The Opposition Opinion returns for another round of Premier League football, and this week we’ve been getting some thoughts from the South Coast ahead of Bournemouth’s visit to St James’ Park.
Here’s our chat with @CherryChimes in the build up to today’s game:
Q1 – Firstly, what short of shape do you feel Bournemouth are in coming into this one? Interested to know the feeling around the club and general mood of fans 11 games into the new season.
“The fans are in a fairly good mood.
“We had a slightly disappointing start with two newly-promoted clubs to face first up, but wins against Everton and Southampton were a timely boost.
“October was low on points as we drew most games, but at least we have started to get some clean sheets – three in a row now.
“The win against Man Utd last weekend has given us a good position in the league, but there have been a few points that have been squandered.“
Q2 – What are the strengths and weaknesses of this Bournemouth side, both individually and as a team? Give us some ones to watch and weak links we could exploit..
“Of late, it has been the defence that has excelled.
“Diego Rico at left back has been revitalised having hardly had a game last season. He is a great crosser of the ball and a great supply route for the strikers.
“In goal, Aaron Ramsdale has also been a class act, making some impressive saves. The team will become very confident if it gets a goal up.
“The attacking play has been inconsistent though. The team can start slow and then over think things and gets frustrated quickly when they choose the wrong passes around the box.
“The ball over the top has also been a weakness this season, but Steve Cook and Nathan Aké are working hard to be as solid as they can at the heart of the defence.”
Q3 – What’s the Bournemouth XI (and formation) likely to start on Saturday?
“I’d say it will be 4-4-1-1Bournemouth have reverted to their old formation as they have been undone when not playing their familiar formation:
“(4-4-1-1) Ramsdale – A Smith, S.Cook, Aké, Rico – H.Wilson, L.Cook, Billing, Fraser King, C.Wilson.”
Q4 – What do you make of this Newcastle side and which players do you see as the strengths and weaknesses in our team?
“I haven’t put Newcastle among the relegation teams this season. They look like a more formidable team and they have payed really well against the top teams often only conceding a single goal.
“Allan Saint-Maximin looks an exciting player and perhaps rather unpredictable.
“I like Jamaal Lascelles at the back who is calm as a defender and feel he probably deserves more recognition than he gets.
“I have not seen much of Joelinton so I’ll be look out to see how well he plays up front.
“Newcastle seem to get themselves into games but throw away some daft goals usually. Against Bournemouth we have had some close games and I expect this to be the same and very end-to-end.
“It is taking their chances where I think Newcastle sometimes let themselves down. If they can start getting that right they will win many more points at home.”
Q5 – What sort of game do you think it’ll be and how do you see it panning out? Give us a prediction..
“I mentioned that I think it will be end-to-end and quite frantic.
“Both teams know they can win this game and it will be a matter of who can impose themselves the best as always.
“Bournemouth have been picking up points away from home so they won’t be daunted by the big ground and noisy fans, but they know Newcastle United are in form.
“I just hope we don’t start too cautiously which has been a trend of late.
“I think Bournemouth can win it 1-2, but I get the feeling it’ll more likely be a high-scoring draw.”
Q6 – Which 3 sides do you see going down this season and why?
“My prediction at the start of the season was: 18th Sheffield United, 19th Brighton and 20th Aston Villa, but I don’t think we are on course for that now!
“Villa may still struggle as they have not got a squad with great depth – a few injuries and they’ll be bang in trouble.
“You have to wonder if Watford can start putting some wins together and I think they will.
“The teams that I see being dragged into it now are Southampton and Norwich City. Both are just conceding too many goals and you can see it continuing that way.
“So Villa, Norwich and Saints may be playing in the Championship next season.”
Q7 – If you could sign one player from NUFC, who would you like to see Howe go for?
“Romantically, I should say Matt Ritchie but we are full of wingers.
“I’d pick Jamaal Lascelles as our defence can always do with more height and a bit of ability on the ball.”
Q8 – 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?
” (5-2-3): Ramsdale – Smith, Lascelles, Aké, Clark, Willems – Lerma, Shelvey – Fraser, C. Wilson, Saint-Maximin.”
Next time we’ll be speaking to an Aston Villa fan ahead of our trip to the Midlands after the international break!