Newcastle vs West Ham Prediction
Saturday 4th February 2023
St James’ Park
Newcastle vs West Ham Prediction Match Overview
Newcastle enter the game in good form. Over the cup break, they defeated Southampton in the two-legged EFL Cup semi-final to book their place in the showpiece final at Wembley later this month, where they will play Man United. Their form in the league has also been good in their six recent games. They have won three and drawn three. Very impressively, they have not conceded a goal in this six-match run. However, they have only scored five goals, and their three draws were all goalless, so their games have been low-scoring of late. Their home form across the last six has been excellent – they sit in second across this period, with five wins and one draw. Newcastle lie in third place in the Premier League table, with 39 points from 20 games and a goal difference of +22. Their 11 goals conceded is the lowest in the division, highlighting that their success has often been predicated on a mean defence.
West Ham, in contrast to Newcastle, have struggled all season. They may cite their participation in the UEFA Conference League as distracting them from domestic duties. However, there is undoubtedly much more to it than that. They beat Everton before the cup break and then sealed their place in the FA Cup fifth round with a victory away at Derby. However, their form, in general, has been very poor. Indeed, they have only picked up four points from the last eight games, putting them in 17th place in the form table across that period. Their away form makes for even more grim reading, with just two draws and six defeats in the last eight, which is a bottom-of-the-table performance. They sit in sixteenth place in the Premier League table, with 18 points from 20 games. Having won only five games all season, they desperately need to start accumulating points, as they are at risk of relegation.
Newcastle vs West Ham Team News
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Isak
Will Not Play: Krafth, Targett, Manquillo, M Longstaff, Guimaraes
Might Not Play: Ings
Will Not Play: Zouma, Cornet, Scamacca
Newcastle vs West Ham Predicted Lineups
Newcastle (4-3-3): Pope; Burn, Schar, Botman, Tripper; S Longstaff, Willock, Joelinton; Saint-Maximin, Wilson, Almiron
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Kehrer, Ogbonna, Aguerd, Coufal; Soucek, Rice; Benrahma, Paqueta, Bowen; Antonio
Newcastle vs West Ham Prediction Analysis
Newcastle’s Defensive Solidity and Attacking Threat
As indicated, a large part of Newcastle’s success this season must be attributed to their defensive strength. They signed goalkeeper Nick Pope in the summer, and he has been fantastic so far for them. He has a high save percentage of 83.9 per cent, highlighting that he is a hard man to beat when the opposition get shots on goal. Perhaps as importantly, though, is that Newcastle are fifth-best in the league for shots faced, with a total of 209. With only 61 being on target, they have the lowest shots-on-target faced percentage in the division. Hence, when you combine the fact that they don’t concede many shots with a goalkeeper who saves attempts he does face, it is obvious why they have only conceded eleven goals this season. They have also played with a relatively settled backline of Burn, Schar, Botman, and Trippier in many games, which has also helped. All four are strong defensively; allied to the quality midfield screening from Guimaraes and Sean Longstaff, it makes Newcastle hard to play through often. West Ham have scored only 17 goals this season and will find Newcastle tough to break down.
Newcastle also possess an attacking threat and have scored 33 goals this season. Against West Ham, we expect Almiron, Wilson, and Saint-Maximin to start. Guimaraes is out, so Joelinton will likely move to central midfield. Isak is also doubtful. New signing Anthony Gordon is a potential starter, too. Tripper’s crossing and delivery is a massive threat for Newcastle. Indeed, he has had a vast 1,560 touches this season, including 529 in the attacking third. He has also attempted 1,392 passes. These club highs imply that Trippier is getting forward often and linking up with Almiron down the Magpies’ right-hand side. Trippier has a high 99 shot-creating actions this season – 39 more than Almiron in second. Trippier is, therefore, key to Newcastle’s creativity. Alongside Almiron, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin, and Gordon, he will seek to find ways to create opportunities and serve Wilson with chances. Almiron and Wilson lead the way in shots for Newcastle, showing that the Paraguayan loves to cut in from the right and shoot on his strong left foot. Equally, Wilson is dangerous in the box. With Trippier sending in 199 crosses this season, Wilson will seek to feed on this service.
Dynamics of the Game and West Ham’s Threat on the Counter
The Hammers lie in sixteenth place in the league for possession this season, with 44.9 per cent. Newcastle are at 50.8 per cent. Therefore, it is clear that Newcastle are only sometimes a ball-dominant team. However, West Ham like playing on the counter-attack away from home. It remains to be seen if Newcastle will try to attack West Ham by playing through them or if they will set traps by allowing West Ham to have the ball and then breaking on the London club when they lose it. In general, Newcastle will likely have more of the ball, but perhaps in the 55 per cent range. Therefore, West Ham will likely have to spring into transitions when they can. They are unlikely to defend quite as low as they would at the Etihad, but this also presents fewer opportunities to counter against a top-heavy team. Newcastle appear to be more cautious in choosing their moments to attack than City and Liverpool.
Hence, when West Ham can break, they must use the pace and trickery of Benrahma and Bowen to try to get behind this resolute Newcastle rearguard. Bowen has not had his best season this year, but he has played better recently, so he will hope to attack Burn and come inside to get shots or crosses off on his left foot. Paqueta and Rice must carry the ball forward when West Ham can transition. Their dribbling will be important in releasing the three front players. West Ham’s new signing Ings will probably miss the game through injury, and Scamacca is also out. Thus, Antonio must lead the line diligently and finish any chances that come his way. The Jamaican has never been clinical in front of goal, however. Overall, Rice and Soucek must be disciplined and cover spaces when Newcastle come forward. Winning the ball from the home team will allow the Hammers to spring forward into their own attacks.
Beat the Bookmaker Newcastle vs West Ham Prediction
This game is a contest where two sides of contrasting fortunes compete against each other. West Ham are in a bad way as a club right now. They are in poor form and are clearly under threat of relegation. After their takeover, things have improved (on the pitch) for Newcastle, and they are doing much better than they were in the past. Indeed, Newcastle had a very strong 2022. In third place right now, they will fancy themselves to finish the season strongly and qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2003. Newcastle will win this game comfortably, in our opinion. West Ham are low on confidence now, and Newcastle are not as ball-dominant as some other teams in the league. This situation could be kryptonite for West Ham, who seem at their best when they can defend deep and hit on the counter. We anticipate a game where Newcastle are professional and controlled, maintain their run of clean sheets, and score a couple of goals.
Newcastle 2-0 West Ham
Beat the Bookmaker Newcastle vs West Ham Prediction – Newcastle Odds:
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