For this week’s Opposition Opinion piece, we’ve been speaking to Cherries fan Chris Appleton ahead of our trip to the Vitality Stadium.
As ever, we are looking to bring you a view from ‘the other side’ before this week’s game, chatting to an opposing fan to gain their opinions on NUFC, some insights into their own side and their thoughts on our upcoming match.
Here’s what Chris has had to say during our pre-match chat:
Q1) – What sort of shape are you guys in coming into this one? Feeling confident?
“If you’d asked me this just over a week ago I would’ve said no as we’ve been on an awful run, but the win over Huddersfield was a positive one in more ways than one.
“Wilson was back and looked brilliant, with him seeming to revitalise Fraser too. Those two have been our standout players this season, so to have them both back at it and amongst the goals was great to see.
“We’ve now got a VERY generous set of fixtures between now and mid-May, so I’m hoping we can kick on and secure a top 10 finish.”
Q2) – Who are the strengths and weaknesses in your current side? Also, have you got any ‘ones to watch’ that most NUFC fans wouldn’t know much about?
“Wilson and Fraser are a brilliant twos-some. They’ve been involved in 34 goals between them this season and seem telepathic at times”
“King is another good attacking option, being surprisingly strong and good in front of goal, but I’m a big fan of David Brooks. He’s our ‘one to watch’ having shown maturity beyond his years and looking such a clever player.
“Ake is one to watch at the back. We rate him, but he’s not the biggest so Rondon could bully him. He certainly did when we lost at your place last year!
“I don’t like the idea of Perez being up against Daniels, who’s far more of an attacker than he is a defender, and the dury is still out on goalkeeper Arthur Boruc for me. He’s brilliant one minute than drops a clanger.”
“We’re very capable going forward – turn up and our front 4 could tear you apart – but we’ve always been a bit suspect at the back!”
Q3) – Which players do you see as the strengths and weaknesses in Newcastle’s side?
“Rondon has really impressed me this season, but I can’t lie, he never looked up to much when I watched him at West Brom, being erratic in front of goal and a bit too inconsistent for my liking.
“He bullied us when you beat us at St James’ and seems to link up very well with Perez – a player who I’ve always rated and would like to see at Bournemouth!
“Ritchie is a funny player. He’s a strength and a weakness if you ask me. He works so hard and has great quality on his day, but his lack of pace makes him a bit limited at this level as a winger.
“Shelvey is the same. So much quality but he switches off defensively.
“Your defence is head and shoulders above ours. Lascelles, Lejeune and Schar would all walk into our back line!”
Q4) – What sort of game do you think it’ll be and how do you see it panning out? Score prediction?
“We only know one way – attack!”
“I think there’ll be goals, mainly because I see Schar and Lascelles will be missing for you, but I have no confidence in us keeping another clean sheet’.
“You’ll try to counter us and while you might have a bit of joy now you have players like Perez, Rondon and Almiron firing on all cylinders, I think we’ll have some joy against what might be a make-shift back four.
“Benitez teams are never easy to beat, but I think we might edge this on 2-1 or even 3-2. I’m hoping some of your lads are already ‘on the beach’ after all but securing safety with another win last week vs Everton”
Q5) – If you could sign one player from this NUFC side, who would you like to see Eddie Howe go for?
“Perez for me. I really rate the lad.
“He seems to work hard but have flair at the same time, and that’s hard to find.
“I also like Lejeune. He looks like a classy player.”
Q6) – Finally, if you had our two squads to choose from and were asked to pick the best possible side, what would you starting 11 be?
“(3-4-3-) – Dubravka – Lejeune, Ake, Lascelles –
“Very attacking, but that’s a strong side!
A big thanks to Chris for taking some time this week to speak to us.
I get the feeling he’s far more confident now Wilson is back, but their form prior to last weekend’s win over Huddersfield had been very poor.
Next up will be the thoughts of an Arsenal fan ahead of our trip to the Emirates two weeks on Monday.