I’d make just one change from the side that beat Man Utd and that’d be Merino coming in for Perez. An unlikely alteration from Rafa, but I think it could work well..
Perez put in a decent shift against Man Utd, but still frustrated even though just about everyone else was at it that day. He’s ‘busy’, but his output isn’t enough – and today’s game could be decided by making the most of the big moments each side are presented with.
I’m not backing on Benitez making this change, but I think it could work well.
Predicted NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1) – Dubravka– Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett – Diame, Shelvey – Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy– Gayle
A few to watch our for today:
Callum Wilson – On his day he’s very difficult to deal with. Pace, power and an eye for goal.
Lewis Cook – A few Cherries fans have told me that England should be looking at this kid. They rate him highly so he’s one to watch in midfield.
Charlie Daniels – An attack minded wing-back whose got a quality left foot. Yedlin and Ritchie will need to be on their guard.
Nathan Ake – He’s not big for a centre-back but he’s an impressive athlete, good on the ball and a danger from corners.
Predicted B’mouth XI – (3-4-2-1) – Begovic – Francis, Cook, Ake – Fraser, Gosling, Cook, Daniels – Ibe, Stanislas – Wilson.
For an inside look into this weekend’s opponents, take a look at the latest edition of the ‘Opposition Opinion’ . A great insight into today’s opponents from a Bournemouth fan.
Newcastle – 13th (28 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 1 / Drawn: 3 / Lost: 1
Bournemouth – 10th (31 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 3 / Drawn: 1 / Lost: 1
Benitez confirmed Islam Slimani is OUT of this one, with the Algerian set for at least another two weeks on the sidelines.
Ciaran Clark is back in contention after overcoming a knee injury, however Jesus Gamez remains out (as ever).
For Eddie Howe, Jermaine Defoe is back in contention, although he’s unlikely to come in from the start – even if he does have a worryingly good goal record against us recently.
Bournemouth are a dangerous side when they have their tails up, with their recent home win over Arsenal or 3-0 win at Stamford bridge proving that they can blow teams away when they’re ‘at it’.
That being said, they can be got at (as Huddersfield’s 4-1 win proved) if you unsettle them early, get in their faces and force mistakes out of them.
I don’t see why we can’t come away with all three points if the players put in another huge shifts and carefully follow Rafa’s precise game plan, however I think this one might be a draw.
I see us coming out the traps quickly and taking the lead but failing to hold onto a lead. We don’t seem to have that killer instinct and second goal in us (especially without Slimani).
Prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Newcastle
Howay the lads!