West Ham United vs Newcastle United preview: Magpies looking to start season in style
Allan Saint-Maximimin in action against the Hammers - Photo Credit (Ian Horrocks/Getty Images)

Newcastle United are looking to kick off their season in style as they head to the London Stadium for the curtain raiser.

Just 78 days have passed since United's last league outing, a 3-1 defeat to the Premier League champions at St. James' Park.

Steve Bruce's side go into the game on the back of a positive week with Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis being added to the ranks.

However, takeover talks have yet again reared their ugly head in the last few days and the Magpies will hope that the return to playing action will act as a welcome distraction.

It has been a mixed bag of pre-season results for Newcastle with wins over Crewe Alexandra and Barnsley before falling to defeats against Middlesbrough and Stoke City.

It is not just Newcastle who have had an uncertain summer, tensions have been rising at West Ham too.

The sale of promising winger Grady Diangana brought criticism from both fans and the club's longstanding captain Mark Noble.

  • Form

Both sides go into this game of the back of defeats in friendlies. The Magpies fell to a 1-0 loss at home to Championship side Stoke City whereas the Hammers lost 5-3 to Bournemouth.

The Irons finished the 2019/20 season in good form, going undefeated in their last four games, steering them away from relegation worries.

On the other hand, the Magpies won none of their last six games of the season, losing four in that sequence of matches.

  • Previous Meetings

Newcastle won four points against West Ham in the last campaign. 

At the London Stadium, goals from Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez and Jonjo Shelvey put the visitors three goals to the good.

In true Newcastle style, the Hammers were allowed back into the game, netting two goals to make for a nervy finish in the capital.

In the reverse fixture, the points were shared at an empty St. James' Park.

Newcastle came from behind twice with Miguel Almiron and Jonjo Shelvey bringing their side level after goals from Michail Antonio and Tomas Soucek. 

  • Team News

Newcastle's trio of latest additions are all available for this fixture but Ryan Fraser is unlikely to be thrown in from the start as a result of his lack of action since his departure from the Vitality Stadium.

The game has come too quickly for both Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett who are still not quite fit.

Despite rumours of a return to Bournemouth, Matt Ritchie is still a Newcastle player but it is touch and go whether he will be available for the season opener.

Matty Longstaff and Fabian Schar are out injured for the game along with goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Dwight Gayle is injured and will be out of action for months rather than weeks.

The hosts will be boosted by the availability of Tomas Soucek, who manager David Moyes confirmed was available.

  • Key Players

In the Magpies' 3-2 win at the London Stadium, Allan Saint Maximin had a field day up against the Hammers' back four.

The mercurial winger will be looking to have a similar impact this time around. The Frenchman burst through the backline on multiple occasions but was unable to add the end product.

Since lockdown, Saint-Maximin seems to have added a better end product to his game and Toon fans will hope he carries this into the new campaign. 

Jonjo Shelvey ended last season as top scorer in the league for Newcastle and this included a goal in each of the games against the Irons.

A sublime free-kick at the London Stadium to increase the deficit to three goals and then a smart finish at St. James' Park to restore parity to the scoreline. 

Shelvey and Isaac Hayden will have an intriguing battle in the middle of the park up against England international Declan Rice and the Czech Tomas Soucek.

  • What Steve Bruce said:

"Whenever you play against a David Moyes team, you know what to expect.

"He demands hard work and resilience from them. They'll be a difficult nut to crack but we played very well down their last year.

"Lets look forward to the game and get ready for it."

  • What David Moyes said:

"I'm looking to start well and finish strong. The couple of times I have been here we've had to finish our seasons well.

"I think we're in a different mindset - we want to be looking to try and finish much higher up the table.

  • Predicted Line-ups

West Ham United: Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Noble, Fornals, Bowen, Antonio.

Newcastle United: Darlow, Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Joelinton, Wilson

  • Where to watch the game

The game is live on Sky Sports as part of all September's games being televised in September - 8PM kick off.

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