West Brom v Newcastle preview

06 February 2009 12:04
It's a battle at the bottom as West Brom play host to Newcastle United on Saturday in their Premier League relegation six-pointer.

Magpies boss Joe Kinnear, who has rebuffed Charles N'Zogbia's latest claims, will look to put to bed Albion tactician Tony Mowbray's dreams of pulling off Albion's second great escape.

Toon owner Mike Ashley promised that the Sky Sports News yellow ticker would be flashing with Geordie signings on deadline day, but somehow Ryan Taylor's acquisition was not expected to be the highlight of proceedings.

Newcastle failed in attempts to land Manchester City's Michael Johnson and Sunderland's Kieran Richardson, but despite this Kinnear has added some steel to his ranks with the purchases of Kevin Nolan and Taylor.

Taylor, who swapped clubs with N'Zogbia, is likely to be handed his debut, while Nolan will make his first away appearance for the North East strugglers.

Triple boostKinnear could welcome back Obafemi Martins, Mark Viduka and Alan Smith from injury for Saturday's trip with Martins (hernia), Viduka (Achilles) and Smith (foot/ankle) all back in full training after lengthy lay-offs.

Jonas Gutierrez is suspended and Fabricio Coloccini and Andy Carroll (both ankle) are injury doubts.

Claudio Cacapa (knee) is also closing in on a return, while skipper Michael Owen (ankle ligaments) could be back sooner than expected, but Danny Guthrie (hamstring), Joey Barton (foot) Habib Beye (ankle) and Tamas Kadar (broken leg) remain on the sidelines.

West Brom were picked up a crucial point at Hull City last Saturday as Mowbray's free-flowing side twice clawed their way back at the Tigers to earn a 2-2 draw.

But Albion's recovery from the 5-0 mauling of Manchester United the Wednesday before was then set back with the FA Cup fourth round replay exit at Turf Moor in midweek by this season's cup specialists Burnley.

Mowbray will be lifted by the fact they return to play at the Hawthorns, where bar the champions, they have enjoyed relative success and they will look to maintain their good home form.

Bolstered BaggiesMowbray has been dealing with several injuries of late and has dipped into the transfer market acquiring a number of loan signings towards the end of the window.

Latest additions Youssouf Mulumbu and Juan Carlos Menseguez are available but the latter is the most likely to be included in the West Brom midfield.

Striker Jay Simpson is a fitness doubt and Gianni Zuiverloon is suspended, but James Morrison should be fit to play.

Possible starting XIs

West Brom: Carson, Hoefkens, Donk, Meite, Robinson, Menseguez, Koren, Valero, Brunt, Bednar, Fortune.

Newcastle: Harper, Enrique, Bassong, Coloccini, S Taylor, R Taylor, Duff, Nolan, Geremi, Martins, Ameobi.

Source: SKY_Sports