That international break felt like forever, didn't it? Newcastle United are finally back at it as they make their final trip to the Boleyn Ground in London to face West Ham. Much has been made of the rematch between Steve McClaren and Slaven Bilic who crossed path during the new Toon boss's ill fated England tenure, but it distills down to a much more basic level for the former FC Twente man this time around. Given a schedule that was ranked as the most difficult opening in the Premier League, patience has been plentiful as the club earned 2 points in their first four matches, but the truth of the matter is that points are going to need to start coming Newcastle's way sooner than later to prevent falling too far off the pace already.
McClaren has bemoaned the lack of time in the preseason and the international break won't have rectified this difficulty much as Tim Krul, Daryl Janmaat, Vurnon Anita, Moussa Sissoko and Chancel Mbemba all missed a large chunk of the break through international duty. Hopefully he has been able to make hay while the sun shone on two extra days prior to today's match and we will see a tighter, more focused performance worth of taking three points.
Date & Time: Monday, September 14, 2015, 2000 BST (1200 PDT, 1500 EDT)
Venue: Boleyn Ground, London, England
Projected Newcastle Starting XI: Krul; Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Haïdara; Colback, Anita; Thauvin, Wijnaldum, Aarons; Cisse
Players to watch: Chancel Mbemba, Fabricio Coloccini, Florian Thauvin
TV Information: NBCSN (USA), SkySports 1 (UK), Sportsnet World (Canada)