By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United entertain West Ham United in Premier League action on Sunday afternoon at St. James' Park (3pm kick-off).
The sides last met in January 2011, when the Magpies ran out comfortable 5-0 winners, largely thanks to a Leon Best hat-trick - his first goals for the Club and his first in the top flight.
West Ham have made an impressive start to life back in the Premier League following their promotion last May, and currently sit ninth in the table, a point and a place above Newcastle.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce spent a spell in the St. James' Park hotseat in 2007, while opposite number Alan Pardew was in charge at Upton Park between 2003 and 2006.
Sunday's meeting is the 122nd match between the two clubs, and the 117th in the league. Newcastle are looking for their 50th win against the Hammers.
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5th January, 2011 - Newcastle United 5 (Best 18,39,60; Nolan 45; Lovenkrands 63) West Ham United 0
Newcastle (4-4-2): Steve Harper; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor (Mike Williamson 46), Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique; Joey Barton, Cheick Tiote, Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez (Shane Ferguson 66); Leon Best (Nile Ranger 64), Peter Lovenkrands
West Ham United (4-4-2): Robert Green; Tal Ben-Haim, James Tomkins, Matthew Upson, Danny Gabbidon; Freddie Sears, Scott Parker, Radoslav Kovac (Victor Obina 46), Mark Noble (Zavon Hines 70); Frederic Piiquionne (Valon Behrami 46), Carlton Cole
FULL RECORD v WEST HAM UNITED
P121 W49 D35 L37 F189 A169
(Last six games - all competitions)
Newcastle - DDWWDL
West Ham United - DLWLWL
Newcastle (v Club Brugge, Europa League): Tim Krul; Vurnon Anita, Mike Williamson (Steven Taylor 58), Fabricio Coloccini, James Tavernier; Gael Bigirimana (Yohan Cabaye 72), Cheick Tiote; Sammy Ameobi (Romain Amalfitano 83), Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan; Shola Ameobi
Not used: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, Davide Santon, Papiss Cisse
West Ham United (v Manchester City, Premier League): Jussi Jaaskelainen; Joey O'Brien, Winston Reid, James Collins (Jordan Spence 84), George McCartney; Matthew Jarvis, Mark Noble, Mohamed Diame (Gary O'Neil 71), Yossi Benayoun; Kevin Nolan; Andy Carroll (Carlton Cole 77)
Not used: Raphael Spiegel, Leo Chambers, Robert Hall, Modibo Maiga
Newcastle - Captain Fabricio Coloccini begins a three-game ban following his sending off at Liverpool last weekend, while Cheick Tiote serves the final game of his own three-game suspension. Leading scorer Demba Ba has shaken off a shin injury, while there are doubts over youngster Sammy Ameobi and full-back Danny Simpson, who is struggling with a shoulder injury. James Perch (thigh), Ryan Taylor (knee), Haris Vuckic (knee) and Dan Gosling (ankle) are out.
West Ham United - The Hammers will hand late fitness tests to central defenders James Tomkins (groin) and James Collins (hamstring), while Guy Demel is back in contention following a hernia. Ricardo Vaz Te (dislocated shoulder), Matt Taylor (calf), Alou Diarra (thigh) and Jack Collison (knee) all remain sidelined.
A WORD FROM BOTH CAMPS
Alan Pardew, Newcastle manager: "They've probably got a points total that most people wouldn't have expected, but I look at them and they have got good confidence at the minute. Their tails are up and therefore they are playing good football. We want to win, we are desperate for a win. But West Ham are in good form so we need to be very good"
Sam Allardyce, West Ham United manager: "I don't live in the past. It's a piece of history in my career that didn't quite work out as well as I'd liked it to. For me, it wasn't me getting bad results at Newcastle - it was a change of ownership and a decision made at the time that they wanted their own man in. I accepted that and have no animosity towards Newcastle United at all."
Mike Dean (The Wirral) - 2012/13 record: 11 games, 41 yellow cards, three red cards
PLAYED FOR BOTH TEAMS
Demba Ba, Tom Barnlett, Craig Bellamy, Lee Bowyer, Andy Carroll, John Dawsey, Kieron Dyer, Abdoulaye Faye, Les Ferdinand, Paul Goddard, Shaka Hislop, Vic Keeble, David Kelly, Matthew Kingsley, Paul Kitson, James Loughlin, Rob Lee, Kevin Nolan, Scott Parker, Stuart Pearce, Wayne Quinn, Bryan 'Pop' Robson, Keith Robson, Nolberto Solano, Isaac Tate
FANCY A FLUTTER?
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DID YOU KNOW?
West Ham United have not won a game at St. James' Park since 1998, drawing four fixtures and losing five.