Schedule to impact quality in North East
Newcastle United welcome West Ham United to St James’ Park in Saturday evening’s Premier League encounter.
The Magpies will be hoping to use the momentum from their Carabao Cup semi final triumph over Southampton in a positive way as the Hammers arrive in the North East with David Moyes under pressure at the helm.
Newcastle have given themselves a great chance of finishing in the top six and securing European football for next season, and a lot of that has been down to an outstanding defensive record.
The Hammers have been better than 16th position suggests so far this season and will fancy their chances of taking something back to the capital.
Moyes’ men beat Derby County 2-0 in the FA Cup on Monday, giving them a slight preparation advantage over the Magpies.
Newcastle have been electric going forward, compared to what they have produced in recent seasons, and have actually underperformed to only score 33 goals from 20 games, from chances equating to 39.2 expected goals (xG) for.
Registering 1.96 xGF per game on average, is a process that will see them into a top six berth if they can sustain it for the remainder of the season.
The Magpies will begin to concede goals with greater regularity at some point this season, with Nick Pope proving to be an inspired pick-up from Burnley in the summer.
The hosts have comfortably the best defensive record in the division this season, conceding just 11 goals in 20 outings from 21 xGA.
West Ham have unsustainably underperformed to find the net just 17 times in 20 league outings, from shooting opportunities totalling at 29.3 xGF.
The schedules and injury lists are pointing towards a lower scoring affair here, with Newcastle coming off the high of their midweek success.
Unders entices me here, and I was surprised to see it available at a backable price, considering the attacking absences on both sides and the solidity of the hosts’ rearguard.
Newcastle have scored in seven of ten.
Newcastle have conceded in two of ten.
Newcastle have seen both teams score in two of ten.
Newcastle have seen over 2.5 goals in three of ten.
West Ham have scored in seven of ten.
West Ham have conceded in seven of ten.
West Ham have seen both teams score in four of ten.
West Ham have seen over 2.5 goals in four of ten.