Five point preview: Newcastle
AFC Bournemouth welcome Newcastle United to Vitality Stadium this weekend, as Premier League football returns after a two-week absence.
Here, afcb.co.uk highlight five key points ahead of the Toon Army’s visit to the south coast.
Back in action
With both sides out of the Emirates FA Cup, it’s a return to competitive match action after a two-week period. Both sides headed into that mini break with differing emotions. The Cherries suffered a disappointing 4-1 defeat Huddersfield Town, whilst Newcastle were 1-0 winners over Manchester United a day later.
Earning their stripes
Of the eight current Premier League teams that traditionally play in stripes, Bournemouth find themselves top of the pile in terms of head to head records so far this season. The Cherries have won five of their ten games against striped opposition, whilst Newcastle have three wins from ten.
The weekend’s game will be the first return to Vitality Stadium for former Cherries midfielder Matt Ritchie. After leaving Bournemouth for Newcastle in the summer of 2016, Ritchie scored 16 goals in his maiden season, as Rafa Benitez’s side romped to the Sky Bet Championship title. By contrast, the 28-year-old has netted just once, last time out against Manchester United, in 29 games so far this season.
The away side has won on each of the last three meetings between the two clubs. Steve Cook headed a dramatic stoppage time winner at St James’ Park earlier this season, whilst the Cherries were also 1-3 winners on Tyneside during the 2015/16 campaign. Newcastle won on their most recent visit to the south coast, with Ayoze Perez scoring the only goal of the game in November 2015.
After a somewhat mixed season so far in front of goal (only Swansea and Burnley have scored fewer home goals), Benitez now has a number of attacking options. The January arrival of Islam Slimani could provide a like-for-like replacement for Joselu, who has led the line for much of the current campaign. Dwight Gayle impressed in the most recent victory over Manchester United whilst Perez offers a different option.
Adam Smith and Callum Wilson share a joke whilst warming up.
Nathan Ake working hard.
Jermain Defoe and Steve Cook during a training game.
The players take on instruction.
Lewis Cook sprays the ball.
Charlie Daniels with eyes on the ball.
Asmir Begovic with safe hands.
Jermain Defoe on the ball.
Callum Wilson takes a breather.
Eddie Howe coaches his players from the side.
The players take on instructions during a drill.
Ryan Fraser weaves in and out of the poles.
Dan Gosling looks on.
Joshua King refuels mid-way through training.
Junior Stanislas looking focused during training.
Lewis Cook and Nathan Ake deep in conversation.
Andrew Surman put through his paces.
Marc Pugh is all smiles during the session.
Take advantage of 50% off all Umbro gear in the Superstore!
Injury news: Update ahead of Newcastle
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believes the return of Jermain Defoe will give everyone in the squad a lift.
Defoe was involved in first-team training this week after suffering an ankle injury back in December.
The boss also gave the latest on Tyrone Mings who is currently abroad receiving treatment on his back injury.
"We're in pretty good shape ahead of the game on Saturday," he said.
"We've picked up a couple of knocks in the two week window since our last game.
"On Tyrone, he's still out long-term and still won't feature - he's currently abroad working hard on a return.
"Jermain was our other long-term injury and it's a big lift for everyone to get Jermain back.
"He's trained and I'm pleased with what we've seen, he's a natural goalscorer and we look forward to getting him back.
"Will he be in the 18 against Newcastle? You'll find out tomorrow!"
Matchday schedule: Newcastle United
Our game with Newcastle United is the club’s final game this month.
A lot is going on, so here’s a handy schedule of what’s open when around the ground for the game.
9am SUPERSTORE OPEN
The Superstore is open, and there’s a huge 50% off Umbro gear – an offer not to be missed!
The offer is also available online in case you can’t make it to the game, so click here to see the range.
9am TICKET OFFICE OPEN
Our ticket office is open at 9am, and you can buy Leicester City away tickets (which are on general sale), tickets for our under-21s big Vitality Stadium game with Wolves on Monday and Crystal Palace home tickets are on sale to supporters with 25+ home points.
9am SOUTH STAND CAR PARK OPEN
Just behind the stadium, the South Stand car park is open for just £1 to all supporters.
It does tend to fill up approximately 75 minutes before kick-off and there will be delays of up to half an hour leaving post-match. Please be aware, you can turn left at the exit of the car park, and right at the roundabout, which will bring you out via Gloucester Road in Boscombe.
Alternatively, the Sovereign Centre on Christchurch Road, which is approximately 10 minutes’ walk from the ground, is available for matchday parking for both Saturday and week night games. Parking the cost just £2 for 4 hours and £4 for 24 hours.
12.30pm HAREWOOD COLLEGE FOR ALTERNATIVE PARKING
Supporters will also be able to use Harewood College for parking on Saturday home games free of charge.
This parking facility has the advantage of being away from the congestion around Kings Park, while only a short walk to Vitality Stadium, allowing easier access and getting away after the game.
