Newcastle match preview

Barclays Premier League
Newcastle United v West Ham United
Saturday 10 January
Referee: Alan Wiley
WHUTV - Full audio commentary


* West Ham United travel to Newcastle United aiming to record their fourth straight victory in all competitions - and third in the Barclays Premier League. A 4-1 Boxing Day win at Portsmouth was followed by a 2-1 home win over Stoke City on 28 December and a 3-0 FA Cup third-round success against Barnsley on 3 January.

* West Ham head to St James' Park seeking to extend their unbeaten away record in the Premier League to six matches. Should the Hammers avoid defeat at Newcastle, it would represent the club's best away run in the top-flight since the 2000/01 season, when United went six matches unbeaten between 23 September and 16 December.

* Prior to that run, West Ham went eight Division One matches unbeaten at the start of the 1986/87 season. When combined with two League Cup matches, the Hammers began that campaign by not losing any of their opening ten away fixtures in all competitions.

* This season, West Ham have not lost away from home in the Premier League since going down 2-0 at champions Manchester United on 29 October 2008. Since that defeat, Zola's team have conceded just three goals in five away matches.

* West Ham's last two victories at Newcastle both came in 1998. Stan Lazaridis scored the only goal on 7 February. Ian Wright's brace and a Trevor Sinclair goal secured a 3-0 win on 31 October. Former Hammer Stuart Pearce was sent-off for Newcastle during the Halloween fixture.

* West Ham have not won on any of their last seven visits to Tyneside.

* West Ham first-team coach Steve Clarke spent time at St James' Park as assistant to manager Ruud Gullit. He also took caretaker charge of the Magpies for one match in August 1998.

* Saturday's game is Newcastle United's 300th Premier League fixture at St James' Park. The Magpies have won 168, drawn 71 and lost 60 of their previous 299 home games in the competition.

* Newcastle have lost each of their last two Premier League matches, going down 2-1 at Wigan Athletic on Boxing Day and 5-1 at home to Manchester United on 28 December. Joe Kinnear's side secured a goalless draw at Hull City in the FA Cup third round on 3 January.

* Going into this weekend's round of matches, West Ham United midfielder Valon Behrami had won 55 free-kicks - more than any other Premier League player.

* Before this weekend, Newcastle United had conceded eight penalties - more than any other Premier League side.

* The highest West Ham can climb in the Premier League table with victory at Newcastle is seventh if Wigan Athletic, Hull City and Fulham all lose. Should they lose and Bolton Wanderers and either Portsmouth or Manchester City win their fixture at Fratton Park, the Hammers could fall as low as 13th.

* Newcastle could rise above the Hammers into tenth with a win but drop as low as 16th should they lose.

* Saturday's referee will be Alan Wiley. The 48-year-old took charge of the 2006 League and FA Cup finals and last season's Championship play-off final between Hull City and Bristol City.

* West Ham return to action with the visit of Fulham to the Boleyn Ground on Sunday 18 January. The Hammers won 2-1 at Craven Cottage in manager Gianfranco Zola's first away game in charge on 27 September 2008.

Team news

* Captain Lucas Neill (ankle), Switzerland midfielder Valon Behrami (groin), England defender Matthew Upson (flu) and midfielder Scott Parker (suspended) have all trained well this week and return to Gianfranco Zola's squad for Saturday's fixture.

* With Behrami and Parker back to challenge Mark Noble, Jack Collison, Hayden Mullins, Luis Boa Morte, Julien Faubert and Kieron Dyer for midfield starting berths on Saturday, the manager faces a positive selection problem - while Jonathan Spector and James Tomkins have added extra defensive strength.

* Dyer, who has had another full week in training and looked sharp, made an impressive return from 16 months out with a broken leg in last weekend's 3-0 FA Cup third round win over Barnsley at the Boleyn Ground. Dyer made 251 league and cup appearances for the Magpies during an eight-year stay at St James' Park between 1999 and 2007.

* Forwards David Di Michele and Diego Tristan will both hope to be involved at St James' Park after impressing during their recent run-outs in the first team, with Freddie Sears also heading up to the north-east.

* Goalkeeper Robert Green is the only West Ham player to have featured in every minute of the club's Premier League season so far. Matthew Upson has started every league match but was substituted in the 3-1 home defeat to Everton on 8 November.

* Young goalkeeper Marek Stech has again travelled with the first-team squad and will battle Czech Republic compatriot Jan Lastuvka for a place on the substitutes' bench.

* West Ham's second-string will aim to go top of Barclays Premier Reserve League South when they take on Aston Villa on Tuesday evening. The re-arranged fixture, which fell victim to the cold weather on 5 January, will see the Villans, who top the table, take on the joint-second-placed Hammers.

* Left-sided player Walter Lopez, midfielder Josh Payne, striker Freddie Sears, goalkeeper Marek Stech, winger Kyel Reid have all been working hard in training and will be keen to impress manager Alex Dyer. Youngsters Bondz 'Gala and Tom Harvey could also be involved.

* Newcastle have injury doubts over Charles 'Zogbia (thigh), Cacapa (knee) and Shola Ameobi (ankle). Mark Viduka (groin), Habib Beye (knee), Joey Barton (knee), Alan Smith (achilles) and Obafemi Martins (hernia) are all definitely out of Saturday's game.

* Midfielder Danny Guthrie has overcome a bout of flu and has declared himself fit.

* England striker Michael Owen will make his 50th Newcastle appearance if he is selected on Saturday.

Last time out

FA Cup third round

Saturday 3 January

West Ham United 3-0 Barnsley
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Collins, Tomkins, Ilunga, Collison (Dyer 70), Noble, Mullins, Boa Morte (Etherington 66), Bellamy, Cole (Tristan 75)
Subs not used: Lastuvka, Spector, Bowyer, Di Michele
Booked: Faubert, Mullins
Goals: Ilunga 10, Noble 39 pen, Cole 68

FA Cup third round

Saturday 3 January

Hull City 0-0 Newcastle United
Newcastle United: Given, Coloccini, Bassong, Taylor, Jose Enrique, Duff, Guthrie, Butt, 'Zogbia (Gutierrez 36), Owen, Carroll
Subs not used: Harper, Xisco, Geremi, Kadar, Edgar, LuaLua
Booked: Butt, Gutierrez


* The teams last met on 20 September 2008 at the Boleyn Ground in Gianfranco Zola's first game in charge after becoming West Ham United manager. Two first-half goals from David Di Michele and a second-half strike from Matthew Etherington put the Hammers 3-0 up before Michael Owen scored a late consolation for the Magpies.

* The lineups were:

West Ham United: Green, Behrami, Upson, Neill, Ilunga, Faubert, Noble, Parker (Mullins, 72), Etherington (Boa Morte, 73), Di Michele, Cole (Sears, 87)
Subs not used: Lastuvka, Lopez, Davenport, Reid

Newcastle United: Given, Edgar (Bassong, 59), Taylor, Coloccini, 'Zogbia, Geremi, Cacapa (Gonzalez, 81), Butt, Duff, Owen, Xisco
Subs not used: Harper, Ameobi, Tozer, Doninger, Donaldson

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

20 September 2008 - West Ham United 3-1 Newcastle United
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 February 2006 - West Ham United 0-2 Newcastle United
17 December 2005 - West Ham United 2-4 Newcastle United

Overall record v Newcastle United (all competitions): W 37, D 34, L 47

General information

All tickets for this fixture for away supporters have SOLD OUT.

Weather: The forecast is for sunny intervals with temperatures not expected to get above 4C.