With what is a growing level of unrest around the London Stadium on the eve of the Premier League’s return, West Ham will welcome Newcastle to an empty East London on Saturday night.
Putting in a defensive horror show over the weekend and hit with a 5-3 drumming at the hands of recently relegated Bournemouth in their final pre-season showdown, many feel that the Hammers could be set for another relegation scrap this time around.
On the flip side, while Newcastle might have enjoyed a real flurry of new arrivals over the past few days, the Magpies drastically struggled with their form during pre-season and were blown away thanks to a 5-1 drumming against bitter local rivals Middlesbrough.
In a contest between two sides showing a string of continued issues at the back, you might be interested to know that the two sides produced a pair of lively encounters when they faced off last season.
Including a 2-2 draw at St. James’ Park back in July, West Ham and Newcastle produced nine goals in their two meetings last year and over 2.5 goals this weekend can be found priced at 8/11 with Betfair.
Bowen to steal the show?
With many around the London Stadium outraged by Grady Diangana’s move to West Brom last week, the Hammers put in what was a comical display against Bournemouth last weekend and the mood in their camp remains at a real low.
Watching club captain Mark Noble go public with his displeasure over the £18million deal for the talented starlet, David Moyes’ side also face what is an unenviable fixture list at the start of the season.
If the former Manchester United boss is to guide his side to what is a much-needed win in an uneasy East London, he could be calling on January arrival Jarrod Bowen to lead their charge this weekend.
Undoubtedly the brightest spark for West Ham during their pre-season preparations, the former Hull man has cemented his spot as a firm fan favourite at the London Stadium.
Bagging a pair of consolation strikes in the Hammers’ 5-3 defeat last weekend, Bowen has bagged four goals in back-to-back pre-season appearances and should accompany last year’s MVP Michail Antonio up top.
You might be interested to know that the 23-year-old is priced at 12/5 with Unibet to open his account on home soil this weekend.
Wilson’s stunning East London record
Blown away thanks to a stunning 5-1 drumming against North East rivals Middlesbrough in a behind closed doors friendly last week, there is no doubt that Newcastle fans would have been hugely boosted by a trio of new arrivals at St. James’ Park.
Watching Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis all sign up with Steve Bruce’s side over the past few days, the Magpies have been crying out for a new number nine and might have finally found their man.
Brining in the England international in a £20million deal from relegated Bournemouth on Monday, Wilson should lead the line in the capital this weekend and couldn’t have wished for a better opposition for his Newcastle debut.
Aiming a sly dig at Saturday’s hosts when putting pen to paper on a five-year-deal earlier in the week, the 28-year-old has remarkably scored seven goals in his eight appearances against West Ham.
In fact, with 17% of his Premier League goals coming against a leaky Hammers’ defence, you might be interested to know that Wilson is priced at 7/4 with 888Sport to bag his first Newcastle strike on Saturday night.