St. James' Park
Newcastle welcome Sam Allardyce, Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan back to Tyneside when West Ham are the visitors on Sunday. Alan Pardew's side have every reason to be confident ahead of the clash, having been beaten just three times - by Manchester United (twice) and Chelsea - so far this season. But Newcastle have endured the trickier build-up with a trip to Bruges in the Europa League on Thursday and will be without the suspended duo of Cheick Tiote and Fabricio Coloccini. That will encourage Allardyce that there is hope of a win here and he'll be aiming to build on the positives from a steely display against Premier League champions Manchester City last time out. West Ham earned a goalless draw on that occasion and the manager may feel a point would be a good result for a club that has won just three of their last 41 Premier League away games.
• Alan Pardew's men are unbeaten when scoring first this season, but are yet to win after conceding the opening goal.
• Sam Allardyce's men have not scored in the first half of their last three league matches, and in six of their 10 first halves in total this season.
With Fabricio Coloccini suspended for the next three games, Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor are likely to be Alan Pardew’s preferred central defenders. The Newcastle boss has worries over Danny Simpson, while James Perch is set to be unavailable for around six weeks. If Simpson fails to make it, Davide Santon could shift over from the opposite flank, allowing Shane Ferguson a chance at left-back. Yohan Cabaye has recovered from a slight hamstring strain sustained against Liverpool last weekend, while Pardew has revealed Demba Ba's shin injury "looks fine".
T Krul • D Simpson, M Williamson, S Taylor, D Santon • V Anita, J Gutierrez • H Ben Arfa, Y Cabaye, P Cisse • D Ba
Sam Allardyce is hoping James Collins and James Tomkins can pass late fitness tests ahead of the Hammers' trip to Newcastle. Collins was forced off with a hamstring problem towards the end of the game with Man City, while Tomkins missed out last time out with a groin problem. Allardyce has revelaed Guy Demel has trained this week and will return to the squad, while Matt Taylor may be in with a shout after responding well to treatment on a calf problem.
J Jaaskelainen • J O'Brien, J Collins, W Reid, G McCartney • M Noble • Y Benayoun, K Nolan, M Diamè, M Jarvis • A Carroll