Fifth meets sixth in the Premier League on Saturday as Newcastle United make the lengthy trip to Upton Park to face West Ham United.
Having not lost since late September, West Ham’s long unbeaten run finally came to an end last time out in a closely-fought encounter with Everton, which could have gone much differently had Romelu Lukaku’s controversial opener for the Toffees not been allowed to stand.
Despite no wins in the last three games, the East London club have not lost too much ground on those above them, and Andy Carroll now looks ready to make an impact following a long spell out injured.
Newcastle have received a huge number of plaudits in their amazing rise up the Premier League table in recent weeks, and their winning run was extended to six games with a narrow victory over Queens Park Rangers thanks to the in-form Moussa Sissoko.
With Carroll expected to start again, the Magpies must look to cope with the threat he poses, while they must avoid being stretched as West Ham’s full-backs have come forward dangerously over the course of the campaign so far.
West Ham are hoping that Cheikhou Kouyate, Diafra Sakho, Alexandre Song and Enner Valencia are fit after they missed the game at Everton. Winston Reid serves a one-match ban.
Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote are in contention for a return to Newcastle’s line-up, but Rolando Aarons, Siem De Jong, Gabriel Obertan and Davide Santon remain out. Ryan taylor is also on the sidelines again after being taken off against QPR.
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