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Preview: West Ham United vs. Newcastle United

Sports Mole previews the Premier League match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at Upton Park.

Two sides that have made contrasting starts to the Premier League season go head to head on Monday night as Newcastle United travel to Upton Park to face West Ham United.

Slaven Bilic's side sit eighth in the table ahead of the weekend fixtures, while the Magpies are still looking for their first victory of the campaign.

West Ham United

Diafra Sakho of West Ham United celebrates scoring his team's third goal with his team mates Cheikhou Kouyate and Reece Oxford during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield on August 29, 2015© Getty Images

The Hammers have not won at home yet, but they have a 100% record away from Upton Park so far this season, following up their opening-day victory over Arsenal with a 3-0 win against Liverpool at Anfield last time out.

Since then, Slaven Bilic has made several additions to his squad, bringing in four players on transfer deadline day. Victor Moses and Alex Song came in on loan, while Nikica Jelavic and Michail Antonio signed permanent deals.

West Ham have been one of the strongest attacking sides in the top flight so far this season, finding the back of the net nine times in their opening four fixtures; only unbeaten league leaders Manchester City have scored more.

Despite the team picking up impressive wins on the road so far this season, West Ham are still looking for their first points at home, having lost to Leicester City and Bournemouth.

Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate have both been on the scoresheet twice for this weekend's hosts, but the Hammers have been sharing the goals around, with Dimitri Payet, Mauro Zarate and Diafra Sakho all posing a threat too.

West Ham's discipline has been the subject of scrutiny in recent weeks. The team secured a place in this season's Europa League because of their fair play last season, but have had players sent off in three of their first four matches of the Premier League campaign, although Noble's red card against Liverpool has since been rescinded. There were also three dismissals in their six matches in the Europa League before their elimination at the hands of Astra.

Recent form: LLWLLW

Newcastle United

Steve McClaren manager of Newcastle United gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park on August 29, 2015© Getty Images

Steve McClaren has had a difficult start to life at Newcastle United, with the team picking up just two points from their four outings so far this season, failing to secure a win so far.

Last time out, the Magpies were reduced to 10 men early on, eventually suffering a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at St James' Park, leaving the side in the relegation zone.

Unlike their opponents, Newcastle did not strengthen their squad on transfer deadline day, with no players coming in since Florian Thauvin's arrival from Marseille last month.

There were a couple of departures though, with Haris Vuckic joining Wigan Athletic on a season-long loan, while midfielder Olivier Kemen was sold to Lyon for an undisclosed fee.

Newcastle's main problem has been scoring goals; they have found the back of the net just twice so far this season, which is the joint-lowest in the division alongside Watford and Liverpool.

Papiss Cisse was their top scorer last season, with 11 goals in the league, but he has not started their last two matches, despite scoring in their opening match of the campaign.

Recent form: LWDLDL
Recent form (all competitions): LDLDWL

Team News

West Ham United's English striker Andy Carroll celebrates scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Leicester City at the Boleyn Ground, Upton Park, in east London, on December 20, 2014© Getty Images

Both sides have players suspended for this match, with Aleksandar Mitrovic starting a three-game suspension for Newcastle after being sent off against Arsenal, while goalkeeper Adrian misses out for the final time after his dismissal in the defeat to Leicester City last month. The home side will have Mark Noble available though, after he had his red card rescinded following the win over Liverpool before the international break.

Bilic has a shortage of strikers, with Enner Valencia ruled out until November. Andy Carroll has been back in training though, and the manager admits that he is in contention to face his old club, while Mauro Zarate should be ready to go after missing the last two matches with a hamstring injury.

West Ham have several players available to make their debuts, including Victor Moses and Michail Antonio, but Alex Song will not feature after rejoining on loan from Barcelona, as he is still recovering from an ankle problem.

Mike Williamson is a doubt for the visitors as he continues to recover from an elbow injury, while Paul Dummett is likely to miss out again as he struggles with an ongoing hamstring problem.

West Ham possible starting lineup:
Randolph, Tomkins, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Kouyate, Antonio, Moses, Payet, Carroll, Sakho

Newcastle possible starting lineup:
Krul, Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Haidara, Anita, Colback, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Thauvin, Cisse

Head To Head

Both sides won their home matches when the two sides met in the Premier League last season, with Newcastle winning 2-0 in their most recent fixture on the final day of the 2014-15 season, avoiding relegation.

The Magpies lost on their visit to Upton Park last November, but were aided by Moussa Sissoko's second-half sending-off, giving West Ham just their second win in nine matches against Newcastle. In 96 meetings between the two sides, Sissoko is the only player to have received a red card.

Newcastle have the slightly better record, beating West Ham 39 times, while this weekend's hosts have claimed victory in 32 of their previous meetings. They have played out 25 draws, including the highest-scoring match between the two teams, which was a 5-5 draw during the 1960-61 season.

Video Preview

Hit play below to see what the Sports Mole Sofa had to say about this encounter:

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We say: West Ham United 2-0 Newcastle United

West Ham have not produced their finest football at home so far this season, but their deadline-day signings will strengthen the squad, while the team's confidence will be high following their win over Liverpool. By contrast, with Mitrovic suspended and Cisse short of playing time, it is difficult to see where Newcastle's goals will come from in their visit to Upton Park.


Who will win Monday's clash between West Ham United and Newcastle United?

West Ham United
Newcastle United
West Ham United
Newcastle United
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Slaven Bilic manager of West Ham United gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield on August 29, 2015
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