Newcastle United v West Ham United

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Rafael Benitez has said promotion to the Premier League may have come ‘too soon’ for his Newcastle side


Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey serves the final game of a three-match ban while defenders Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeune are still sidelined.

Dwight Gayle may return after missing the defeat to Nottingham Forest.

Fit-again Manuel Lanzini is included in the West Ham squad for the first time this season but Marko Arnautovic is suspended and Winston Reid remains out.

Cheikhou Kouyate is back in contention after a cameo in Wednesday’s win against Cheltenham.


Alistair Mann: “If there’s one club who have become used to a poor start to a new season, it’s Newcastle.

“They’ve not won any of their last nine top-flight games in August and they even began last year’s Championship campaign with two defeats.

“Their latest loss to Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup further accentuated the negativity on Tyneside following a summer of perceived transfer inactivity.

“Though West Ham have also failed to secure a point, they will arrive in much better psychological shape following their win at Cheltenham and a gutsy display at Southampton.

“With so much attention on their hosts’ performance, the visitors may well feel it’s an opportunity for them to take advantage.”

Twitter: @alistairmann01


Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez on his side’s defeat to Nottingham Forest: “We knew that to going into the Premier League, a new division, a new competition, another level, you can win games or you can lose games.

“In this case, we lost this one. It was a game that we were expecting to win – we didn’t do it and we have to be ready for the next one.

“I have said that this team will improve and I am convinced that we will do it.”

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic on Newcastle’s transfer spending: “They are not happy with the transfers but they spent more money than we have spent in this transfer window, if we are talking about net money.

“Okay, they maybe needed more to improve because they came up from the Championship.

“It is a big club, they were all buzzing. They won the league and now it was ‘now we are going to rule the world’ or whatever.

“What I think happened is they tried but maybe they were unable to get those targets that they wanted.

“Maybe they were thinking too big and those players, they didn’t want to come.”


Newcastle are winless so far in the league and got beaten 3-2 at home in the EFL Cup by Championship side Nottingham Forest – but I think they will get a draw here.

Prediction: 1-1

Lawro’s full predictions v American actor Channing Tatum

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.



  • Newcastle have suffered just one defeat in their last 13 home matches against West Ham (W7, D5).
  • The Magpies are looking for their first back-to-back wins over the Hammers for 15 years.
  • This will be the 50th top-flight meeting of these sides. West Ham have registered only seven wins so far, while Newcastle are one short of 50 victories.


  • Newcastle last lost their opening two Premier League games in 1999 – but recovered to finish 11th that season.
  • Only once before have they failed to score in their first three matches of a top-flight campaign, a four-game goalless streak in 2004-05. That run included a 0-0 home draw with West Ham.
  • Rafael Benitez has never lost three successive Premier League fixtures as a manager.
  • If Newcastle win, Benítez will reach 500 Premier League points.

West Ham

  • West Ham could lose their opening three league games for the first time since being relegated in 2010-11.
  • This is the first time they have started a Premier League season with three away matches – and they have just one win from their last nine games on the road (D3, L5).
  • All 39 of Javier Hernandez’s Premier League goals have come inside the penalty area – only Tim Cahill (56) and John Terry (41) have registered more without scoring outside the box.
  • The Mexican striker has three goals in his last four league starts against Newcastle.
  • The seven goals conceded by West Ham is the most they have let in after two matches of a league campaign since 1988-89.
  • In his last five league games Joe Hart has made 10 saves and been beaten 17 times (includes three appearances for Torino).
  • However, Hart has never finished on the losing side in 16 previous league appearances against Newcastle.
SAM’s verdict
Most probable score: 1-1 Probability of draw: 27%
Probability of home win: 43% Probability of away win: 30%

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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