Danny Guthrie - Newcastle United News

In a week dominated by the tragic news that Fabrice Muamba continues to fight for his life in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch last week, Premier League football could be forgiven for being in the back of the football fans’ minds. However, all games are set to go ahead and Newcastle travel to West Brom to take on Roy Hodgson’s in-form Baggies.

The two sides have enjoyed something of a healthy rivalry in the last few years, both fighting for mid-table mediocrity whilst in the top flight, and both fighting for promotion in that fateful season when the Magpies bounced back up to the Premier League.

Earlier in the season the two sides played out an enthralling match, with Paul Scharner’s late strike overturning Newcastle’s comeback from two goals down to earn all three points for the Baggies, winning it 3-2.

The Geordies should have learnt from that mistake though and will be hoping for a better showing this time round, despite not turning in the greatest of performances at home to Norwich last week.

Cheick Tiote is rated at 50/50 to play, after missing the slender win over the Canaries and could take the place of Davide Santon, with James Perch’s excellent performance potentially earning him a starting place at left-back. Jonas Gutierrez could return to his left-wing slot if Pardew decides to stick with the former Nottingham Forest defender.

Papiss Cisse will be looking for his first goal away from St James’ Park and his fourth in six games after his fine strike last week and should continue his partnership with countryman Demba Ba, with Hatem Ben Arfa likely to miss out on a starting place.

Roy Hodgson will be hoping Peter Odemwingie will be fit after a hamstring injury, whilst Alan Pardew will be hoping the Nigerian will miss out, after the former Lokomotiv Moscow striker scored against Newcastle earlier in the season. Jonas Olsson returns from a ban and should come back into Hodgson’s starting XI, although Zoltan Gera and Steven Reid are both definitely out.

A win for Newcastle could move them into 5th position in the table, with Chelsea facing a difficult task against out-of-form Spurs. Pardew has made it clear his side are looking for European qualification and the usual clichés about every game being a “cup final” between now and the end of the season have been rolled out, now let’s see if the Geordies can do anything about it.