Two clubs which seem to be perennially mired in controversy come together on the opening day of the Premier League season, as West Ham United welcome Newcastle United to the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Where and when: London Stadium – 12 September, kick-off 15:00
Where you can see West Ham vs. Newcastle: N/A
Last time: West Ham twice took the lead when these teams last met, but Newcastle ended up with a point following a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park in early July.
West Ham v Newcastle Predictions and Preview
A season like no other leads into a season like no other, as the Premier League kicks off in mid-September under the cloud of a global pandemic. Both West Ham and Newcastle will hope their players remain free from Covid-19 and able to participate in this fixture, with both clubs looking for a strong start to the new campaign.
Hosts West Ham come into the game on the back of a disastrous week or so, with their 5-3 defeat at home to Bournemouth in their final pre-season friendly preceded by an ugly fallout from the sale of young forward Grady Diangana. Irons captain Mark Noble led the criticism of the decision to let the promising 22-year-old depart the London Stadium, with the permanent capture of defensive midfielder Tomas Soucek the only signing of note made by the Hammers so far this summer.
David Moyes has plenty of attacking talent at his disposal, and keeping the likes of Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson and Manuel Lanzini fit this season will be crucial to the Hammers’ chances. The east London outfit failed to reach the 40-point mark in a disappointing campaign last time out, spending the vast majority of their season in a relegation fight.
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Newcastle to win and BTTS
Newcastle to win 3-2
Wilson to score first
That’s not what they or opponents this weekend Newcastle want for this term, not that any club do. Steve Bruce guided his club to a highly creditable 13th-placed finish last season, finishing the campaign 10 points clear of a drop zone they never looked like plummeting into.
The Magpies have hardly splashed the cash during the transfer window, but they have made a number of shrewd signings which could see them improve on last season’s showing. Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jeff Hendrick have all arrived on Tyneside for a combined £20 million, with the latter two joining the Toon on free transfers.
Wilson should supply the goals Joelinton was unable to last season, while the Brazilian ought to be more comfortable in a supporting role this term. Bruce guided his team to a 3-2 victory at the London Stadium last season, with the Hammers scoring two late consolations to make things edgy, and the Magpies could prove excellent value for another win here at 12/5. West Ham are 6/5 favourites though, with the draw priced at 23/9.
One to watch for West Ham: Michail Antonio returned his best goal tally for the Hammers last season and scored the opener when these two teams last locked horns. He is the 11/2 favourite for the first goal in our West Ham v Newcastle predictions for this game.
One to watch for Newcastle: Callum Wilson only managed a disappointing eight goals in 35 Premier League appearances for Bournemouth last season, but the England international’s move to the North East could prove transitional. He is 6/1 for the first goal on Saturday.
Long shot: Newcastle were 3-2 winners the last time these teams played each other at the London Stadium. West Ham conceded five at home to Bournemouth in a friendly last weekend, with another 3-2 Magpies victory at this stadium priced at 35/1. With Wilson as the first goalscorer, you could bag odds of 200/1 on a scorecast this weekend.