‘The Opposition Opinion’ returns after two weeks without football, with some thoughts from the South Coast ahead of our game against Bournemouth.
Here we’re looking to bring you a view from the other side before each and every game this season, interviewing an opposing fan to gain their opinions on NUFC, some insights into their own club and their thoughts on of our upcoming match.
This week we’ve been speaking to Bournemouth fan Paul, whose had the following to say ahead of our visit to the Vitality Stadium.
Q1) What sort of form do you feel you’re in coming into this one? It’s a big game for both of us!
“Before the Huddersfield game (lost 4-1) we were on a 7 game unbeaten run, which included wins at home to Arsenal and away at Chelsea.
“We were flying, then Huddersfield away was possibly one of the worst performances I have seen from us in the Premier League.
“If we turn up on Saturday, then we will be hard to beat. Even going a goal down has not seen us panic this year.”
Q2) What do you make of Newcastle’s current side? Any players in particular who you’ll be watching out for this weekend ?
“Saturday is one of those must win games for us, at home to a side near or around us in the league.
“Newcastle were very good against Man Utd. New signing Dubravka looked very good as did Yedlin and you have Slimani to come in, so these are three players that I would be looking out for.”
Q3) Likewise, who are the form/out of form players in your Bournemouth side at present? Anyone for us to watch out for and anyone we’ll be able to get at?
“Our attacking three of Wilson, Stanislas and Ibe if they hit form on the day are terrific in the attacking third.
“Also look out for Lewis Cook in the midfield and Ake in defence.
“Francis in defence is our weak link. Attack him and you are bound to have success.”
Q4) How do you see the match panning out? Score prediction?
“I think it could be a nervy game for us and we never seem to be at our best after a break, not having played for two weeks, but if we are on our game and really go for it I am predicting a win.
“Bournemouth 3-1 Newcastle.”
Q5) With just 11 games to go, how do you see us faring in the fight for survival? Predicted league positions and your THREE sides to do down?
“My predictions for relegation are West Brom, Stoke and then anyone from us down in the league to be honest.
“If I had to pick though I would go for either Brighton or Huddersfield.
“Where we will finish who knows. we finished 9th last season and actually have 4 points more at this stage of the season than the same point last. I’ll be happy with 17th!
“As for you guys I think you will stay up , but I think there are lots of twists and turns yet to come.”
Q6) Matt Ritchie – he’s had a very poor season on the whole, often failing to do damage in the final third and uncharacteristically drifting out of games. He did however score his first goal of the season against Man Utd last time out and could be full of confidence as a result. What are your thoughts on him and what sort of reception do you see him getting?
“The way you have described Ritchie is exactly how he was for us in the Premier League. Drifted in and out and nowhere near as effective as he was in the Championship.
“I think he should get a good reception from our fans, although there is talk of him being booed, which I think is ridiculous. He was pivotal in our success in promotion and a fantastic player or us, who quite understandably left for a bigger club and for a lot more money.
“If he plays, there is always the fear that he will come back and bite us as ex players so often do!”
Very interesting to hear that he felt Matt Ritchie was brilliant in the Championship for Bournemouth but struggled in the top flight – something we’ve seen signs of this season. Hopefully he comes back to haunt his old club, mind!
We’ll be back next week with the thoughts of a Liverpool fan ahead of their trip to Anfield next weekend.
A big chance to kick on following our confidence boosting win over Man Utd – HWTL!