Newcastle vs. West Ham Preview
Where: St. James’ Park – Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
When: Saturday, August 26, 2017, 10:00 AM ET
TV Broadcast: NBCSN
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Betting on Newcastle (+123)
Newcastle’s return to the Premier League has not gone very well so far. After a predictable 2-0 defeat to Tottenham in their opener, the Magpies lost 1-0 to fellow newly-promoted side Huddersfield. But perhaps more worryingly, Newcastle couldn’t even buy a home win at the Carabao Cup, as they crashed out in the second round after a 3-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest in extra time.
Manager Rafa Benitez has been unhappy with the lack of funds made available to him this summer to improve upon his squad, and the Spaniard has been unable to find many answers from his current options, especially offensively. Meanwhile, midfielder Jonjo Shelvey will serve the second match of his three-match ban after picking up a straight red against Spurs.
However, West Ham is just about the most ideal opponent a struggling offense like Newcastle should want to face at the moment. The Hammers have given up seven goals through their first two games, three more than any other team in the league.
Newcastle will also have the advantage of being the home team. The home team has won the last four meetings between West Ham and Newcastle.
Betting on West Ham (+195)
Despite the additions of Pablo Zabaleta and goalie Joe Hart, West Ham’s defense still looks like a big problem. After getting swept aside 4-0 by Manchester United, the Hammers were outgunned 3-2 last weekend by Southampton.
But to be fair to West Ham, they did well to fight back and recover from a 2-0 deficit to make it 2-2 despite going down to 10 men early, and were a bit unlucky to give up a penalty in stoppage time. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez displayed his poacher’s instincts with his first two goals for his new club.
Marko Arnautovic is set to miss out after his cynical red card against Southampton, but West Ham should still have enough attacking options with Chicharito, Andre Ayew, and Michail Antonio to trouble what has been a shaky Newcastle backline. Chicharito is the most reliable goalscorer on either team, and should be able to get on the score sheet once again.
West Ham (+195) add to Newcastle’s woes as the Hammers win, 2-1.
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