West Brom – Newcastle: Steve Bruce and Sam Allardyce have matched wits 18 times, but few carry the import of No. 19, scheduled for Sunday when Newcastle visits West Brom at the Hawthorns (start time 7am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
Newcastle opens the day just three points above the bottom three with a match-in-hand on 18th-place Fulham and a nine-point advantage on West Brom with the same match-in-hand.
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The Magpies have just two wins since beating Slaven Bilic’s Baggies 2-1 on December 12 but are coming off a 1-1 draw with Wolves.
West Brom fell 1-0 to Everton on Thursday, a first loss in four outings to thwart Allardyce’s bid to avoid his first ever Premier League relegation.
Remarkably, Bruce and Allardyce hold matching 7W-4D-7L records against each other and Sunday marks the first time Brucie and Big Sam have managed against each other since a 3-0 West Ham win over Hull City in 2015.
West Brom is healthy and has been playing much better in recent weeks, and the Baggies are unchanged.
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) March 7, 2021
Newcastle’s attack has been decimated, with top players Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson, and Miguel Almiron out for a while and putting emphasis on Joelinton, Andy Carroll, and former Baggies star Dwight Gayle to deliver goals. Joelinton is the only of those forwards who starts.
Fabian Schar and Javi Manquillo also miss out.
🚨 TEAM-NEWS 🚨
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 7, 2021
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Big Sam’s Baggies might be coming off a Thursday match but they are favored to win at home against the injury-hit Magpies. West Brom pays +140 for a win and +215 comes for a draw, while a Newcastle victory nets +200.
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It’s got 0-0 or 1-0 written all over it, and don’t be surprised if it comes down to a moment of magic given the quality of West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and Newcastle’s 1-2 punch of Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow. The best playmaker left for Newcastle is Jonjo Shelvey, while West Brom has a bonafide creator in Matheus Pereira. But this one’s more about defending and both sets of fullbacks can be challenged by crosses. Is there a goal here? West Brom 0-1 Newcastle.
How to watch, stream and start time
Start time: 7am ET Sunday
TV Channel: NBCSN
Stream: Online via NBCSports.com