West Brom vs Newcastle United Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battles, Team News and More

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West Brom and Newcastle United meet in the Premier League on Tuesday night at the Hawthorns for a crucial encounter, with both teams looking to respond positively after a disappointing run of form.

Currently, it is all change at WBA after last week's sacking of Tony Pulis, and caretaker manager Gary Megson will be wanting his side to build on the terrific result at Tottenham Hotspur over the weekend.


Rafa Benitez's Newcastle side have to bounce back after a substandard display and result against Watford. 

After initially adjusting well to the demands of the Premier League after their promotion, the Magpies have slipped into a worrying spell of form which has seen them win only one of their last five league games and sees them only four points above the bottom three.

Classic Encounter - February 2009

Newcastle eased their relegation fears with a hard fought 3-2 victory at strugglers West Brom.

The Magpies went ahead when Damien Duff slotted in from 10 yards before Marc-Antoine Fortune equalised with a superb turn and shot.


A low strike by Peter Lovenkrands and Steven Taylor's header made it 3-1 before Fortune's second late on ensured a thrilling finish. Assistant boss Chris Hughton took charge of Newcastle in Joe Kinnear's absence and both he and Albion manager Tony Mowbray must have been dismayed by the antics of their backlines during the opening 10 minutes.

Only two minutes had gone when Duff took advantage of a piece of comedy defending by Leon Barnett. The centre-back, back in the side after a four-match injury lay-off, failed to control a harmless ball from Shola Ameobi, allowing the pacy Duff to pounce and slot past Scott Carson from 10 yards.

Loan signing Fortune, who was one of the bright sparks for the home side, collected a pass from playmaker Borja Valero before twisting away from Steven Taylor far too easily and spearing a fine strike into the bottom left corner.


Celebrations among the home fans were cut short, however, when Mowbray's team capitulated once again moments later. Duff's cross from the left found Ryan Taylor, whose volley ricocheted off two West Brom defenders before the ball found its way to Lovenkrands and the 29-year-old Dane, on a contract until the end of the season, marked his first start with a calm finish from eight yards.

Morrison was particularly impressive and was unlucky when the giant figure of Fabricio Coloccini managed to block his goalbound shot. With Jonathan Greening out injured, West Brom were missing a touch of guile, although James Morrison and Valero did their best to create for Fortune, who was their lone striker in the first half.


With two porous defences on display, there was always a chance of another before half-time and it came from the head of Steven Taylor who powered in a left-wing corner from four yards.

Newcastle thoughts were with Kinnear.

The two-goal cushion gave Newcastle a degree of comfort after the break as they looked to secure their first away win since beating Pompey on 14 December. Fortune scored his second, however, with a turn and fierce shot from just inside the area on 73 minutes and the Magpies managed to hang on to the three points despite late pressure from the home side.

Key Battles

WBA captain Jonny Evans and fellow central defender Ahmed Hegazy can expect a physical battle as they try to impose themselves on Newcastle forward Aleksandar Mitrovic. The West Brom central pairing may need to get physical and verbal to nullify the Serbian's attacking strengths by unsettling him from his natural game as he is notoriously short fused.


This fixture could be won and lost in the midfield with both possessing durable and hard working engine rooms in the centre of the park. Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey's range of passing and vision will need to be monitored carefully by the home side. 

Although the English international lacks pace, his speed of thought more than compensates. Gareth Barry provides the ideal foil in countering Shelvey's offensive abilities and this could be crucial in minimising his overall impact on the match.


Barry's defensive qualities and perseverance would be perfect to restrict his Newcastle counterpart's contribution and provide West Brom with the opportunity of being able to earn a precious win in their battle to escape the clutches of the Premier League's bottom three. 

Team News

This could potentially be caretaker manager Gary Megson's last game in charge before the appointment of a permanent manager. Anticipate WBA's formation to be slightly more offensive, with the Baggies starting with a more traditional 4-4-2 formation. 

Rodriguez will play alongside Venezuelan striker Rondon to give the Hawthorn side more of an attacking threat. Expect young Sam Field to keep his place in midfield after an impressive performance at the weekend. 


Rafa Benitez will abandon his traditional 4-4-2 and adopt a slightly more defensive 4-5-1  to make Newcastle more compact and difficult to penetrate. 

Isaac Hayden will be added to the midfield to supply some much needed strength and energy in partnership with Jonjo Shelvey's vision and range of passing. While Mohamed Diame's athleticism will give him license to get forward and support lone striker Aleksandar Mitrovic in attack.

West Brom's potential line up: Foster, Nydom, Hegazy, Evans, Gibbs, Phillips, Barry, Livermore, Field, Rodriguez and Rondon.

Newcastle United's potential line up: Elloit, Yedlin, Lejeune, Clark, Manquillo, Murphy, Shelvey, Hayden, Ritchie, Diame and Mitrovic 

Match Prediction

West Brom's squad will be wanting to prove to the potential new manager that they warrant their starting position and will be eager to put on a positive display. 

On the back of an encouraging point against Spurs their confidence will be buoyed and three points will be just the tonic for their loyal supporters. 


Newcastle United are not playing particularly well and are seemingly lacking confidence after just win in their last five league games. 

Benitez will be looking for a response after the home debacle against Watford. Expect the Magpies to be vigilant in their approach, but WBA will just have too much in attack for their opponents. 

Prediction: West Brom 2-1 Newcastle United