West Ham vs Newcastle

West Ham vs Newcastle: Tomas Soucek is available for West Ham despite a brief period of self-isolation following international duty.

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Soucek was in contact with a member of the Czech Republic’s backroom team who tested positive for Covid-19, but the player himself has tested negative.

Newcastle’s lengthy list of absentees includes Fabian Schar, Martin Dubravka, Dwight Gayle and Paul Dummett, while Matt Ritchie is a doubt.

Callum Wilson and Jamal Lewis could both make their debuts.

Ryan Fraser, who is another recent recruit, lacks fitness and will be monitored.

Premier League Q&A: What will the new season look like?
Hammers captain Noble angry at Diangana sale
West Ham fans are clearly miffed about the sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom. I don’t know why they sold him – how can it be for financial reasons when they have just bid about £30m for Burnley defender James Tarkowski?

Newcastle, meanwhile, come into the new season on the back of some really good signings like Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jeff Hendrick. You can see what Steve Bruce is thinking – he wanted some players who know all about the Premier League.

This will be close, but I’m going with the Hammers. David Moyes has had some time to work with his team and, if they can get Tarkowski in – or someone like him – they will be safer, quicker, this time.


Newcastle have won nine Premier League away games against West Ham, a tally they have only bettered at Tottenham (10 victories).
The Hammers have scored two or more goals in each of their past five Premier League games against the Magpies, although they failed to win either of last season’s meetings.
West Ham United

The Hammers have lost their opening Premier League fixture on 13 occasions, more than any other side.
They have started with a defeat in each of the past four seasons, conceding at least four goals in each of the last three.
The last top-flight team to lose their opening league match in five consecutive seasons were Wimbledon between 1986 and 1990.
Michail Antonio ended last season with eight goals in his last seven Premier League appearances – his tally of eight goals in July is bettered only by Luis Suarez (who hit 10 in December 2013) in a calendar month.
Mark Noble has scored 46 Premier League goals for West Ham, and is one short of equalling Paolo Di Canio as the Hammers’ all-time top scorer in the division.
Declan Rice is set to play his 100th Premier League match.
Newcastle United

Newcastle have lost their first league match of the season in six of the past seven campaigns, drawing the other game.
They last began with a victory in 2012, defeating Tottenham 2-1 at St James’ Park. Their most recent opening-day away win came against Bolton in 2007.
Newcastle have lost 79 Premier League away matches in London, more than any other side.
Callum Wilson has scored seven goals in eight top-flight matches against West Ham, all for previous club Bournemouth.
Jonjo Shelvey has scored three Premier League goals against West Ham, and netted home and away against them last season.

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