In a matter of just a couple of hours, Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United welcome Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United to London Stadium in the Premier League.
Join us as we analyse all the key statistics you need to know ahead of the 5:30pm live Sky Sports late kick-off. For instance, did you know that the Hammers could make it five league games unbeaten in Stratford for the first time this evening? Read on for more!
Special day for West Ham
Away from the game itself, today is a truly special day for everyone connected with West Ham as former captain Billy Bonds becomes the third ex-player to have a stand named after him, following the late Bobby Moore and Sir Trevor Brooking.
The East Stand at London Stadium will be officially named after Bonds, a player for the club between 1967 and 1988 and the manager between 1990 and 1994, in a ceremony prior to kick-off.
The Hammers legend is the team’s record appearance holder with a remarkable 799 appearances in all competitions and the only player to have lifted two FA Cups in Claret & Blue. Being involved with the first team of the Irons for an incredible 27 years, continuously.
And on his big day, the home players will be looking to win for the 72-year-old. In doing so, they would be going six matches unbeaten at home in all competitions and achieve the aforementioned record for their most PL matches unbeaten consecutively at London Stadium.
Happy memories of this fixture for Hammers
The last time the East Londoners and the Toon met came back on the first day of December 2018 and tonight’s hosts will have very happy memories of that day at St. James’ Park.
Pellegrini’s men went ahead early on through Javier Hernandez and doubled their advantage the other side of half-time with Chicharito getting his second. Felipe Anderson rounded off the scoring in the final ten minutes to make it 0-3 and spark a run of four wins in a row.
Happy memories of this stadium for Magpies
However, before that, the two teams hadn’t clashed since the previous December when they met at this ground, with the Magpies visiting the London 2012 Olympics’ primary venue for the first time.
And they will have fond memories of that particular Saturday. Despite Marko Arnautovic firing David Moyes’ West Ham ahead on six minutes, Benitez’ side rallied to go 1-3 up with strikes from Henri Saivet, Mohamed Diame and Christian Atsu. An Andrew Ayew goal wasn’t enough for the hosts to claw anything back and the visitors left with all three points in the relegation six-pointer.
Which team is in the better form?
The answer to the question of which team is in the better form statistics-wise heading into this contest is undoubtedly Newcastle, in spite of being three places below their opponents in the table.
The Magpies are coming off a comfortable victory over Burnley in midweek and have tasted defeat just once in their last six. Meanwhile, the Hammers were defeated last by Manchester City on Wednesday and have collected just one win of any description since 12 January.
Last five matches in all competitions:
West Ham: LDDWL
Since the first meeting between these two teams in February 1908, there have been 131 further matches in the 111-year history of this fixture which sees two of the most history-rich clubs in English football face off.
Down the years, today’s away side have enjoyed more victories out of the 132 matches, with 54 wins to this evening’s home side’s 41. Whereas, there have been 37 draws.
Opportunities for the hosts and visitors
The SNF match presents opportunities for the hosts and the visitors to make up ground in the Premier League table, depending on results earlier in the day involving sides around them.
With three points, the Hammers would climb back above Everton and into ninth place, just a point behind Watford and Wolves, who are tied on 40 points in eighth and seventh place, respectively, the latter of which could be a European spot. Meanwhile, Newcastle will want to go two points behind their opponents and above AFC Bournemouth, into 12th.
So, now that you’ve been given all the key statistics you could possibly need to know ahead of West Ham vs Newcastle at London Stadium this evening in the Premier League. All that’s left to do is wait to see if the Hammers can win at home for the fourth time in 2019 or the Magpies can stop them with a first victory on the road in the league since 15 December 2018.