By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Newcastle United go in search of a fourth successive Barclays Premier League victory on Saturday when they entertain West Bromwich Albion at St. James' Park (5.30pm kick-off).
The Magpies have seen off Chelsea, Tottenham and Norwich in recent weeks to break into the division's top ten, while West Brom have drawn their last two matches 2-2, against Chelsea and Aston Villa respectively.
When these sides met last season, United had the upper hand. Alan Pardew's side secured a last-gasp victory on Tyneside thanks to a deflected Papiss Cisse goal, before recording a 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns.
Saturday's match is the 121st meeting between the two clubs and the 115th in the league, with United two league wins ahead of the Baggies
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April 20th, 2013 - West Bromwich Albion 1 (Jones 64) Newcastle United 1 (Gouffran 8)
West Brom (4-4-2): Ben Foster; Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson, Goran Popov; Graham Dorrans, Claudio Yacob (Shane Long 46), James Morrison, Chris Brunt; Marc-Antoine Fortune (Markus Rosenberg 90), Romelu Lukaku (Jerome Thomas 90)
Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Rob Elliot; Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara (Hatem Ben Arfa 77); James Perch, Yohan Cabaye (Dan Gosling 90); Jonas Gutierrez, Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran (Shola Ameobi 69); Papiss Cisse
FULL RECORD v WEST BROM
P120 W43 D32 L45 F202 A203
(Last six games - all competitions)
Newcastle - WWWLLD
West Brom - DDWLDD
Newcastle (v Norwich, Premier League): Tim Krul; Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon; Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye (Vurnon Anita 67), Yoan Gouffran (Hatem Ben Arfa 83); Shola Ameobi (Papiss Cisse 73), Loic Remy
Not used: Rob Elliot, Massadio Haidara, Sammy Ameobi, Gabriel Obertan
West Brom (v Aston Villa, Premier League): Boaz Myhill; Steven Reid, Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson, Goran Popov (Victor Anichebe 82); Claudio Yacob, Youssuf Mulumbu; Morgan Amalfitano, Stephane Sessegnon (James Morrison 73), Chris Brunt; Shane Long
Not used: Luke Daniels, Craig Dawson, Matej Vydra, Saido Berahino, Nicolas Anelka
Newcastle - Loic Remy (8)
West Brom - Shane Long (3)
Newcastle - Full-back Mathieu Debuchy is back in contention having served a one-game suspension, and manager Alan Pardew has an almost clean bill of health within his squad. Only long-term knee injury victim Ryan Taylor remains on the treatement table.
West Brom - Defender Liam Ridgewell faces a race against time to be fit for Saturday's match as he battles against a calf injury. Also doubtful for the Baggies are full-back Billy Jones (hamstring) and winger Scott Sinclair (hamstring). Goalkeeper Ben Foster (foot) and midfielder Zoltan Gera (hamstring) are both ruled out.
A WORD FROM BOTH CAMPS
Alan Pardew, Newcastle manager: "We've always had tough games with West Brom; we're very, very close in the squads. They have probably got a bit more experience than us and that bodes them well in this division. I think this will be a really tough game and a very important game because it gives us a big margin over them if we win it. That would be really good for us if we could get that little gap between us and West Brom."
Steve Clarke, West Brom manager: "We played well there last year so we will go to St. James' Park with no fear. We aren't quite getting the three points that we should be getting from some games, but we go with no fear and we look forward to another entertaining afternoon. Newcastle are a team in good form with three fantastic back-to-back wins, which isn't an easy thing to do in the Premier League. We have to go there and make sure they don't get a fourth."
Phil Dowd (Staffordshire): 2013/14 record - 11 games, 45 yellow cards, 1 red cards
PLAYED FOR BOTH TEAMS
Wayne Fereday, Ruel Fox, Andy Hunt, Mick Martin, David Mills, George Reilly, Colin Suggett, John Trewick
FANCY A FLUTTER?
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DID YOU KNOW?
Twenty-seven per cent of West Brom's attempts on goal this season have been from headers - the highest in the Premier League.