West Ham on the hunt for a top four place
Champions League chasing West Ham travel to St James’ Park to take on Newcastle in the Premier League as they look to solidify their place in the top four.
Newcastle secured a vital three points last week, coming from behind to beat Burnley 2-1. It ended a run of seven Premier League games without a win.
Allan Saint-Maximin played a vital role, coming off the bench to set up a goal and score another as Steve Bruce’s side established a six point gap between them and Fulham with Newcastle also having a game in hand.
The Geordies have won just three times in the last 20 Premier League games, but last week’s win was massive for Steve Bruce, who is under huge pressure to keep Newcastle in the Premier League.
The Magpies are looking to secure back-to-back league wins for just the second time this season.
West Ham form
West Ham have had a remarkable season as they sit in fourth place with seven games to go. No one could have predicted the Hammers would be in a battle for Champions League qualification but David Moyes’ side have been organized, deadly on the break and clinical in front of goal.
Jesse Lingard has embodied those qualities with an outstanding run of form since he joined the club. The on-loan midfielder has scored eight goals and made three assists since he joined West Ham. No player in the league has had as many goal involvements since he joined.
The visitors were missing Declan Rice and Michail Antonio against Leicester last week, but players such as Lingard and Jarrod Bowen stepped up.
West Ham are a point ahead of Chelsea in fifth and they can stretch that to four points as the Blues are in FA Cup action. The East London club have raced into three goal leads in their past three games and then have collapsed at the back as goals have flooded in. They threw away a 3-0 lead to draw against Arsenal, but have held on in their past two games to win 3-2.
The reverse fixture was on the opening day, a match Newcastle won 2-0. West Ham received heavy criticism after the defeat and it is scarcely believable that they are in the top four when they face each other on Saturday.
West Ham’s record away at St James is poor – they have won just two of their last 16 Premier League away games against Newcastle.
However, since Moyes returned to the club, West Ham are unbeaten in all 22 of their games against bottom half sides.
Featured image: Jesse Lingard of West Ham United celebrates with Jarrod Bowen after scoring their side’s second goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Leicester City. (Photo by John Walton – Pool/Getty Images)