Is West Ham clash the biggest home game in Newcastle’s Premier League history?

Newcastle Fans 3

Following the 2-1 loss to QPR, Newcastle must beat West Ham this weekend to be certain of top flight safety.

There have been many crucial games hosted at St. James' Park in Newcastle’s 21 seasons in the Premier League, but perhaps none outweigh the importance of Saturday’s fixture against West Ham United.

The Magpies must win if they are to secure another season amongst England’s elite, or rely on Manchester United to achieve a result at Hull to keep them up.

To find a game with similar significance, you would have to go back to May 2009 when back-to-back home ties saw a 3-1 win over rivals Middlesbrough and a subsequent 1-0 loss to Fulham.

The loss to Fulham paved the way for the infamous must-win game away at Aston Villa, when a Damien Duff own goal sent the Toon into the Championship for the first time in 16 years.

Before that, you would have to go back to Newcastle’s unsuccessful title tilt in 1995-1996; specifically a devastating 1-0 loss to eventual champions Manchester United courtesy of an Eric Cantona strike on 4th March, 1996 as the club's most important home game in the Premier League.

Saturday’s tie would certainly supersede the above contests, given that a second relegation from the richest league in the world could result in an extended stay in the lower leagues with the club seemingly directionless and in dire need of a squad overhaul.

Such has been the dramatic loss of form under boss John Carver, bookmakers odds have closed from 250/1 in early April, to 5/1 to see the Magpies relegated, with one fixture remaining.

Relegation would come as a shocking end to the season for the North-East side who were 13 points clear of the drop-zone at the end of February.

Saturday’s D-day could have been far less significant had Newcastle not thrown away their lead away to basement side QPR last weekend, conceding two second-half goals to the West-London outfit.

Even Carver has been quick to make the most out of the situation in order to get fans on-side for the clash: “This is now the biggest game this football club has had for a long, long time," he is quoted as saying in the Guardian. "One of the biggest in the club’s history … it could be the fans who get us across the line and keep us in the Premier League.”

Whether fans see the game as the biggest home tie in the club’s Premier League history is up for debate but there is no doubt that with so much at stake, it cannot be considered anything but a defining fixture in Newcastle’s modern era.

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