Our live stream ahead of Saturdays Premier League match, Newcastle United vs West Brom is now up and running, kicking off at 15.00 GMT.
You can keep an eye on the commentary as it happens below, but first, we take a preview into the fixture, lineups, predictions and much more…
Newcastle will be well-rested coming into this game having had their match against Aston Villa postponed last week due to a coronavirus outbreak.
A “significant increase” in COVID-19 cases led to Newcastle’s training ground being shut down earlier this month, but the facilities reopened for full group training on Wednesday.
The two weeks off may benefit the Magpies, however, after getting a noteworthy 2-0 win away at Palace in their last outing, Bruce will have wanted to play sooner to keep momentum which may now be lost.
Having not won back to back games yet this season, Newcastle will look to remedy this against an out of form West Brom, who sit one point from safety in the relegation zone.
Slaven Bilic’s men battled to a huge 1-0 win against the Premier Leagues bottom-placed Sheffield United two weeks ago, but they followed that up with a brutal 5-1 home loss to Palace.
One point from safety and with a difficult run-in to see out the year (Manchester City, Villa, Liverpool and Leeds United) this game will be seen as a must win for the Baggies.
The last time the two clubs met was in the fifth round FA Cup last season, which Newcastle won 3-2 away at the Hawthorns…
On COVID outbreak…
“We have far more than we had on Monday. (Available players)
“Some have had it and it has now left them.
“We have enough to pick a team.”
When asked which players were likely to be missing, Bruce reflected: “I have to respect the players and the staff and their wishes.
“You have to respect their wishes.
“It was a significant number and we will be without a big chunk of players.
“I have two members of staff who have been sick with it.
“The club has done everything they can to look after the welfare of the players.
“I feel like a doctor this week, not a football manager.”
Praising the medical staff…
“I have to say a big well done to the medical team at the training ground.
“But their actions to shut us down has been difficult.
“We were away from the training ground since Crystal Palace.
“If you had asked me last Monday I wouldn’t have thought this game would be back on.
“Everybody has been tested twice and tested negative.”
“He’s worked hard and dug deep at times.
“He’s never shirked the responsibility so you want him to continue.
“I think it helps having someone like Callum up alongside him…and not being the actual focus, the target man, at the top of it.”
‘Hope we’ve curtailed it’…
“We have two or three players that have come back into the squad who have had it and tested negative.
“I have to respect the players and the staff and respect their wishes. Sometimes you want it to remain confidential and have that privacy.
“I think it’s only right I do that. I have to say a big well done to the medical people at the club.
“It was incredible how it all developed. It’s been very, very difficult but thankfully we’re far better than where we were last Monday.
“We’ve been able to re-open the training ground. People have been tested twice and come back negative.
“We’ve got enough to hopefully win us the match.
“We hope we’ve curtailed it – it certainly looks that way. We still have some individuals self-isolating.”
“Newcastle have been in this situation where they haven’t been able to train and because of that, their game against Villa was postponed,” said the boss.
“They have had a higher number of COVID cases and that can’t have been easy for them.
“It hasn’t helped their preparation, of course, but make no mistake about it I am expecting a very fit team to come up against us on Saturday.
“They haven’t played since the end of November and they will be raring to go.
“We can’t take that for granted and our levels will have to be at the very top.
“They weren’t at the very top last week and I spoke to the players about that. Our performance against Palace was unacceptable and I want to see a big response from them this weekend at Newcastle.
“Newcastle have been performing well in the league and we will be without Matheus Pereira. He will be a miss for us.
“But we have players who can come in and share that job. We are working on a few things in order to be in the best position we can be in going into the game.”
Newcastle United Premier League form: LDWLLW
West Bromwich Albion Premier League form: DLLLWL
Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Darlow; Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Schar, Lewis; Hendrick, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin; Wilson
West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Ajayi, Ivanovic, Bartley; Furlong, Gallagher, Sawyers, Phillips; Diangana; Robinson, Grant
Under 2.5 Goals – 4/6 with FanTeam.
West Brom have collapsed on the two occasions they’ve gone down to ten, conceding five goals in each game. Excluding those two games, they have conceded just 13 in 9 and scored a paltry 4 in as many.
Newcastle’s goals for is better but is still only good enough to outrank Wolves and Fulham outside of the relegation zone. Only Aston Villa and West Ham have conceded fewer outside the traditional top six. Few goals are expected here.