Fresh off their biggest win in over two decades, clinching their place in the League Cup final later this month, Newcastle United return to reality on Saturday with a Premier League meeting with West Ham.
A return to reality will serve the Magpies just fine, as their reality sees them third in the league and in a great spot to return to the Champions League next season. For the visitors, reality has been less kind. West Ham sit 17th in the table and right in the thick of a crowded relegation fight.
Ahead of the late kickoff on February 4, check out our picks and predictions for Newcastle United vs. West Ham.
Newcastle vs West Ham best odds
Newcastle vs West Ham picks and predictions
A return to the Premier League means a return to what Newcastle have established as their trademark in the league this season: A stifling defensive display en route to three points.
Since conceding in consecutive games against Fulham and Brentford (in respective 4-1 and 5-1 wins) at the start of October, Newcastle have played 11 league games, winning seven, and conceding just two goals.
They last allowed a goal in the league on November 6, with their last goal conceded at home in the league nearly a month prior, in the 5-1 win over Brentford on Oct. 8. They have a defensive stability and balance to their team that West Ham cannot come close to replicating.
The raucous environment Tyneside, still in delirium from Tuesday, will only further what's one of the league's best home advantages. While Newcastle take 2.2 points per game at home, with a goal difference of +13, West Ham have a league-worst return of 0.50 points per road match, with a goal difference of -7 away from the London Stadium.
Expect more of the same Saturday.
My best bet: Newcastle to win to nil (+150 at bet365)
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Newcastle vs West Ham side analysis
With odds of, at best, -159 on the 3-way moneyline, I don't have any interest in taking Newcastle straight up on Saturday, despite the likelihood of a victory. If they are to win, it will almost surely come with a clean sheet. That notion, in itself, also gets at the limited routes to back Newcastle here.
That's because, while Newcastle -1.5 delivers a strong return at +175, it is far too risky of a proposition to go for. This isn't a Newcastle side that is attacking at a high level lately, certainly not at a level high enough to trust them to score multiple times.
Across their last four league matches, Newcastle have scored just once. Callum Wilson has been ineffective for several months and Alexander Isak — scorer of that lone goal — suffered a potential concussion midweek.
Newcastle vs West Ham Over/Under analysis
In the full-game goal market, the Over 2.5 sits at +110 and the Under comes back at -138. Those odds are entirely correct, based on how this matches figures to play out, and I will happily take the Under 2.5 and sprinkle on the Under 1.5 (+240) as well.
The only other goal-related market I will be getting involved with is, unsurprisingly, Nick Pope to keep a clean sheet (+100).
Newcastle are, quite emphatically, the league's most formidable defense. They've conceded just 11 goals across 20 matches, with Pope having kept a league-high 12 clean sheets. Newcastle's defensive structure does a tremendous job limiting chances, with opponents averaging 18.55 shot-creating actions per 90 against them.
Without either Gianluca Scamacca or Danny Ings to rely upon up top, West Ham won't break this excellent defense.
Newcastle vs West Ham game info
|Location:||St. James' Park, Newcastle, England|
|Date:||Saturday, February 4, 2023|
|Time:||12:30 p.m. ET|
Newcastle vs West Ham key injuries
Newcastle: Bruno Guimaraes CM (Out), Alexander Isak ST (Questionable), Javier Manquillo RB (Out), Emil Krafth RB (Out), Matt Targett LB (Out).
West Ham: Maxwel Cornet AM (Out), Kurt Zouma CB (Questionable), Danny Ings (Questionable), Gianluca Scamacca ST (Out).
Newcastle vs West Ham recent form
|Teams||Last five matches|
Newcastle vs West Ham weather
A cold but clear evening on Tyneside is forecast for Saturday night. Temperatures at kickoff are expected to be around 45 degrees Fahrenheit, with no rain and little wind in the forecast.