Newcastle v West Brom preview: Baggies continue relegation fight
Last Updated: 28/04/18 2:00pm
West Brom's unlikely fight for survival continues at Newcastle on Saturday.
The Baggies are eight points adrift from safety but have picked up five in their last three games - including an impressive 1-0 win at Old Trafford.
Caretaker Darren Moore is refusing to talk about the possibility of relegation, which could be confirmed if West Brom fail to win on Tyneside.
"We can't preempt what happens this week - we'll focus on a good team performance and the continuation of the results we've been getting in the last few weeks.
"We can't get drawn into 'what ifs'. We're going up there for a difficult game and not focusing on other things around us and it would be wrong to preempt. We're planning to play a very good team on their patch.
"I expect a high-energy game - it's a wonderful arena to play football in - and there are two teams battling it out to get a result. We have to work extremely hard and show a good appetite to get anything."
Newcastle had won four games in a row before losing 1-0 to Everton on Monday Night Football.
They are clear of the relegation battle and might have their sights on catching eighth-placed Everton, who are four points ahead.
On-loan Daniel Sturridge could make his first start since February. The forward returned as a substitute against Manchester United this month, following a hamstring injury, although he was ineligible to face parent club Liverpool last week.
Nacer Chadli (hip) is fit, but while James Morrison (Achilles) has returned to training, he is unlikely to feature for the rest of the season.
Newcastle will be without midfielders Christian Atsu and Mikel Merino. Atsu missed Monday night's trip to Everton with a knee problem and Merino has joined him on the sidelines with a similar, but minor, injury.
Striker Islam Slimani made his first start for the club at Goodison Park and will hope for a further chance to impress.
Newcastle have lost just one of their last 15 home league matches against the Baggies (W10 D4), a 3-2 defeat in December 2011.
The Baggies have kept just one clean sheet in their last 24 away league visits to St. James' Park, a 3-0 win in September 1977.
If West Brom fail to win, they'll be relegated to the Championship - it will be their 10th relegation from the top-flight, with only Birmingham (12) and Leicester (11) suffering the drop more.
Darren Moore has earned five points from his three Premier League games in charge of West Brom (W1 D2 L0), one more than Alan Pardew did in his final 11 at the club (W1 D1 L9).
Rafael Benitez has won seven of his previous eight Premier League games against West Brom (D1), winning all four home games without conceding a goal, each time against a different manager (Megson, Robson, Mowbray, Clarke).
Daniel Sturridge has had a hand in eight goals in eight Premier League starts against Newcastle (7 goals, 1 assist), though he failed to score or assist when he started against them at St. James' Park this season for Liverpool.
Newcastle will want to finish the season well for season ticket renewals. Rafa Benitez's squad have done well staying up. I know the shackles are off West Brom, and they won at Old Trafford, but this will be a tough assignment.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (13/2 with Sky Bet)