Newcastle United will travel to the Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth, hoping to continue their winning run in the Premier League. The Magpies produced the upset of the month, last week when they got the better of second-placed Manchester United but will be wary of their weekend opponents Bournemouth.
The Cherries have done pretty well this season, especially in 2018, where they have beaten the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Stoke City. Eddie Howe’s men are currently sitting tenth in the Premier League table with 31 points on the board, three points ahead of their weekend rivals Newcastle.
On the other hand, however, Newcastle United’s return to the Premier League hasn’t been as impressive as one would have thought. The Magpies are dawdling on the wrong side of the table and could run the risk of getting dragged into the relegation scrap, should they fail to win their upcoming games.
Here are three key battles which could decide the outcome of this highly anticipated fixture this weekend.
Nathan Ake vs Matt Ritchie
Matt Ritchie, the man who scored the winner against Manchester United last week, will undoubtedly be one of the most important players in this game. The 28-year-old will be desperate to perform well against his former club, having already netted once and provided as many as six assists this season. His dynamism in the final third could cause a lot of problems for the Bournemouth defence this weekend.
That being said, however, the Newcastle attacker will be up against the former Chelsea defender Nathan Ake. The 22-year-old is currently one of the most highly rated young centre-backs in the Premier League and his intimidating presence in the Bournemouth defensive line could be a real challenge for Matt Ritchie.
While the latter definitely has the pace and agility, Nathan Ake’s strong physical prowess can often be a problem for any Premier League attacker. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how these two come up against each other this weekend.
Charlie Daniels vs DeAndre Yedlin
Another key battle on the right flank could be between Charlie Daniels and DeAndre Yedlin. Both of these fullbacks have proved to be important members of their respective teams in recent years.
American International DeAndre Yedlin has been Newcastle’s number one right-back this season. His pace and athleticism are tailor-made for the Premier League and the former Spurs defender will definitely play a key role for the Magpies this weekend.
Facing him, however, will be the experienced Bournemouth defender, Charlie Daniels. The 31-year-old has been an ever-present figure in the Bournemouth backline under the leadership of Eddie Howe and this week will be no different. It will be engaging to how these two players cope with each other with their contrasting playing styles.
Callum Wilson vs Jamaal Lascelles
Last but not least, stopping the Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson will be imperative for the visitors. Following the absence of star striker Jermaine Defoe, Callum Wilson has emerged as a key man in the Cherries’ offensive department, scoring seven goals in just 17 games this season.
The onus will be on Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles to stop the 25-year-old, who is sure to cause trouble for the Magpies’ defence this week. Lascelles played quite well in the game against Manchester United and the 24-year-old will be hoping for a similar performance against Bournemouth.