Bournemouth v Newcastle
Saturday, Feb 24 – 15:00
Bournemouth were thrashed 4-1 by Huddersfield a fortnight ago, putting an end to an otherwise solid run of results for Eddie Howe’s side. The Cherries manager apologised to fans following the game at the John Smiths Stadium, and admitted that conceding early was pivotal to Bournemouth’s downfall. Howe will be looking for a better defensive display tomorrow, particularly with a tricky run of fixtures coming up in March. Bournemouth currently sit 10th in the Premier League table, taking 31 points from their 27 matches this season.
Newcastle gained a shock 1-0 victory over Man United in their last match, granting the Magpies a much needed three points. Midfielder Jonjo Shevley was the key man for Rafa Benitez’s side, but it was new goalkeeper Martin Dubravka that stole the majority of the headlines. The Slovakia international could be hugely influential for Newcastle in the latter stages of the season, and is all but guaranteed a place in Benitez’s starting XI tomorrow. Newcastle are now 13th on the leaderboard, just three points adrift of Bournemouth.
What the stats tell us:
- Tomorrow’s match will mark the 10th competitive clash between these two sides – Bournemouth have won four of those games, including each of the last two in the Premier League.
- Newcastle won their only game in the Premier League at the Vitality Stadium back in November 2015 (1-0).
- The Cherries have never lost at home in the Premier League against a newly-promoted club (W6 L1).
- Bournemouth have an opportunity to win four successive home matches in the Premier League for the first time since April 2015.
- The Magpies have failed to claimed back-to-back victories in the Premier League since last September.
- Newcastle have only managed to score nine first half goals in the Premier League this season – only Swansea (seven) have scored fewer.
- Rafa Benitez’s side have conceded four penalty goals away from home in the Premier League this season – more than any other club.
- Callum Wilson has scored four goals in his last two home matches in the Premier League against newly-promoted clubs.
- Ayoze Perez has scored in each of his last two starts against Bournemouth in the Premier League (two goals in total).
Bournemouth suffered a huge setback against Huddersfield, and it will be interesting to see if they can bounce back immediately with a positive result. It all fell apart too quickly for Eddie Howe’s side at the John Smiths, but the Cherries are a different side at home, and when they find their best form they can be one of the most dangerous attacking teams in the league. Newcastle will be buoyed by their win over Man United, but they can’t expect to win every match by a one goal margin. They’ve struggled to finish chances recently, and if that continues today they’re going to struggle.