Newcastle United need a victory over mid-table West Ham United if they are to avoid slipping into the Championship after five years back in the top-flight.
If they do not achieve that, they must rely on third-from-bottom Hull City to fail to win their game, on what promises to be a nervy final day on Tyneside. It should never have come to this, with the club in a seemingly comfortable mid-table position just weeks ago, but a run of just one point from 30 has them in real danger.
The Magpies looked set to secure their safety last time out at Queens Park Rangers as Emmanuel Riviere finally plundered his first Premier League goal to give them the lead, only for their hard work to be undone by the already relegated Londoners. This is as good a time as any to end their horrendous sequence of results.
Like his counterpart John Carver, it is expected that this will be West Ham boss Sam Allardyce’s final game in charge, and should it be that way, he would like nothing better than proving another point to the St. James’ Park faithful. He has never lost at Newcastle since being sacked by the club in January 2008.
This season has rather fallen away, and a bottom half finish now looks unlikely. However, it would still be seen by many as harsh if Allardyce is let go this summer. Kevin Nolan played a major part in helping Newcastle return to the Premier League at the first attempt in 2010, now he might aid their downfall.
Papiss Cisse is not fit enough to start for Newcastle, who have defender Mike Williamson back from a two-match ban.
West Ham are likely to give another start to young defender Reece Burke with James Collins a major doubt, despite James Tomkins returning to the squad after injury.
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