Newcastle aim to put a bad week behind them as they travel to the Hawthorns on Sunday

After an eventful week off the pitch, Newcastle United return to on-field proceedings with a must-win game at the Hawthorns against West Brom on Sunday afternoon.

The Magpies have been in turmoil this week as it emerged that Steve Bruce and winger Matt Ritchie had almost came to blows on the training field, something that the manager was keen to play down in his pre-match press conference.

The confrontation happened on Tuesday, which was one of the rare days Newcastle trained this week, with Bruce giving his players three days off through the week, despite a mounting injury crisis at the club.

Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson are all out for the trip to West Brom, with fringe players Dwight Gayle and Jacob Murphy on standby to be called in. Ironically, Ritchie was one of the leading candidates to replace Almiron, but that may have changed after the dust-up.

Andy Carroll and Ryan Fraser are also on hand to start if called upon, with teenage winger Elliot Anderson also hoping to be part of the travelling party.

Bruce also confirmed that Federico Fernandez will be included in the squad after a thigh injury, but right-back Emil Krafth might miss out after suffering a shin injury against Wolves. Isaac Hayden has been struggling with an ankle injury but should still be involved.

Fabian Schar and Javier Manquillo are both longer term absentees and are definitely out.

West Brom boss Sam Allardyce spent the hours after the 1-0 defeat to Everton bemoaning decisions that went against his side. The former Newcastle boss wasn’t a fan of Mbaye Diagne’s penalty appeal going ignored, before the big striker had a goal disallowed for offside.

He invited someone from the Premier League to call him and explain the decisions, although it’s unclear whether anyone took him up on his offer.

In terms of selection, Allardyce has a fully fit squad to choose from. Semi Ajayi returned from suspension against Everton but remained an unused sub, while Robert Snodgrass joined him there after recovering from a calf injury. With just over 60 hours rest between the full-time whistle and kick-off on Sunday, both could come into the starting line-up.

A win for West Brom would take them to within three points of Fulham, who play Liverpool later on Sunday afternoon. That game is also of great interest to Newcastle, who can pull six points clear of the bottom three if they take the points at the Hawthorns and the Cottagers lose at Anfield.

West Bromwich Albion take on Newcastle United at the Hawthorns on Sunday, March 7th. Kick-off is at 12pm.

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Marley Anderson

Sport Social Editor

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