Saturday’s Premier League action closes out with a lopsided contest between relegation-battling Bournemouth and top-four-bidding Newcastle United at the Vitality Stadium.
Gary O’Neil’s underwhelming managerial tenure at Bournemouth has reached a critical point after the Cherries picked up just one point in six Premier League outings after the World Cup break (D1, L5).
Since he is reluctant to speak about his future at the Vitality Stadium, frustration must be boiling over behind the scenes as O’Neil’s men start this round two points adrift of safety.
Bournemouth came agonisingly close to rescuing a vital point at Brighton & Hove Albion last Saturday, yet Kaoru Mitoma’s 87th-minute winner undid their admirable effort at the Amex Stadium.
They’ll need to put on another resilient defensive showing if they’re to fend off Newcastle, arguably the league’s most improved side of the past 12 months.
Eddie Howe’s team could only manage a 1-1 home draw against bottom-half underachievers West Ham United last weekend, though that result took their scintillating unbeaten league run to 16 matches (W9, D7).
As the owners of the longest undefeated streak in Europe’s top-five leagues, the Magpies have unsurprisingly established themselves as genuine top-four contenders.
But with fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur breathing down their neck, Newcastle will be out to snap a frustrating run of back-to-back league draws and maintain a one-point lead at the very least.
Poor-performing backline has been the leading source of Bournemouth’s suffering this season, with no Premier League side conceding more goals this season than the Cherries (43).
You have to go back to a 3-0 demolition of Everton on the stroke of the mid-season break for Bournemouth’s last league clean sheet, which is also their only shutout in 13 top-flight games.
It’s not like O’Neil can rely on his uneventful frontline to remedy the damage, given that the Cherries have netted just one goal in six Premier League outings after the restart.
Unlike their hosts, Newcastle have been a definition of a water-tight defence this term, with Howe’s team conceding only 12 goals, at least five fewer than any other club in the division.
Before Lucas Paqueta drew West Ham level last weekend, the Magpies had gone six straight league matches without conceding, highlighting their backline as the team’s strong suit.
However, scoring has been a problem of late, with Newcastle averaging only 0.4 goals per game across their last five Premier League fixtures.
Bournemouth vs Newcastle United Potential Line-ups
Bournemouth (4-2-3-1): Neto; Adam Smith, Chris Mepham, Marcos Senesi, Jordan Zemura; Jefferson Lerma, Philip Billing; Dango Ouattara, Hamed Traore, Jaidon Anthony; Dominic Solanke.
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Nick Pope; Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman, Dan Burn; Joe Willock, Sean Longstaff, Joelinton; Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson, Anthony Gordon.
How to Watch?
Bournemouth vs Newcastle United, alongside all other fixtures in England’s top flight, is available to watch online via live Premier League streams.
Bournemouth vs Newcastle United Prediction
There’s seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel for Bournemouth as they continue to reel off disappointments week in and week out.
Although Newcastle’s recent league performances have also flattered to deceive, we still back the Magpies to take home three points.
Bournemouth 0-1 Newcastle United
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