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Premier League Preview: West Ham v Newcastle United

Newcastle United head to West Ham in dire need of a win to boost their faltering hopes of securing a return to European competition.

Alan Pardew’s side have lost three consecutive Premier League games and are now eight points adrift of fifth-placed Everton, who occupy the UEFA Europa League qualification spot.

The St James’ Park outfit were left aggrieved by last Sunday’s 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City, which saw midfielder Cheick Tiote’s thunderous leveller controversially ruled out for offside.

Newcastle will be out to get back to winning ways on Saturday at Upton Park, where Pardew spent three years as a manager, leading West Ham to the FA Cup final in 2006.

Pardew and Newcastle are winless in their last three meetings with West Ham, the latest a 0-0 draw at St James’ Park in August.

Kevin Nolan – now West Ham captain – and Andy Carroll found the net win back in 2010 when Newcastle last recorded a victory at Upton Park.

Nolan is suspended for the game against his old side, but Gateshead-born striker Carroll will be out to condemn his boyhood club to another defeat after making his long-awaited return from injury in West Ham’s 2-0 victory at Cardiff City last Saturday.

That triumph moved West Ham out of the bottom three, easing the pressure on manager Sam Allardyce following a 5-0 FA Cup loss to Nottingham Forest and a 6-0 hammering at the hands of Manchester City in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final.

Another three-point haul would see Allardyce’s men move further away from the relegation zone, but the hosts have an array of absentees ahead of the visit of Newcastle.

Defender Guy Demel joins Nolan on the sidelines after sustaining concussion and a suspected dislocated elbow in a collision with team-mate Roger Johnson at Cardiff.

Midfielder Ravel Morrison returns to action following a groin problem, although defenders James Collins (calf) and Winston Reid (ankle) are still unavailable.

Joey O’Brien could return after missing the Cardiff game with a knock, but attacker Ricardo Vaz Te is short of match fitness.

Captain Fabricio Coloccini remains unavailable for Newcastle due to a knee injury and defender Mathieu Debuchy serves the final game of a three-match ban.

Thu 16 January, 2014
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