Eddie Howe's seventh-placed Bournemouth travel to St James' Park to take on a Newcastle team who sit 15th in the Premier League.
St James Park, Newcastle, England
Key Stat: Newcastle United have scored just nine goals this season – only bottom-placed Watford have scored less.
Expert Verdict: Newcastle United's lack of goals means they remain unconvincing this season, even if they started to put things right last weekend against West Ham. With home advantage this weekend, they might well pull off a surprise result against an inconsistent Bournemouth team.
Matt Ritchie could return from injury to face his former team, while Fabian Schar is expected to shake off a knee injury to play. Sean Longstaff is still suspended, however, so Isaac Hayden will continue in the middle. Steve Bruce has said Florian Lejeune will return after the international break, having been playing reserve games to build up fitness.
Joelinton – Insists he can still be a big striker for Newcastle but needs to start scoring soon – not least because of the impact Salomon Rondon had in fixtures like this one last season.
Jonjo Shelvey – Has had to wait patiently for his chance and ensured he took it at West Ham, scoring the third goal in their 3-2 win.
Andy Carroll – Only likely to feature from the bench, but as the big striker gets closer to full fitness it puts the pressure on Joelinton to keep him out of the team.
Newcastle United have been vastly improved of late, taking seven points from their last four games with just the one defeat to Chelsea. They won 1-0 at home to Manchester United before that, and drew 1-1 with Wolves after it – Jamal Lascelles scoring against the latter. Last weekend, Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez and Jonjo Shelvey put them 3-0 up at West Ham and they withstood a late comeback to win 3-2.
Defenders:DeAndre Yedlin, Federico Fernandez, Jamal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Jetro Willems
Midfielders:Miguel Almiron, Isaac Hayden, Jonjo Shelvey, Allan Saint-Maximin
Jefferson Lerma has already picked up five yellow cards this season and so will miss this game through suspension. Dan Gosling could be back after his summer surgery on a hip problem, however, and David Brooks is getting close to a return too. Andrew Surman is likely to rest his knee injury until after the international break, however – when all three could then come back into the starting XI. Charlie Daniels and Junior Stanislas are longer-term absentees.
Josh King – The match-winner last weekend, with his third league goal of the season, and the Norway international also scored in the recent 2-2 draw with West Ham.
Callum Wilson – The England striker’s most recent goal was also in that draw with West Ham, but he remains their top league scorer with five in 11 this season.
Aaron Ramsdale – A third consecutive clean sheet earned a 1-0 win at home to Manchester United, in which he earned more suggestions he merits an England place.
Bournemouth were winless in five games and had not scored in three – albeit they drew back-to-back games with Norwich and Watford 0-0 – until they won 1-0 at home to Manchester United last weekend. Josh King scored the only goal of the game.
Defenders:Adam Smith, Steve Cook, Nathan Ake, Diego Rico
Midfielders:Harry Wilson, Lewis Cook, Phillip Billing, Ryan Fraser
Forwards:Callum Wilson, Josh King
Both teams have won two apiece of their six Premier League meetings, while Newcastle have five wins overall and Bournemouth four with three draws. Last season, Newcastle took four points off the Cherries – winning 2-1 at home and drawing 2-2 away. Salomon Rondon scored both Newcastle goals at St James’ Park, with Jefferson Lerma scoring Bournemouth’s reply. Rondon opened the scoring again in the reverse fixture but Josh King’s double looked to have sent Bournemouth to victory until Matt Ritchie’s late equaliser against her former club. Here are the results of their last five competitive matches:
Mar 16, 2019: AFC Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle United
Nov 10, 2018: Newcastle United 2-1 AFC Bournemouth
Feb 24, 2018: AFC Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle United
Nov 04, 2017: Newcastle United 0-1 AFC Bournemouth
Mar 05, 2016: Newcastle United 1-3 AFC Bournemouth
Both teams got back on track last weekend – Bournemouth beating Manchester United, as Newcastle did a few weeks previously, while Steve Bruce’s side beat West Ham.
Those three goals were not a reflection on recent performances for Newcastle, however, whose lack of goals looks their main issue this season.
Against a Bournemouth team who have kept clean sheets in their last three games, meanwhile, that is a concern for the home team.
Bournemouth themselves have not been prolific, however – they drew three blanks in a row before beating United with a single goal last weekend.
Callum Wilson and Josh King up front, with Harry Wilson and Ryan Fraser on the wings, is a brilliant set of attacking options but it has not worked out that way recently.
As a result, with Newcastle in improved form – taking seven points from their last four games – and Bournemouth inconsistent, even if they do currently sit seventh, the hosts could get something.
A draw would keep their recent run going and would probably be a result neither team is too unhappy about.
Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth are very similar priced for this game, with Paddy Power, for example, offering 8/5 on Newcastle and 17/10 on Bournemouth. The draw is 23/10 with Betfair and 888sport.
There were five goals in Newcastle’s last game but generally they have not scored many. Bournemouth have scored one in four games, meanwhile. Under 2.5 goals is tempting at 4/5 with Bet365 therefore.
Nevertheless, both teams to score has been set at 8/11 with Betway.
For Newcastle, Joelinton lacks goals this season but he can be backed at 5/2 with Betfair and Paddy Power to score at any time. Bournemouth top-scorer Callum Wilson is 2/1 with both.
Newcastle have hit some resurgent form recently, while Bournemouth’s lack of recent goals has not stopped them taking five points from three games. This could be heading for a low-scoring draw.