It may only be the start of November but this already has the feel of a relegation six-pointer given the teams from Chelsea, in 15th, and immediately above look unlikely to be drawn into the scrap at the bottom.
Bournemouth’s hopes took a massive blow when Callum Wilson suffered a season-ending knee injury 17 minutes into week seven and including that match they’ve picked up just one point from five games since. The loss of Wilson’s goals and those of Max Gradel – who suffered a similar injury in week four – have been a huge blow to the Cherries and it’s only been exacerbated by the defence leaking 15 goals in their last five games. The issues at the back are in part due to the absence of Tommy Elphick and the captain looks set to miss out once again.
There’s not been a lot for Newcastle to cheer about either and they come into this game with an away record that makes for uncomfortable reading. Since they last won on the road they’ve lost 10 of 12 away matches while scoring only three times and, worst of all, this has included two defeats at Sunderland. The 6-2 win over Norwich a couple of weeks ago hinted at a revival but after the derby defeat, which was heavily influenced by a harsh red card against Fabricio Coloccini, they again failed to score in a home game against Stoke. However, it required a superb performance from Jack Butland to stop them at St James’ and even with 10 men they dominated play against Sunderland before that. They do have problems in goal though, with their first three keepers all now injured and only 18 year old Freddie Woodman available.
Nevertheless, Newcastle’s improving performances, even if the results are yet to really turnaround, suggest they offer real value to end their away day blues here. In the past two seasons they’ve won as many trips to bottom-six finishers as they’ve lost (W4-D3-L4) while they’ve had an even split of results travelling to promoted teams since 2012/13 of W3-D3-L3. Moreover, Bournemouth’s troubles should mean the Magpies’ defence is not overrun as it has been on occasion and given you’d have made a 60% loss if you’d backed Bournemouth every week this season we’d back Newcastle on the Draw No Bet at 7/5.
We’ve already mentioned Bournemouth’s injury problems in attack and Newcastle’s troubles scoring on the road so Under 2.5 Goals has to be considered at 1/1. Four of Bournemouth’s five home games have had fewer than three goals and for a long shot try Newcastle to Win to Nil at 11/2.
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