It is almost a “six-pointer” in some people’s eyes, as West Ham faces off against Newcastle in a match of two Premier League teams in need of their first points of the new season.
After last week’s devastating loss to Southampton, Slaven Bilic is determined for his side to get their league campaign going after defeating Cheltenham United in the EFL Cup on Wednesday. Star playmaker Manuel Lanzini and box to box midfield force Cheikhou Kouyate are available for their first league match of the season, as both are on the bench. Declan Rice keeps his starting spot over Pedro Obiang, as well as Aaron Cresswell over Arthur Masuaku at the left back spot.
But the real notable news from the starting lineup today is that Bilic has dropped Jose Fonte, as James Collins will get the start with Angelo Ogbonna. Winston Reid is unavailable following his freak injury in warm up last Saturday. It’s a 4-3-3 formation for the Hammers, with Edmilson Fernandes getting another start.
Meanwhile, if the Hammers start to the season has been a disappointment, Newcastle’s start to the season has been an utter mess. Tension between manager Rafa Benitez and owner Mike Ashley keeps growing, and Newcastle’s pointless start after two leagues games was consolidated with a loss to Nottingham Forrest in the EFL Cup.
And the Magpies unavailability list doesn’t make things better, as Florian Lejuene, DeAndre Yedlin, Dwight Gayle and Rolando Aarons are out. Also not playing for Newcastle today is Jonjo Shelvey, serving his three match suspension for his stupid opening match red card.
So which team will be able to get the result they so desperately want? Will it be Newcastle or West Ham? Find out next.