, as Newcastle have become a side that are loved by neutrals once again.

The quality of their shooting has been one of the key areas for this rise in fortunes. Last season Newcastle hit the target with 44% of their efforts and scored with 11%. This term they have troubled the 'keeper with an identical 44% of their shots but have seen 15% of their efforts hit the back of the net and only Manchester United can better that goals-to-shots ratio. For Robson's side, they have vastly improved the quality of their finishing and that is the key.

Down at Upton Park there has been a marked improvement too. Glenn Roeder took over a side that were being touted by many as possible relegation contenders and has taken them to seventh in the table. Under Roeder, West Ham have improved their goals-to-shots ratio from 10% to 12% and have been getting stuck in with greater success.

The Hammers had the worst tackle success ratio (69%) last season but have improved in that department by three percentage points. That might not sound like a huge improvement but football is a game won and lost in measurements of widths of posts and through last-ditch tackles that are made or missed.

The defensive performances of Christian Dailly have also been a feature of West Ham's ascent. The Scottish international has made 373 clearances this season and there are only five other Premiership defenders who have recorded more. He may not be getting the national acclaim of Rio Ferdinand or Sami Hyypia but Dailly has been solid and reliable at the heart of the Hammers' defence.

One man that Daily will be keeping an eye on is Laurent Robert. The summer signing has been in notable form this season and has scored five goals from free kicks that is more than any other player in the top flight. However, his greatest contribution has come in his willingness to put crosses into the box. Robert has put in 208 crosses - the second highest total in the division.

The highest total? That belongs to the Newcastle player on the other wing, Nolberto Solano and now you know this, you are hardly going to be surprised to learn the Magpies have scored more headed goals than any other Premiership club.

Matt Pomroy

Match referee: P. Durkin

Paul Durkin takes charge of his first game at St James' Park this season. The Dorset official however did take control of West Ham's successful trip to Old Trafford last December and a repeat 1-0 scoreline would be a fine way for the Londoners to end their away campaign in the league.

Referee's Name  FoulsPenaltiesYellow CardsRed CardsAve Disc pointsP. Durkin 557 5 47 3 38.47

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West Ham are without Sebastien Schemmel asfter he suffered a foot fracture at Highbury. Apart from long-term casualties - Don Hutchison and Paolo di Canio - the Hammers have no other injury problems.

Craig Bellamy will not feature for Newcastle again this season after being told to rest his injured knee.Lomano Tresor Lua Lua will again partner Alan Shearer in attack.

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Match Result
Newcastle 4/7
Draw 12/5
West Ham 9/2

Correct Score
Newcastle 1-0 6/1
Newcastle 2-0 11/2
Newcastle 2-1 7/1
Newcastle 3-0 10/1
Newcastle 3-1 10/1
Newcastle 3-2 28/1
Newcastle 4-0 25/1
Newcastle 4-1 22/1
Newcastle 4-2 50/1
Newcastle 5-0 50/1
Newcastle 5-1 50/1
Newcastle 6-0 100/1
Newcastle 6-1 100/1
Draw 0-0 8/1
Draw 1-1 6/1
Draw 2-2 16/1
Draw 3-3 50/1
West Ham 1-0 10/1
West Ham 2-0 25/1
West Ham 2-1 18/1
West Ham 3-0 66/1
West Ham 3-1 50/1
West Ham 3-2 50/1
West Ham 4-0 100/1
West Ham 4-1 100/1
West Ham 4-2 100/1

Double Result
Newcastle/Newcastle 11/8
Newcastle/Draw 16/1
Newcastle/West Ham 45/1
Draw/Newcastle 7/2
Draw/Draw 4/1
Draw/West Ham 10/1
West Ham/Newcastle 28/1
West Ham/Draw 16/1
West Ham/West Ham 10/1

First Goalscorer
C Bellamy 9/2
A Shearer 9/2
L Lua Lua 11/2
C Cort 6/1
K Dyer 10/1
N Solano 10/1
L Robert 10/1
G Speed 12/1
C Acuna 14/1
O Bernard 16/1
J Mcclen 20/1
J Jenas 20/1
N Dabizas 33/1
A O'brien 40/1
S Distin 40/1
R Elliott 40/1
A Griffin 66/1
A Hughes 66/1
No Goalscorer 8/1
J Defoe 6/1
F Kanoute 6/1
P Kitson 8/1
T Sinclair 14/1
J Cole 16/1
M Carrick 16/1
S Moncur 20/1
S Lomas 20/1
L Courtois 25/1
S Schmemel 28/1
I Pearce 28/1
V Labant 33/1
T Repka 40/1
H Foxe 50/1
S Potts 50/1
S Minto 50/1
C Dailly 50/1
N Winterburn 66/1

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