Newcastle match preview

Barclays Premier League
Boleyn Ground
Saturday 26 April
Referee: Uriah Rennie

WHUTV - Pre-match press conference and live commentary to come
WESTHAM.WAP.COM - All the news, on the move


* West Ham United, tenth in the Barclays Premier League, welcome 12th-placed Newcastle United looking to make it two home wins in a week and preserve their long-standing hold on a position in the top half of the table. Newcastle are one of the division's form teams and are bidding for a fourth straight clean sheet.

* A home win and failure by Tottenham Hotspur to defeat Bolton Wanderers at home would secure United at least a top-ten finish for the campaign. Three points for Alan Curbishley's side would take them to within two points of ninth-placed Blackburn Rovers, who go to high-flying Portsmouth on Sunday afternoon.

* The match falls exactly on the 50th anniversary of the 3-1 win at Middlesbrough on 26 April 1958 that sealed promotion back to the top flight for the first time in 26 years and paved the way for the golden era of the mid-1960s. It also meant Bobby Moore began his first-team career the following season as a top-flight player.

* Moore's memory will be honoured with Saturday's game as the club has dedicated the match to raising money and awareness for the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research. Collections will be taking place around the stadium while Bobby's widow Stephanie Moore will speak to the crowd just ahead of a video being played on the big screen to promote the good work of the fund.

* A win would keep United at least five points clear of Tottenham Hotspur in eleventh and Newcastle in 12th with just two fixtures remaining. Of those final games, one is at home (Aston Villa, 11 May) and one is away (Manchester United, 3 May).

* George McCartney made his 50th consecutive appearance in all club competitions in last weekend's 2-1 win against Derby County - dating back to the 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers on 17 March 2007.

* At least one win from the final three games would take West Ham United to the 50-point mark in the top flight - something the club has only managed seven times in the previous 14 seasons since 1992/93.

* West Ham United have been in the top half of the table for all but one week since the middle of November.

* The last time West Ham United finished a top-flight campaign with a positive goal difference was the 1985/86 season (+34). The club is currently -5

* West Ham United have not won in any of the last eight meetings, having lost five and drawn three, between the clubs - all of which came in the top flight.

* The last win came on 23 September 2001 with a 3-0 success at the Boleyn Ground, when Nolberto Solano and Craig Bellamy both started for the visitors. Don Hutchison opened the scoring on 18 minutes, Paolo Di Canio added a second on 53 minutes before Frederic Kanoute wrapped up the win eight minutes from time.

* Newcastle have won on their last two visits to the Boleyn Ground and are second in the division's form table, having amassed 14 points from a potential 18 on offer in the last six games.

Last match

* Alan Curbishley's men were 2-1 winners against Derby County. Bobby Zamora's first goal of the season set the home side on their way before former Hammers defender Tyrone Mears equalised midway through the second half but substitute Carlton Cole hit the winner in the 77th minute, just three minutes after coming on.

West Ham United 2-1 Derby County (19 April): Green, Pantsil, Neill, Tomkins, McCartney, Faubert (Solano 78), Noble, Parker, Ljungberg (Boa Morte 90), Sears (Cole 74), Zamora
Subs not used: Walker, Mullins
Goals: Zamora 20, Mears 65, Cole 77

Newcastle United 2-0 Sunderland (19 April): Harper, Beye, Faye, Taylor, Jose Enrique (Edgar 87), Geremi, Butt, Barton, Owen, Viduka (Carroll 76), Martins (Duff 70)
Subs not used: Forster, Smith
Goals: Owen 4, 45 pen

Team News

* Dean Ashton has trained all week after recovering from tonsillitis. He will compete with last week's goalscorers Bobby Zamora and Carlton Cole, along with Freddie Sears, for a starting berth.

* Matthew Upson and Jonathan Spector both missed the Derby win after pulling out the day before. Anton Ferdinand sat out against Derby with a hamstring injury suffered at Bolton.

* John Pantsil, Lucas Neill and James Tomkins, on his first home start, all began against Derby and will hope to keep their places although club captain Neill may revert to his more familiar right-back position depending if any of the above trio are able to return at centre-back.

* Mark Noble and Freddie Ljungberg both played against Derby after recovering from hamstring injuries that caused them to miss the previous two fixtures.

* Julien Faubert got a valuable 78 minutes against Derby after calf muscle trouble, having not figured since 1 March. Matthew Etherington, after his abdominal problems that have kept him out since 9 February, is also back in training.

* Lee Bowyer is making good progress after his groin surgery and could return to training soon.

* With regard to long-termers James Collins (knee), Danny Gabbidon (abdominal), Calum Davenport (neck), Nigel Quashie (foot), Kieron Dyer (double broken leg) and Craig Bellamy (abdominal), all are said to be making progress. 

