Newcastle v West Brom
St James' Park
Saturday, 25 September
Kick-off: 1500 BST
Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi is ruled out after damaging a hip.
Defender Titus Bramble is due to return to training after a troublesome
groin injury, while Ronny Johnsen is still working towards match fitness.
West Brom have recalled Kanu, Robert Earnshaw, Jonathan Greening, Andy
Johnson and Darren Purse.
Keeper Russell Hoult is set to return after illness, while midfielder Neil
Clement returns from suspension but Paul Robinson (knee) remains a doubt.
Newcastle (from): Given, Harper, Carr, Bernard, Hughes, Elliott, O'Brien,
Butt, Bowyer, Jenas, Robert, Milner, Ambrose, Shearer, Bellamy, Kluivert.
West Brom (from): Hoult, Kuszczak, Scimeca, Contra, Gaardsoe, Albrechtsen,
Purse, Haas, Greening, Koumas, Clement, Johnson, Kanu, Horsfield, Earnshaw,
Sakiri, Moore, Dobie, A Chambers, Murphy.
a.. NEWCASTLE UNITED against West Bromwich Albion provides a stark contrast between the two managers. Graeme Souness could not have made a better start to his reign at St James's Park - two wins out of two - and the club are seeking a fourth successive victory in all competitions. Gary Megson, with doubts about his future at the Hawthorns permeating around the football
world, takes West Brom to the north east without a win this season, and on
the back of a humiliating Carling Cup defeat by League One Colchester.
a.. The Magpies, who defend their 2-0 Uefa Cup first round first leg lead over Hapoel Bnei Sakhinn in Israel on Thursday, are the joint second highest scorers in the Premiership with 11 goals, but an amazing ten fewer than Arsenal. Conversely they've conceded seven on their Premiership travels, and only Blackburn and Charlton (nine each) have shipped more top flight goals on the road.
a.. The north east club have won five and drawn four of their last nine League matches against Albion.
a.. WEST BROMWICH ALBION return to St James, intent on repeating their 1-2
victory in the third round of the Carling Cup there last October.
a.. The Baggies have scored one goal in each of their Premiership outings,
with the exception of the 3-0 defeat in their last away game at Liverpool.
Each of the bottom three clubs - all promoted last season - are yet to win,
and Albion are one of three sides without a clean sheet so far in the top tier - Crystal Palace and Portsmouth being the others.
a.. The Baggies lead the League head-to-head standings by 38 wins to 35, but have not won on Tyneside for 27 years, since a 0-3 top flight success on 10 September 1977.
Referee: Mike Riley (Leeds)
9th 8 points
Highest achievable by the end of Saturday: 4th
Lowest could fall: 13th
a.. Bidding for a third successive Premiership win, following a 3-0 home win
over Blackburn and 1-2 away success at Southampton.
a.. The last time Newcastle achieved three wins out of three in the top
League, they actually put together a four match winning run between 4 and 25 October 2003 and Alan Shearer scored four times in that sequence.
a.. Won two, drawn two and lost two so far in the Premiership this season.
a.. Scored first four times this season in top League exchanges. Only
Arsenal have opening the scoring more often (six times).
WEST BROMWICH ALBION
19th 4 points
Highest achievable by the end of Saturday: 11th
Lowest could fall: BOTTOM
a.. Lost last three away against Everton (2-1) and Liverpool (3-0) in the
Premiership and Colchester (2-1 after extra time) in the Carling Cup.
a.. Pressing for a first win in 10 League games (Premiership and old
a.. Drawn four and lost five since beating Bradford 2-0 at home on 24 April.
a.. Not won in ten Premiership games.
a.. Drawn six and lost four top flight matches since beating Sunderland 1-2
away on 19 April 2003.
a.. Drawn six of the last eight top flight matches.
a.. Looking for only a seventh win from 45 Premiership games.
a.. Picked up 30 Premiership points from 44 games.
a.. Not scored more than a single goal in nine League games, and in six
a.. Failed to keep a clean sheet in seven matches in all competitions this
season, and six in the Premiership.
a.. Gone nine League games since a block-out and 21 Premiership outings
since keeping the opposition at bay (0-0 at Leeds on 18 January 2003).
a.. Four of the five goals scored so far in the top division were netted in
the first half.
a.. Without an away League victory in five.
a.. Drawn one and lost four League games on the road since beating
Sunderland 0-1 at the Stadium of Light on 18 April.
a.. Last victory in the Premiership was also away to Sunderland (1-2 on 19
KEY PLAYER NOTES/POTENTIAL MILESTONES
a.. Alan SHEARER is a double strike short of totalling 350 club career
goals, and if he plays, will be making his 250th Premiership appearance for
a.. Lee BOWYER needs two to register 50 career League goals.
a.. If he plays, Robbie ELLIOTT will be making his 50th appearance for the
WEST BROMWICH ALBION
a.. When next he plays, Neil CLEMENT will be making his 200th career League
a.. If he figures, Rob HULSE will be making his 150th career League
a.. If on the field at kick off, Darren PURSE will be making his 250th
career League start.
HEAD TO HEAD TOTALS
League: Newcastle 35 wins, WBA 38, Draws 27
Prem: Newcastle 1 wins, WBA 0, Draws 1
HEAD TO HEAD at Newcastle
League: Newcastle 25 wins, WBA 14, Draws 11
Prem: Newcastle 1 wins, WBA 0, Draws 0