If a last gasp win against one of your closest rivals can’t get you motivated for a trip to the north east, then nothing will. That Hammers win over Chelsea gives them an excellent chance of survival, being five points clear of 18th-placed Aston Villa, and they head to St James’ Park having thumped Newcastle in the corresponding fixture last season.
However, it’s unlikely that David Moyes’ men will have as easy a time on Saturday as they take on a Newcastle side who are in a rich vein of form. Only Man City have beaten the Geordies in their last seven games and they’re unbeaten at home in the league since New Years’ Day.
Like West Ham, Steve Bruce’s men will be full of confidence following a 4-1 thrashing of Bournemouth on Wednesday. West Ham achieved the double over Newcastle last season so that will give them reason to be optimistic but it’s just very hard to get away from the improved form from the hosts.
A Newcastle victory is very much on the cards and they did win at Upton Park in November. But given West Ham’s encouraging success during the week, a home win & both teams to score might just be the way to go.
While a Newcastle win is the probable outcome, one thing which is even more likely are goals and in the last six games between the sides, there have been at least two goals on each occasion.
In fact, the average total goals per game in that period is 3.5 goals. Given that both teams are on the back of high scoring wins, there’s every chance that we’ll see over 3.5 goals in this game on Sunday afternoon.
Despite Newcastle’s excellent form of late, it’s rather surprising that Dwight Gayle has only scored two goals this season. However, on the upside, those goals have come in Newcastle’s last two league games and Gayle should have scored against Man City in the FA Cup too.
He has the look of a player who is back to his best, perhaps benefiting from the recent break, and both of those recent strikes were the first goals of those games too. He can extend his scoring spree against the Hammers and is Gayle is worth backing in the first goalscorer market.
Best bets for Newcastle v West Ham on Sunday at 14.15
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