Bournemouth vs Newcastle United

Newcastle United’s quest to return in contention for a top-four finish in the Premier League takes them to the Vitality Stadium to meet out-of-sorts Bournemouth.

Defending Premier League champions Manchester City humbled Bournemouth 6-1 last weekend, making Andoni Iraola the leading candidate to become the next manager to be relieved of his duties despite beating Burnley 2-1 in his previous home outing. That result remains Bournemouth’s only win in 11 Premier League matches this season (D3, L7) as they start this round in the drop zone, albeit level on points with 17th-placed Luton Town. Newcastle’s visit to Boscombe offers no respite, considering the ‘Cherries’ haven’t won any of their five previous home H2Hs in the Premier League era (D3, L2) despite scoring in the last four. Bournemouth’s defensive frailties will likely require something special from the frontline, with Iraola’s side conceding the second-most average of 2.45 goals per game in the competition.

On the other hand, an ever-growing injury list at Newcastle United took its toll in midweek Champions League action as a 2-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund nailed the ‘Magpies’ to the bottom of the so-called ‘Group of Death.’ However, Eddie Howe’s men proved their domestic credentials with a controversial 1-0 home win over Arsenal last weekend, maintaining their rise to stardom following a dreadful four-game league start (W1, L3). Indeed, they’ve since gone unbeaten in seven Premier League fixtures (W5, D2), climbing to sixth in the standings, only four points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal. Newcastle’s most recent domestic travel yielded an eye-catching 3-0 League Cup win over Manchester United, while their last top-flight win at Bournemouth incidentally came by a three-goal margin (4-1 in July 2020).

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