Bournemouth vs Newcastle: Match preview & predicted line-ups

Dean Court

The relegation rivals meet in the lunchtime kick-off this Saturday at The Vitality Stadium.

Newcastle United will be making the 718-mile round trip to Bournemouth this weekend as both sides look to distance themselves from the bottom three.

One point separates 18th placed Newcastle from their hosts, who currently occupy the spot above them. A win for Bournemouth would open up a four-point gap over their relegation rivals, whilst victory for The Toon would see the pair swap places.

Head to head

The two sides have met only six times in their respective histories, the last being an FA Cup replay win for Newcastle in January 1992.

The Magpies have won three to Bournemouth’s two, with one draw shared.

History will be made when Steve McClaren’s men make the longest trip in this year's Premier League calendar, as the two meet for the first time in a top-flight fixture.

Current form

Bournemouth have, as expected, struggled to make an impact since their impressive Championship-winning promotion. The Cherries have won once in their last six outings, a 2-0 win against Sunderland on 19th September. They have not managed to pick up a point since 3rd October, shipping 15 goals in their last five games.

Newcastle are no better off, having won only one Premier League game this year. There are signs that the team are starting to improve under Steve McClaren and were it not for the magnificent goalkeeping of Jack Butland, The Magpies would have picked up all three points against Stoke City last weekend.

The North-East side have, however, only won once away in all competitions since 9th November 2014, and collected five points from a possible 48 in the league. A win on Saturday would bring a huge sigh of relief to Geordies everywhere.

Team news

Newcastle are set to name the same team that started at home to Stoke, but are sweating on the fitness of third-choice goalkeeper Rob Elliot. Steve McClaren may have to hand a Premier League debut to 18-year-old Freddie Woodman, should Elliot be confirmed as unavailable.

Eddie Howe is set to welcome back centre-back Steve Cook and goalkeeper Artur Boruc to the match day squad, barring the failure of late fitness tests.

Cherries midfielder Dan Gosling is in line to face his former club, whilst stand-in skipper Simon Francis is set to continue deputising at centre-back. On-loan striker Christian Atsu has returned to parent club Chelsea after suffering a stress fracture to his shin.

Possible line-ups

Newcastle

Bournemouth

Each set of fans see this as a winnable game and we could be in for a nervous 90 minutes, given Newcastle and Bournemouth's current form. The result could be crucial to both teams when May rolls around.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch