The view of the opposition: Newcastle v West Ham
We provide analysis and our best bets for the Hammers' third game of the season at St James' Park on Saturday.
West Ham can take several positives to the North East this weekend.
Slaven Bilic’s side fought back from 2-0 down with 10 men to draw level at St Mary’s, with summer signing Javier Hernandez contributing two goals.
The Hammers can take heart from Newcastle’s start to the season, too.
Saturday’s hosts were toothless in defeat at Huddersfield and are yet to score this season.
Aleksandar Mitrovic, meanwhile, is their only striker to have managed 10 or more goals in one season in any European top tier.
The Irons have kept a clean sheet on two of their last four trips to St James’ Park, and can achieve a shutout in this one.
At the other end, Hernandez’s role in Saturday’s comeback offered huge encouragement, and his sharpness inside the penalty box is pivotal to his side’s chances this weekend.
Encouragingly, the Mexican scored three goals against Newcastle for Manchester United, including on his last trip to St James’ Park in April 2014.
Dele Alli and Ben Davies both scored typical Hernandez goals for Spurs at St James’ a fortnight ago, and with the hosts fielding a makeshift defence, there will be chances again.
So despite the fact that the home side has won the last four games between these two, West Ham can be confident of securing victory.
Rafael Benitez himself has admitted that much of his starting XI are not look Premier League-ready, and the Hammers should take advantage to get their season going.
West Ham to win –
Newcastle not to score –
Javier Hernandez to score West Ham’s first goal –