Away days: West Ham United
Written by Rory Mitchinson
The Magpies head to London for the third time in a month to take on West Ham United on Saturday, 23rd December. The Hammers now ply their trade at the London Stadium – formerly the Olympic Stadium – after leaving Upton Park last year. Here, we take a closer look at their new home…
Club: West Ham United
Stadium: London Stadium
Distance from St. James’ Park: 282 miles
Previous Premier League visits: None
After more than 100 years at Upton Park, West Ham moved to the London Stadium ahead of the 2016/17 campaign. Built for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, more than £300m was spent to convert the stadium into a multi-purpose venue, with the Hammers one of two main tenants, alongside British Athletics. The London Stadium played host to the World Athletics Championships in August, and was also used for a number of matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Slaven Bilic’s troops had trouble adapting to their new surroundings last season, picking up just 25 points in the Premier League. Only four sides – including relegated Middlesbrough and Sunderland – accrued fewer on home soil. The Hammers also exited both the FA Cup and Europa League at the London Stadium, knocked out of the latter by Romanian outfit Astra Giurgiu.
And it was a similar story at the beginning of this season as Bilic paid the price with his job. However, under new boss David Moyes results have improved - including a 1-0 win over Chelsea and a 0-0 draw with Arsenal in their last two home games.
Upton Park, meanwhile – a ground where Newcastle were beaten on their last two visits – has now all but disappeared, with construction of a new housing development already underway.