West Ham vs Newcastle 15:00
The return to fitness of Andy Carroll appeared to galvanise the West Ham squad at the weekend and he made a telling contribution to the cause, setting up Mark Noble’s late second half strike. They host Newcastle, desperate to build on that excellent win at the Cardiff City Stadium.
George McCartney replaced the injured Guy Demel in the 18th minute on Saturday and produced the sort of battling performance that West Ham need in order to propel themselves up the table. Despite featuring at his unfavoured position of right back, the former Sunderland man won an impressive 80% of his challenges.
Mark Noble scored the second goal on the stroke of full time to the jubilation of the West Ham supporters, and the goal encapsulated an impressive all-round performance. The West Ham academy graduate has excelled in his passing this campaign, and this outstanding ability of his was on show again on Saturday as he completed an impressive 26 passes in the opposition half.
Matt Jarvis was the provider again for West Ham on Saturday as his low cross picked out Carlton Cole who guided the ball home. The assist took Jarvis’ tally for the season to 4, putting him second in the West Ham assists table.
West Ham’s match on Saturday had to be stopped for a full 10 minutes whilst right back Guy Demel received treatment for a serious head injury. Hammers fans will be hoping that the defender isn’t kept on the sidelines for too long as he has been arguably the most impressive of West Ham’s back four this campaign, winning a staggering 93% of his challenges.
Newcastle head to Upton Park, desperate to bring an end to their three-match losing streak.
Cheick Tiote has every reason to feel particular disappointed with the result after producing a barnstorming display against the Citizens. The Ivorian completed a total of 32 passes in the opposition half – more than any of his teammates.
Alan Pardew has previously lavished praise on Hatem Ben Arfa due to his capability to produce moments of magic. The Frenchman’s dribbling has always been a joy to behold and he demonstrated this excellent skill of his last weekend by completing more dribbles than any of his teammates (4), despite only being on the pitch for 8 minutes.
Mike Williamson has featured prominently this term, racking up a total of 16 appearances, and his partnership with Coloccini has been a key ingredient in Newcastle’s improvement on last campaign. The Englishman marshaled his defence to great effect again on Sunday as he made a total of 14 defensive contributions (based on blocks, clearances, tackles won and interceptions). This was more than any other player in the Newcastle squad.
Yohan Cabaye is an instrumental figure of the Newcastle squad, with his ability to dictate play and fashion chances for his teammates a vital cog in the Magpies machine. What is often overlooked, however, is his excellent shooting ability – something that has already brought him 5 goals this term (in only 18 appearances). The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates his eagerness to take shots at goal, as it shows that he has taken a shot every 30.9 minutes. No other Newcastle player betters that rate.