West Ham United vs Newcastle United: Rafael Benitez' men gear up for mid-season six pointer

The Magpies are without a win in their last nine games and failure to collect at least a point against a relegation-threatened but revived Hammers will heap further misery on the visitors.

West Ham United vs Newcastle United: Rafael Benitez' men gear up for mid-season six pointer
Rafa Benitez bellows instructions to his Newcastle United team | Photo: Getty/ NurPhoto

Newcastle United head to the London Stadium for the first time in their history desperate to pick up some points against a recently revived West Ham United side.

The Magpies have collected just one point from a possible 27 after they slid into the bottom three on the back of a 1-0 defeat Arsenal last weekend.

And while a draw would probably satisfy Rafa Benitez, the bigger picture is Newcastle may need to go for all three points or watch the gap from safety extend over a hectic Christmas fixture list. 

Team news

West Ham are without Manuel Lanzini after he was suspended under the new diving rule.

Hammers' captain Mark Noble has been ruled out alongside Michail Antonio. However, the home side will be boosted by the news that Cheikhou Kouyate and Winston Reid are ready to return.

Benitez revealed in his pre-match press conference he will assess a number of players who may or may not be available due to knocks.

For certain, Aleksander Mitrovic is out with a back problem whereas Jesus Gamez has just undergone surgery on his ankle.

Jonjo Shelvey will complete his two-match ban against the Hammers following his dismissal against Everton last week.

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Resurgent West Ham – unlike their visitors

Former Sunderland manager David Moyes replaced Slaven Bilic on the touchline in November, and while the Hammers hoped for an instant impact, Moyes needed three games to settle in.

A 2-0 defeat at Watford in his opening game and a 4-0 loss at Everton coupled two weeks later, no-one gave West Ham a chance when they faced Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

And despite unluckily losing the game 2-1, their positive performance has sprung West Ham into life in recent matches – moving swiftly out of the relegation zone.

A 1-0 win at home to Chelsea on December 3 handed the Hammers their first win in eight Premier League games. And that was followed up by a point at home to Arsenal, and a 3-0 victory at fellow strugglers Stoke City.

First meeting at London Stadium

The Magpies battled for promotion last season while West Ham found it tough to settle into their next stadium after moving from Upton Park.

North East rivals Sunderland and Middlesbrough made the journey the London Stadium, and neither side were able to win, losing 1-0 and drawing 1-1, respectively.

Overall records – Newcastle come out on top

For all of Newcastle’s mediocrity under owner Mike Ashley, the Magpies have always maintained a solid record against West Ham.

The Hammers have only inflicted three defeats on Newcastle in 22 matches – stretching back to August 2002.

Benitez’ men’s most prolific scoring game this term presented itself against West Ham on Tyneside when they hit them for three without reply.

In total, the two clubs have met on 130 occasions in all competitions with the Magpies winning 53, drawing 37 and losing 40.