The Magpies were swept aside by Everton on Wednesday and remain in the drop zone, two points adrift of safety.
They have won just once in their last eight games, and are relying upon some big-money new signings to do enough to keep them afloat; one they couldn’t secure, Saido Berahino, could be lining up against them on Saturday.
One of their expensive summer signings, Gini Wijnaldum, will be looking to improve on an impressive home record that has seen him score nine goals in his 12 games at St. James’ Park so far this season.
Encouragingly for the hosts, they have lost just once at home to West Brom in the Premier League; however, they lost the reverse fixture at the Hawthorns six weeks ago due to an error by stand-in goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
The Baggies snatched a last-minute equaliser against Swansea in midweek to keep themselves comfortably in mid-table, eight points above the drop zone. Their tally of 29 points puts them closer to seventh than 18th, which fans would have certainly accepted at the start of the season.
However, there are nagging doubts amongst the West Brom faithful about Tony Pulis’ style of play, which has seen only Aston Villa score fewer goals than the Baggies total of 23. A successful welcome back into the side for Berahino could be the answer if Pulis is willing to accommodate the young frontman.
The visitors travel north somewhat out of form; they are winless in four league games and haven’t won away from home in their last six games. Their tally of eight away goals is the second-lowest in the Premier League – only Saturday’s opponents Newcastle have scored fewer.
The hosts have a defensive crisis on their hands, with Chancel Mbemba and Paul Dummett injured and Jamaal Lascelles suspended after his late red card at Goodison Park. Steven Taylor is back and could feature for the first time since August, whilst Jack Colback could be forced to fill in at left-back if he recovers from a knock. Roma loanee Seydou Doumbia could be handed a debut up front.
Jonny Evans has been ruled out for two weeks for West Brom, who will also be without Chris Brunt for the trip to the north-east.
League Positions: Newcastle – 18th (21 pts); West Brom – 14th (29 pts)
Previous Meeting: West Brom 1-0 Newcastle – December 28, 2015
League Form: Newcastle – LLDWLL; West Brom – WWDLDD
Key Players: Newcastle – Gini Wijnaldum; West Brom – Salomon Rondon
Shoot Says: Newcastle 2-1 West Brom