Bournemouth entertain Newcastle in mid-table clash


Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle travel to Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth as both teams looking to create breathing room between themselves and the relegation places.

Newcastle currently sit three points behind Bournemouth and would go level on points with both the Cherries and Everton with a win. Cardiff City currently occupy the final relegation berth with 28 points, six behind Newcastle and nine behind Bournemouth.

Last time out in the league, the Magpies beat Everton after a very tough game which they eventually won 3-2. Everton raced out to a two-goal lead at half time after a Matt Ritchie missed penalty in an incident where Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford should’ve of seen red. Newcastles fought back and a brace from Ayoze Perez alongside a Salomon Rondon effort saw the Toon Army pull off an unlikely comeback.

Bournemouth played a struggling Huddersfield team who look more than certain to be relegated back to the Championship after an awful year in the Premier League. The game played between the two clubs finished 2-0 to Bournemouth, after goals from club top goalscorer Callum Wilson and tricky winger Ryan Fraser.

Bournemouth’s partnership of Wilson and Fraser could be the key to Bournemouth’s success on the day. The pair have combined for nine goals this season and will be gunning to create the tenth, the last pair to do so being Dennis Bergkamp and Nicolas Anelka back in 1998/99.

Wilson’s form has once again seen him called up to the England squad by Gareth Southgate to face the Czech Republic and Montenegro later this month and he’ll be keen to impress this weekend with other England regulars away from Premier League action.

The November meeting between these sides ended in a narrow 2-1 victory for Newcastle as Venezuelan striker Rondon netted twice before a late Jefferson Lerma consolation for Bournemouth.

Rondon has scored three times against Bournemouth in the Premier League, only netting more against Swansea City. His likely strike partner Ayoze Perez has rotten goalscoring form away from St James’ Park, scoring all six of his league goals so far in Newcastle.

Manager’s takes

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez spoke about tactics and the need to play attacking football in order to get all three points.

“Every game will be different. You have to realise you have to get the points and be offensive, create chances and score goals if you want to win games.”

“Little by little you improve your position and we can be more open and offensive.”

“Maybe we will have to play counter attack to beat some teams, like we did against Man City.”

“I think one thing we are doing well is adapting and using our strengths to get the points we want.”

Rafa Benitez speaking to the media as Newcastle aim a fourth win in five.


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