Newcastle United aims for the top half of the table when it welcomes safety-chasing West Ham United at St. James’ Park on Sunday (Watch live at 9:15 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
The Magpies’ 42 points are six back of eighth place as of post time (Burnley has a 1-0 lead on ninth-place Sheffield United).
West Ham stunned Chelsea at midweek to climb out of the bottom three and losses for two of its nearest strugglers give the Irons a chance to really bolster their safety hopes.
The fourth team in the congested mess, Aston Villa, visits champions Liverpool later Sunday.
Steve Bruce puts Miguel Almiron and Isaac Hayden back in the lineup after a midweek romp at Bournemouth, with American back DeAndre Yedlin available off the bench.
West Ham will be led by Slavia Prague loanee Tomas Soucek, with captain Mark Noble on the bench with midweek hero Andriy Yarmolenko.
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Two changes from our midweek win at Bournemouth as Isaac Hayden and Miguel Almirón come in for Nabil Bentaleb and Sean Longstaff.
SUBS: K. Darlow, F. Schär, A. Carroll, M. Ritchie, D. Yedlin, V. Lazaro, D. Rose, N. Bentaleb, M. Longstaff. pic.twitter.com/B3YJOgmIB6
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) July 5, 2020
— West Ham United (@WestHam) July 5, 2020
Odds and ends
The bookies see this one as a toss-up, either side as +170 to win and a draw boasting +230 according to DraftKings.
The Magpies won 3-2 at the London Stadium on Nov. 2 but led 3-0 before the Irons scored twice very late.
DraftKings’ least likely result has a funny feel to it given both sides’ in-form midfield. Maybe Allan Saint-Maximin finds something to separate the two, but we’ll go for a 1-1 draw.
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