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Premier League preview: West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle
Apr 18, 2013 12:23 PM EST
Newcastle will be keen to put some more breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone when they visit West Brom on Saturday.
Alan Pardew's side have been struggling in the league of late, with just one win from their past four Premier League games, and they were eliminated from the Europa League 4-2 on aggregate by Benfica.
In their most recent match they were thumped 3-0 by Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday and they enter Saturday's match at The Hawthorns in 13th place in the league - just five points clear of the drop zone.
West Brom, meanwhile, are in eighth place with six games remaining in their first season under Steve Clarke, but have posted just one win from their past five league games - a 2-1 win over Swansea in March.
In their last start, West Brom were undone by a Thomas Rosicky brace in a 2-1 home defeat to Arsenal.
The last time the two sides met, a 93rd-minute strike from Papiss Cisse helped Newcastle snatch a 2-1 victory at St James' Park in October.
Pardew's already extensive injury worries deepened during their loss to Sunderland, with first-choice goalkeeper Tim Krul injuring his shoulder after falling awkwardly, ruling him out for the rest of the season.
In a further blow, Krul's replacement Rob Elliot was seen limping after the game with an ankle injury, and Pardew will be hoping he can prove his fitness for the trip to West Brom.
Davide Santon is still fighting a hamstring problem, but Ryan Taylor is nearing a return from a knee injury.
West Brom will be without midfielders George Thorne and Zoltan Gera, as both men continue to work their way back to full fitness following serious knee injuries, and Peter Odemwingie is also in some doubt with a knee problem.
Defender Steven Reid, however, is ready to return after groin surgery, and Liam Ridgewell has overcome a knock suffered in training.