Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Newcastle United

Magpies manager Alan Pardew sits in the dugout during the game with Norwich on January 12, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole looks ahead to this weekend's Premier League battle between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United.

Newcastle United can bounce back from their damaging Tyne-Wear derby defeat this weekend, but they face a tough task against West Bromwich Albion.

The Magpies are just five points away from relegation, and while the North East outfit are not directly in danger of facing the drop, nerves may begin to creep in if they lose two on the bounce following their 3-0 defeat to Sunderland last weekend.

Newcastle will be relying on their travelling fans to behave at The Hawthorns following the unsavoury scenes that resulted in numerous arrests around St James' Park last Sunday.

For the Baggies, they have lost their last two league matches - against Arsenal and West Ham United - and this weekend's reverse fixture ended in a 2-1 defeat on away turf.

Shane Long is likely to be trusted with the goal threat for the home side, while Newcastle will opt for Rob Elliot between the posts following Tim Krul's injury blow.

Recent form

West Bromwich Albion: LLDWL

Newcastle United: LWLLW

Possible starting lineups

West Bromwich Albion: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Yacob, Brunt; Morrison, Thomas, Dorrans; Long

Newcastle United: Elliot; Taylor, Marveaux, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa; Gutierrez, Tiote, Sissoko, Cabaye; Gouffran, Cisse

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Newcastle 'keeper Tim Krul injures an arm in the game with Sunderland on April 14, 2013
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