Newcastle United vs WBA | Team News, Stats and Key Men

Newcastle United vs WBA | Team News, Stats and Key Men

The relegation fight is very interesting going into the last few weeks of the season as Leicester have come from nowhere to leave a number of established Premier League sides fearing the drop. Sunderland, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Hull City are all going into the final few weeks of the season with their Premier League status in the balance. Newcastle will be going into this weekend knowing that they need to stop their losing run against an in form West Brom side. The visitors are safe after reaching the 40 points mark, but they won’t be on their holidays just yet as Tony Pulis will want his players giving their all until the final game.

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Newcastle have lost their last eight matches which is their worst ever form in the Premier League era. It’s chaos at Newcastle at the moment after an awful performance against Leicester which led John Carver to accuse the players of not being passionate and Mike Williamson of getting sent off on purpose. Although it seemed like a resignation letter, Carver has remained in his post with Newcastle having very few other options this late into the season. The board, staff and players have had a number of meetings this week to try and clear the air. They have asked the supporters to back them this weekend, but words are cheap and this Newcastle side need to put a performance in this weekend. If they don’t, they could fall into the relegation zone this weekend if results go against them.

West Brom have won their last two away matches against Crystal Palace and Manchester United. They won’t have a better opportunity to win three on the bounce that they have this weekend against a vulnerable Newcastle side. Tony Pulis was brought in to keep the club in the Premier League and he has done that with the club now sitting on 40 points, which will be more than enough to survive this season. They will now want to build on this season and secure themselves in mid table, staying clear of relegation battles in future seasons.

In the previous match this season, Newcastle managed to win 2-0 thanks to goals from Ayoze Perez and Fabricio Coloccini. Meanwhile last season in the corresponding fixture, Newcastle won at St James’ Park 2-1, with Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko getting on the scoresheet. Meanwhile Chris Brunt scored for the visitors. Newcastle will be hoping they get another victory this weekend as they desperately need three points.

Interesting Stats

  • Only QPR have conceded more goals than Newcastle this season with the North East club conceding 60 goals so far.
  • On the other hand, West Brom are coming into this weekend after keeping three clean sheets on the bounce.

Key Men

Colback

Jack Colback has been one of the standout players for Newcastle this season after making the move from rivals Sunderland. The midfielder was one of the few to avoid criticism after the Leicester match with John Carver saying how he wished he had eleven Jack Colbacks, which highlights the midfielder’s passion and hard working style of play. In a side lacking fight at the moment, Colback is key to Newcastle’s survival hopes. He is used to being involved at the bottom of the table after a number of successful fights against the drop with Sunderland, but he will be even more passionate this time as he attempts to keep the team he supports in the top flight. The midfielder has a lot more to his game than just work rate, as he can make driving runs with the ball and has the ability to score goals as he has shown this season. Colback has scored four goals and got five assists which is better than fellow midfielder Moussa Sissoko who has received a lot of plaudits this season. This weekend, Colback will be key for the home side as West Brom are a hard working side and Newcastle will need to match that.

Lescott

West Brom have been very good defensively under Tony Pulis having kept nine clean sheets since the former Crystal Palace manager took the reigns. This is an incredible record for a side who were previously in serious problems at the bottom of the table. There have been a number of factors contributing to the Baggies success in defence, but experienced centre back Joleon Lescott has been in superb form under Pulis. The former Manchester City player will be hoping that his good form domestically could land him a return to the England squad as he is looking like the player who helped City to their first Premier League title. He had provided experience in the back four which has really shown, especially in the clean sheets at Anfield and Old Trafford as Lescott is used to playing in the big games. This weekend, Papiss Cisse could be returning for Newcastle and Lescott will be key in stopping the forward from returning to the form he showed before his ban.

Team News

Rolando Aarons and Papiss Cisse could be involved after returning from injury and suspension respectively. Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson are suspended, and Paul Dummett is a doubt, which will mean that Newcastle will have to field a makeshift back four with youngsters Jamie Sterry and Lubomir Satka in line for their debuts. Either that or Ryan Taylor will play at centre-back with Jonas Gutierrez and Vurnon Anita at full-back. Siem de Jong is likely to miss out with a thigh injury.

Boaz Myhill will continue in goal as Ben Foster is going to be missing for the rest of the season. There is unlikely to be any major changes to the side that beat Manchester United. Brown Ideye and Callum McManaman could be pushing for a start to add more attacking threat this weekend.

Verdict

It’s a tough one to call as it all depends on how the Newcastle players react to one of the worst weeks in the club’s history and whether they do enough to get the crowd onside. West Brom are coming to Tyneside as favourites which hasn’t happened too often in the past, but they are now safe and could take their foot off the peddle this weekend as they now have relatively little to play for. Newcastle need a result this weekend and if they lose, they will fall even deeper into the relegation fight and I can see that happening. There isn’t enough fight in this Newcastle side to overcome a very well organised West Brom.

Newcastle 0-2 West Brom