Two teams flying the Premier League flag in Europe are targeting the upper echelons of the table again. We look ahead to their meeting on Sunday with our West Ham vs Newcastle United prediction and preview.

West Ham vs Newcastle: The Quick Hits

  • Sunday’s game at the London Stadium is the closest Matchday 8 fixture to call according to the Opta supercomputer. West Ham’s 35.9% chance of victory just edges Newcastle United’s 35.5%.
  • Excluding own goals, Newcastle have had more different goalscorers than any other Premier League side this season, with half of their players used thus far finding the net (10/20).
  • Jarrod Bowen has recorded eight goal involvements in his last nine Premier League appearances, but he has never scored in seven top-flight matches against Newcastle. 

Match Preview

It’s fair to say Newcastle United have enjoyed a successful fortnight. As if an incredible 8-0 rout of Sheffield United and a League Cup win over Manchester City weren’t enough, the Magpies experienced a UEFA Champions League night to remember on Wednesday as they thrashed Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 at a raucous St. James’s Park. Next up for them is Sunday’s Premier League trip to West Ham.

Kylian Mbappé and company were powerless to resist as Newcastle recorded their biggest-ever Champions League win, with hometown heroes Dan Burn and Sean Longstaff joining Miguel Almirón and Fabian Schär on the scoresheet. Eddie Howe must decide whether to rotate for Sunday’s game in east London, but whoever he selects, goals should be expected.

Excluding own goals, Newcastle have had more different goalscorers than any other team in the Premier League this season, using 20 players and seeing 10 of them hit the net. Having an unprecedented eight different players score at Bramall Lane two weeks ago certainly helped on that front.

Among those who could return to Newcastle’s lineup is Callum Wilson, who missed the PSG win with a minor hamstring strain. Wilson has scored more Premier League goals against West Ham (12 in 13 appearances) than against any other opponent, with only Wayne Rooney (14) and Michael Owen (13) netting more against the Hammers in the competition. Seven of Wilson’s strikes versus West Ham have come on the road.

If fit, Wilson could start alongside Alexander Isak and Almirón in attack, with Howe juggling several selection issues. Joelinton is doubtful after a hamstring injury forced him off in last week’s 2-0 win over Burnley, while Anthony Gordon is suspended after receiving five yellow cards in Premier League action and Harvey Barnes is a long-term absentee.

Defensive stalwart Sven Botman should return after the international break, but Jamaal Lascelles will keep his place here. Right-back Kieran Trippier has four assists in his last two Premier League games, three versus Sheffield United and one against Burnley. Since the start of last season, he has provided more assists (11) and created more chances (132) than any other Premier League defender.

Trippier and company may have kept Mbappé quiet, but can they do the same to Jarrod Bowen and West Ham? The Hammers enter Sunday’s game one point clear of Newcastle in the league table, having responded to successive Premier League defeats against Manchester City and Liverpool by beating Sheffield United 2-0 last week, with Bowen and Tomás Soucek netting.

With 13 points from seven league games, David Moyes has led the Hammers to their best start to a Premier League campaign since 2015-16, when they also garnered 13 points by this stage and went on to finish seventh under Slaven Bilić. Victory on Sunday would give the Irons their best top-flight return after eight games since 1999-00 (16 points).

They’ve also started strong in Europe and made a bit of history on Thursday with their Europa League win over Freiburg, extending their unbeaten run in UEFA competitions to 17 games. That run, which includes a Europa Conference League qualifying round last season, is actually a record for English teams

West Ham’s impressive start owes much to the efforts of England internationals Bowen and James Ward-Prowse. Bowen applied a cultured finish to Vladimír Coufal’s cutback against the Blades, taking him to eight goal involvements in his last nine Premier League appearances (six goals, two assists). However, Bowen is yet to score in seven Premier League outings against Newcastle, only playing more such games without netting against Tottenham (eight).

Ward-Prowse, meanwhile, created six chances in West Ham’s last league game – his joint-highest tally in a Premier League match. He leads all Irons players for chances created per 90 minutes in the competition this season (2.4), and Newcastle must be alert to his trademark set-piece deliveries.

Striker Michail Antonio missed Thursday’s UEFA Europa League trip to Freiburg with an adductor issue. Bowen started centrally in his absence and teed up Lucas Paquetá for West Ham’s opener, so Moyes could play him there again. Danny Ings or Mohammed Kudus are also options to start centrally. Defenders Aaron Cresswell and Ben Johnson are also doubtful after missing the trip to Germany.

West Ham vs Newcastle Head-to-Head

Newcastle traditionally struggled at Upton Park, but they have a fine record at the London Stadium. The Magpies have posted four victories in six Premier League games at West Ham’s current ground (one draw, one defeat), as many as in their final 14 top-flight trips to their former home (three draws, seven defeats).

In general, the Toon Army have enjoyed travelling to the capital lately. They remained unbeaten in their seven Premier League games in London last season, winning four and drawing three.

They did lose 2-0 to Manchester United in February’s League Cup final at Wembley Stadium, and they have never gone unbeaten on eight successive trips to London in the Premier League.

The teams’ last meeting was a memorable one for Newcastle as they won 5-1 in this exact fixture in April. Wilson and Joelinton both scored twice while Isak was also on the scoresheet after Kurt Zouma briefly gave the Hammers hope.

West Ham have won just one of their last eight Premier League meetings with Newcastle (three draws, four losses), a 4-2 victory at St James’ in August 2021.

Recent Form

Newcastle are flying, both in Europe and domestically. After losing three straight Premier League games against Man City, Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion, they have won their last three against Brentford, Sheffield United and Burnley.

The Magpies won those matches by an aggregate score of 11-0. They last won four consecutive Premier League games without conceding in April 2012, under Alan Pardew.

West Ham, however, are defending a strong home record, having won six of their last seven at the London Stadium across all competitions in a run stretching back to April.

Moyes’ men have provided plenty of entertainment lately, scoring on each of their last nine Premier League outings (17 goals in total). However, only Sheffield United have failed to breach the Hammers’ defence throughout that run (13 conceded).

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides:

West Ham vs Newcastle Prediction

West Ham vs Newcastle Prediction Opta

With both teams looking to put themselves in contention for European qualification again, the Opta supercomputer struggles to call Sunday’s game.

Across 10,000 match simulations conducted before kick-off, West Ham were victorious 35.9% of the time, with Newcastle winning 35.5% of scenarios. That means 28.6% of simulations were drawn.

In the supercomputer’s season projections, both sides are expected to be in the mix for continental football. Newcastle secure a top-four finish in 38.2% of our simulations, but fifth (19.4%) is their most common final position.

West Ham, meanwhile, breach the top seven in 44.3% of scenarios but eighth (18.1%) is deemed their most likely finishing position.

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