* Newcastle have been able to field the same starting eleven in five of the last six games although Keegan also has James Milner (foot), Stephen Carr (hamstring), Claudio Cacapa (knee) and Emre back as well. Shay Given and Peter Ramage (both groin) are not thought to be ready to return.

* While Bobby Zamora could make his 150th start for the home side, Nicky Butt is in line for a century of starts in black and white.


* After 35 games last season, West Ham United were three points from safety and had just 32 points compared to the 47 they have achieved from the same number of matches this campaign.

* West Ham United and Newcastle last met at St James' Park on 23 September 2007 when two Mark Viduka (2 and 41) goals sandwiched a volleyed Dean Ashton effort on 32 minutes. Charles 'Zogbia wrapped up the win for the Magpies, then under Sam Allardyce's stewardship, with a 76th-minute strike.

* Allardyce parted company with Newcastle in January, having been appointed the previous May. He was replaced by Kevin Keegan, who had left St James' Park almost exactly eleven years previously after a hugely successful first spell.

* The lineups were:

Newcastle United: Harper, Beye, Cacapa (Taylor 78), Rozehnal, 'Zogbia , Smith, Geremi, Butt, Milner, Owen (Martins 51 ), Viduka (Jose Enrique 73)
Subs not used: Given, Faye

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Upson, Ferdinand, McCartney, Bowyer, Noble, Mullins (Ljungberg 62), Etherington (Spector 80), Cole (Camara 68), Ashton
Subs not used: Wright, Collins

* McCartney has now made 41 appearances this season in all competitions. He has not missed a match since sitting out the 4-3 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on 4 March 2007 - an unbroken run of 50 games.

* McCartney is the only West Ham United player who has featured in every league and cup game to date, starting in each one.

* In terms of the Premier League, only Green has played every minute of the 35 matches.

* Cole, on nine cautions for the season, is no longer under the threat of a two-match ban as suspensions for ten yellow cards stopped taking effect after the second Sunday in April - which came with the trip to Bolton.

* No Newcastle player has appeared in every top-flight game this season.

* Ashton, with eight goals, seven in the league, is the club's leading scorer. Michael Owen, who scored a hat-trick in a 4-2 win at the Boleyn Ground on 17 December 2005, has a dozen goals for the campaign, with ten of those coming in the top flight.

* Bowyer, Dyer and Bellamy will all not face their former club because of injury but Solano and Scott Parker could feature. The former has had two spells in the north-east, making a total of 315 league and cup appearances, scoring 48 goals. The latter played a total of 73 times in all competitions, scoring six goals, in two years from June 2005. All but Bowyer moved to the Boleyn Ground last summer.

* After this week's contest which will do much to resolve issues of mid-table superiority, both clubs could have a major say in the title race next time out. West Ham United will be in action on Saturday 3 May when they travel to Manchester United for a 12.45pm kick-off at Old Trafford. Newcastle United are at home to Chelsea from 8pm on Monday 5 May.

* Among those in the crowd will be Robert Lee, who played for both clubs as well as serving under both managers (Keegan at Newcastle, Curbishley at Charlton Athletic). His son Oliver is part of Tony Carr's successful Under-18 side at the Boleyn Ground.

* On 21 April 1986, West Ham United were 8-1 home winners against Newcastle when Alvin Martin famously scored a hat-trick against three different goalkeepers, including stand-in Peter Beardsley.

Last six Barclays Premier League meetings

23 September 2007: Newcastle United 3-1 West Ham United
20 January 2007: Newcastle United 2-2 West Ham United
17 September 2006: West Ham United 0-2 Newcastle United
17 December 2005: West Ham United 2-4 Newcastle United
20 August 2005: Newcastle United 0-0 West Ham United
11 January 2003: West Ham United 2-2 Newcastle United

All-time record versus Newcastle: W 36 D 33 L 47

Weekend fixtures (all kick-offs 3pm unless stated)

Saturday 26 April

Birmingham City v Liverpool
Chelsea v Manchester United (12.45pm)
Manchester City v Fulham
Sunderland v Middlesbrough
Tottenham Hotspur v Bolton Wanderers
Wigan Athletic v Reading

Sunday 27 April

Everton v Aston Villa (4pm)
Portsmouth v Blackburn Rovers (1.30pm)
Monday 28 April

Derby County v Arsenal (8pm)

General information

Tickets: This match is SOLD OUT. For general ticket information, click here. For details of getting to the Boleyn Ground, click here

Weather: The forecast is for a sunny afternoon. The temperature is set to peak around the 19C mark.