Newcastle United welcome West Ham to St James’ Park in the first Super Sunday fixture of 2021-22 Premier League season.
Steve Bruce’s Magpies will be looking to build on a strong 12th placed finish last season, whereas West Ham finished sixth to snatch Europa League qualification and will be looking for a strong start to this season ahead of a packed Autumn.
Martin Dubravka is ruled out for Newcastle after suffering a stress fracture in his foot during pre-season, after having played for Slovakia at Euro 2020 this summer.
Karl Darlow (fitness), Elliott Anderson (hip) and Paul Dummett (calf) are ruled out, whilst Joe Willock is ineligible after failing to complete his transfer from Arsenal in time.
West Ham could hand Manuel Lanzini a late fitness test as the Argentinean struggles to shake off a groin injury.
Angelo Ogbonna (hamstring) and Arthur Masuaku (knee) are unlikely to be risked.
- Newcastle are unbeaten in four of their last six league meetings against West Ham (W3, D1, L2).
- West Ham have won just one of their last eight trips to Newcastle (W1, D2, L5).
- This is the second consecutive Premier League season in which this fixture has fallen on the opening weekend, after Newcastle won 2-0 at West Ham last September.
- Newcastle have won just one of their last five opening weekend fixtures of a new season (W1, L4), with this season representing a sixth straight season where Newcastle opened against a London club.
- West Ham have lost all of their last five opening weekend fixtures (L5), plus have failed to score in their first match in each of last four seasons.
With the core senior squad all retained and Joe Willock having signed on a permanent transfer following his impressive loan spell, Newcastle look in a positive place moving forward this season especially off the back of considerable improvement in attack towards end of last season even if Willock isn’t eligible here.
West Ham meanwhile showed excellent spirit and attacking prowess albeit aided by Jesse Lingard who relished his loan switch from Manchester United, although failing to secure him on a permanent transfer will be disappointing given the size of their squad and participation in four competitions this season.
David Moyes’ men therefore really do need a great start to their season despite their opening weekend woes of recent seasons, although defence often proved their downfall towards end of last season because they could of easily finished top four if had defended better.
On that note, this should hopefully be a cracking game like April’s clash proved to be with both teams going for it with attacking football, which would make sense given the poor opening match record of both teams in recent seasons.
Prediction: Newcastle United 1-1 West Ham
Result: Newcastle United 2-4 West Ham