Newcastle United take on Bournemouth at St. James’ Park this weekend in arguably their biggest game of the season to date as they look to move out of the relegation zone.
With just ten games remaining [11 for Newcastle], the Magpies currently find themselves in 19th position in the table having picked up only seven points in their last ten Premier League matches.
The visit of Bournemouth represents a good chance for Newcastle to pick up all three points and, in a must-win encounter with the Cherries, here are three good reasons why the hosts will prevail.
Newcastle are undoubtedly a much better team at St. James’ Park than on their travels, having picked up 17 of their 24 Premier League points at home and boasting a positive home goal difference.
In fact, only Watford and West Bromwich Albion of the bottom half clubs have earned more points at home than Newcastle this season, with Steve McClaren’s side playing one game less than their rivals.
Bournemouth aren’t bad away having picked up 16 points from 14 games but the stats favour the hosts.
Steve McClaren vs Eddie Howe:
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is widely regarded as one of the most promising English managers in the game but one thing he doesn’t have yet is a win over Steve McClaren.
While at Derby County, McClaren’s then Derby side did the double over the Cherries in the 2013/14 campaign and took another four points off them last year, despite Bournemouth winning the league.
The corresponding fixture between the two earlier this year saw Newcastle win 1-0 on the South Coast.
Newcastle may have as many as 14 players ruled out of action with injury yet one player they do have available is the talented attacker Georginio Wijnaldum who simply loves playing at St. James’ Park.
All nine of the Dutch star’s league goals this season have come on home soil and, in his last three home games - all of which saw Newcastle go unbeaten - his record stands at two goals and one assist.
Wijnaldum has the potential to be a matchwinner and the Cherries may struggle to contain him.