West Ham United lost their opening game of last season at home to Newcastle United and this afternoon, they will hope to get their revenge when David Moyes takes his side to St James’ Park to begin their 2021/22 Premier League campaign.
The Magpies did the double over the Hammers last term and given that the Irons have not won an opening day fixture since 2015, they will be desperate to get up and running at the first time of asking.
The East Londoners enjoyed nine victories on the road last season and should they be able to build on that here, it will be the first time they have claimed three points on Tyneside since December 2018 when Manuel Pellegrini steered them to a 3-0 win.
Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola completed a season-long loan switch to East London on 29 July and the Frenchman may replace Łukasz Fabiański in goal. If he does make his debut, then the Pole will drop to the bench.
Issa Diop may remain alongside Craig Dawson in defence if Angelo Ogbonna misses out, as he continues to recover from the hamstring injury he sustained during the 6-2 pre-season victory over Celtic on 24 July.
One player that won’t be included in the matchday eighteen is defender Frederik Alves, as it was confirmed on Friday night that the 21-year-old Danish international has joined Sky Bet League One side Sunderland on a season-long loan deal.
With Coronavirus restrictions having been lifted, a capacity crowd will be back and able to create a rousing atmosphere for this afternoon’s encounter.
The match is a 2pm kick-off and live coverage is being screened by Sky Sports from 1pm. The referee is Martin Atkinson.