Newcastle United preview

Barclays Premier League
West Ham United v Newcastle United

Boleyn Ground
Saturday 20 September
Referee: Phil Dowd

WHUTV - Full audio commentary


* West Ham United will look to make it four wins in four home games in all competitions when they welcome Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon.

* It will be the first match in charge for Gianfranco Zola since taking charge of West Ham United officially last Monday. He has been joined at the club by Steve Clarke.

* West Ham United with two wins, six goals for and a plus four goal difference have the best home record of any club to date in this season's top flight.

* The club are eighth in the Barclays Premier League, with six points, but could potentially move fourth with a victory. Newcastle United are 16th with four points to their name.

* Zola said: "It's been a very good week and I've enjoyed it. The training sessions have been spot on and the players have been very committed. [On Thursday] for example it should have been an easy session but the players want to push it all of the time and that is the kind of attitude that every manager hopes for. So let's just hope for a good result on Saturday."

* Newcastle caretaker manager Chris Hughton, who made 40 appearances for West Ham United between 1990 and 1992, said: "The only aim for me is to put points on the board and make it a better situation for whatever manager comes in ... the spirit has been good, the players enjoy coming to the training ground and the banter in the changing rooms too."

* Newcastle are unbeaten in their last nine matches against West Ham United and will know their hosts have not kept a clean sheet in their last 16 matches dating back to 23 February.

* West Ham United have three players who could make their home debuts in Herita Ilunga, David Di Michele and Walter Lopez. Ilunga started in the 3-2 defeat at West Bromwich Albion last week while Di Michele played 70 minutes as a substitute.

* Craig Bellamy, Scott Parker and Lee Bowyer could all potentially face their former club while Kieron Dyer is still out. Zola has said the latter is doing well though and is close to a return to training.

* West Ham United are next in top-flight action Saturday 27 September away to Fulham when Newcastle United are at home to Blackburn Rovers.

* Robert Green has faced four fellow England goalkeepers in the first four league games of the season. Chris Kirkland (Wigan Athletic), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Paul Robinson (Blackburn Rovers) and Scott Carson (West Bromwich Albion).

Last time out

Saturday 13 September - West Bromwich Albion 3-2 West Ham United West Ham United: Green, Neill, Davenport, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami (Faubert 65), Parker, Noble, Boa Morte (Etherington 79), Ashton (Di Michele 19), Cole.
Subs not used: Lastuvka, Bellamy, Mullins, Tomkins
Goals: Noble 29, Neill 35

Saturday 13 September - Newcastle United 1-2 Hull City Newcastle United: Given, Edgar (Bassong 68), Taylor, Coloccini, 'Zogbia, Geremi, Butt, Guthrie, Xisco, Owen, Ameobi (Gonzalez 61)
Subs not used: Harper, Cacapa, Danquah, Doninger, Donaldson
Goal: Xisco 82

Team news

* Zola has been denied the services of Dean Ashton who sprained his ankle on Monday and will sit out training for at least the next week.

* A late decision will be made on the fitness of Craig Bellamy as he continues to receive treatment for his troublesome hamstring.

* Hayden Mullins is also a doubt after a knock but Jack Collison is back in contention.

* Zola is considering his defensive options with Lopez also challenging fellow new recruit Ilunga at left-back.  

* Newcastle look set to have the services of Damien Duff again after his recovery from a groin problem but Obafemi Martins has only just returned to training from a similar problem and the match is thought to be too soon.

* Jonas Gutierrez (shoulder), Jose Enrique (hamstring) are unlikely to figure while Danny Guthrie and Joey Barton are both suspended. Alan Smith is out for three months as he requires surgery to a stress fracture in his foot.


* The last meeting of the clubs came at the Boleyn Ground on 26 April 2008, when Mark Noble and Dean Ashton put the home side two-nil up inside 23 minutes. Obafemi Martins and Geremi then struck to ensure a 2-2 draw.

* The lineups were:

West Ham United: Green, Pantsil, Tomkins, Neill, McCartney, Faubert (Solano 89), Parker, Noble, Ljungberg (Boa Morte 21), Zamora (Cole 68), Ashton
Subs not used: Walker, Mullins

Newcastle United: Harper, Beye, Edgar (Diatta 89), Taylor, Jose Enrique, Geremi, Butt, Barton, Owen, Viduka (Smith 82), Martins
Subs not used: Forster, Duff, Carroll

Head to head (last six meetings, league unless stated)

26 April 2008 - West Ham United 2-2 Newcastle United
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

Overall record v Newcastle United (all competitions): W 36, D 34, L 47

Barclays Premier League fixtures (all 3pm unless stated)

Saturday 20 September
Blackburn Rovers v Fulham
Bolton Wanderers v Arsenal (5.30pm)
Liverpool v Stoke City
Sunderland v Middlesbrough (12:45pm)

Sunday 21 September 2008
Chelsea v Manchester United (2pm)
Hull City v Everton
Manchester City v Portsmouth
Tottenham Hotspur v Wigan Athletic
West Bromwich Albion v Aston Villa (12pm)

General information

For ticket information, click here. For details of getting to the Boleyn Ground, click here. Please note important travel information regarding tubes and trains. Click here for more information.

Weather: The forecast is for a generally cloudy day with some sunny spells. The temperature is set to peak at around 19C.