Preview and Prediction
Two teams who were on the verge of falling into relegation zone last season, The Hammers and The Magpies will begin their campaign by facing off this weekend in London Stadium. Both sides’ managements have not been in their ideal best after the turmoil of each own. West Ham board’s controversial decision on selling their young talent Grady Diangana has led to a disharmony in the team, while EPL’s decision on rejecting Newcastle’s takeover seem to cause frustration towards the fans more than the team itself.
The teams’ updated news
West Ham does not seem to be signing any new faces apart from making a permanent contract for their loaned player last season, Tomas Soucek. Instead, they have been confident on releasing two other names beside Diangana, the Swiss international Albian Ajeti and Jordan Hugill to Celtic and Norwich City. The Hammers also terminated the contract of the senior figures such as the Argentine Pablo Zabaleta, the Colombian midfielder, Carlos Sanchez and the goalie Roberto.
The Magpies, on the other hand, have been able to sign several important figures such as Ryan Fraser, Jamal Lewis, the Ireland international Jeff Hendrick and last but not least the Bournemouth forward, Callum Wilson. Newcastle also barely sells any names and only releases Freddie Woodman and Jack Colback on loan and for free.
David Moyes is likely to deploy, 4-2-3-1 again. Michael Antonio seems to be the main scorer now instead of Sebastian Haller. He would gain support from two wide men, the youngster Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals whereas Mark Noble will be the anchor of their attack. The only name ruled out for this fixture is Manuel Lanzini.
Steve Bruce’s favourite formation 5-4-1 might still be deployed on the pitch. Their new signings, Callum Wilson might be tipped to start in the line up instead of Joelinton whose form last season was not as terrific as expected. Unfortunately, their defence is in crisis as some key men will be ruled out including the goalie Martin Dubravka, Fabian Schar, Matt Richie, Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett plus Dwight Gayle.
Players to watch
David Moyes remains relying on Michael Antonio who is expected to continue his positive form after the lockdown last season. Some other notable names to watch are Declan Rice, the Ukrainian winger Andrey Yatmolenko and Jarred Bowen.
The Magpies’ Jonjo Shelvey is one of the key figures of the team. He is the anchorman in the midfield while former Nice man, Allan Saint-Maximin could be cutting inside to create more space. Another notable man to watch is the Paraguayan midfielder Miguel Almiron.
West Ham vs Newcastle Prediction
David Moyes’ men convincing form in the past few games before the end of EPL last season should potentially continue, if they are not in such disarray after the board’s controversy. Eventually it all comes down to Mark Noble and Co’s form on the pitch here. Newcastle’s crisis at the back could be exploited for their initial victory at home. Yet, they both could only muster a draw here eventually considering their own circumstance.
There is no clear favourite in this match. West Ham is priced to win at 2.10, which is quite higher than the odds for a draw at 3.50. Meanwhile, Steve Bruce’s men are in the win market at 3.45.