West Brom hosts Newcastle on March 25 at the Hawthorns in an interesting English Premier League matchup. Newcastle is still hoping to crack the top four of the table to earn a Champions League spot next season while West Bromwich is hoping to put some distance between themselves and the relegation zone. If Newcastle doesn’t make the top four, with nine games left this season there’s a good chance they’ll at least qualify for next season’s Europa League.
Newcastle is presently in sixth place in the table with 47 points from 13 wins, eight draws and eight losses. They sit eight points behind fourth-place Tottenham with a game in hand. A win here will move them to within five points, but a loss will basically kill off any realistic hopes of catching Spurs. They also have to pass Chelsea who sits in fourth place with 50 points. West Bromwich is in 14th spot with 10 wins, six draws and 13 losses for 36 points.
West Brom manager Roy Hodgson will welcome defender Jonas Olsson back to the line-up after sitting out the last game with a suspension. The manager’s also hoping that striker Peter Odemwingie is able to return to the squad after missing last week’s 1-1 draw away to Wigan due to an injured hamstring.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is hoping midfielder Cheick Tiote will be able to dress. He missed last weekend’s game against Norwich which Newcastle just managed to win 1-0. It’s believed that defender Danny Simpson could also make his way back to the squad after suffering an adductor strain. Also, Ryan Taylor is questionable for the game due to a calf injury and Leon Best, Sammy Ameobi, Sylvain Marveaux, and Peter Lovenkrands are all injured.
Demba Ba leads Newcastle in scoring with 16 league goals on the season so far while Odemwingie tops West Brom with nine. West Brom has lost just once on their past five games with three wins, a loss and a draw. Newcastle has won just once in their past five along with two losses and two draws. They’ve also managed to win just once in their last five away games and have lost six of their past nine on the road.
Newcastle has beaten West Brom only once in their past six meetings with Odemwingie scoring three goals in two games against them. Ba has scored four goals in two matches against West Brom. Newcastle will have to be careful when defending in the box since they’ve given up nine penalties so far this season, which is the most in the league.
Odds and Predictions
When these two teams get together there are usually a few goals scored. In their past dozen meetings there have been 40 goals and the past five games have averaged five goals each. This is Newcastle’s last kick at the can if they hope to catch Spurs and pass Chelsea, so look for a big effort and a lose win here.
Bet365 has the current odds of a West Brom win at 6/5 and a Newcastle victory at 5/2 with a draw at 21/10.