Available from 12.30pm, the car park will be manned by a steward until kick-off and is completely free to park. If using your satnav, please put in Harewood Avenue as the college’s post code sends you slightly off course.
Several residential roads adjacent to the ground have parking restrictions which the club asks supporters to adhere to. Where these do not exist, please be mindful of existing drive entrances and avoid parking illegally or unsafely.
Residents have direct access to parking enforcement officers on a matchday and so to avoid any issues please respect their access.
12pm RETAIL POD OPEN
Our retail pod behind the Colmar Construction Ted MacDougall South Stand is open from 12pm and you can make the most of our 50% off Umbro offer here as well!
12pm 1910 BAR OPEN
Want a drink before the game? The 1910 bar is open for home supporters and is located next to the press entrance in the Vitality Main Stand.
Supporters are required to show home ticket on entry.
Hot food is available in the bistro section this bar does get busy, but below is an alternative…
12pm GREAT ESCAPE OPEN
Our outside bar is open for business from 12pm, with last orders at 2.15pm and the bar closes at 2.30pm. Situated between the Thistlebarrow Road entrance and the Superstore, it’s a great place to meet friends before entering the ground for a drink and a hot snack.
12.30pm FANZONE OPEN
Our Junior Fanzone is open for young supporters at 12.30pm. There’s plenty going on with an Xbox One, table tennis tables and lots more going on. Check it out!
We've got FIFA 18 for our young supporters to play!
12.30pm DC LOUNGE OPEN
The DC Lounge is open to both home and away disabled supporters pre-match.
It is based on the ground floor and first floor in the East Stand for the use of disabled supporters only.
This offers Sky/BT Sport TV and a refreshment service, and a great opportunity for supporters to socialise before the match. There is also a lift available for supporters using the platform. There are also two accessible toilets and a matchday quiz as well.
There is an overflow area on the first floor so don’t be put off if it seems busy.
1.30pm TURNSTILES OPEN
The exception is Turnstile B which will open 1 hour before kick-off due to the Junior Fanzone.
Here’s a video on how to use your ticket/season ticket to get into the ground – every single supporter will have to go through security checks so please ensure an early arrival.
EARLY BIRD OFFERS
To encourage supporters to enter the ground as early as possible, we are trialling an enhanced catering combo and competition entry.
Up to 2.30pm you can take advantage of a pie/pint for £5 (not available in South Stand due to licensing legislation) or pie/hot or cold drink for £4.
Supporters who have entered the ground up to 45 minutes before kick-off will be entered into a draw to win the previous game’s man of the match signed by the player. This week, a signed Lys Mousset shirt will be a prize, our man of the match for the Stoke game.
2.15pm PRE-MATCH ENTERTAINMENT BEGINS
We’ve revamped our big screen so there’s plenty of new entertainment on offer this season.
Look out for the Fans’ Champion for this game as Chris Ashton-Hollis delivers the match ball to the Premier League podium before the match begins.
Chris has been a trustee of Bourne Free, Bournemouth’s Pride Festival, for eight years, whilst also being chair for three years. In that time he has raised huge awareness and made great changes for the people of Bournemouth and Poole. Chris is also active in helping to make a difference within sport and is a member of Proud Cherries, AFC Bournemouth’s official LGBT+ supporters group.
We get underway against Newcastle United!
Media view: Expert opinion on Newcastle
Newcastle United are Saturday’s visitors here at Vitality Stadium, after the Cherries were 1-0 winners in the reverse fixture back in November.
Ahead of the game, we got the Magpies lowdown from former Toon defender John Anderson, who is now a summariser for BBC Radio Newcastle.
Here’s his preview going into the weekend’s game…
What’s the mood like around St. James’ Park at the moment?
Well the mood is an awful lot better than before the Manchester United game. Beating them has given everyone lift. People went into thinking we couldn’t get anything out of the game.
Confidence has grown and belief has grown. The one disappointment that came from it was really the free weekend, they would have wanted to keep the momentum going. But, the win has given everyone a huge lift.
The January signings seem to have settled well. What have you made of them?
Martin Dubravka had an excellent debut in goal and he was thrown in at the deep end. It was a red hot atmosphere with the game being against United and he played with a lot of confidence. He came for crosses and instilled confidence with those in front of him so it was a good debut.
Kenedy has given us something a bit different. He’s direct and good on the ball. There’s also Islam Slimani to come back too, I’m not sure whether he’ll be fit for Saturday, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
How do you think Newcastle will shape up going into the game?
Our away form has been pretty decent because the way that Benitez sets us up away from home makes us difficult to beat. He lets the opposition have the ball, defends a little bit deep, fills areas and holes that are there, and tries to catch teams on the break when they commit too many people forward.
Saturday won’t be any different. He knows Bournemouth are a good footballing side, they build from the back, they like to play football and will be patient.
Just how important is Saturday’s game for Newcastle?
Everyone’s raving about the Manchester United win but all it is really is three points. It doesn’t mean anything unless we can get something at Bournemouth.
We haven’t won back to back since September, where we won three on bounce. So it’s a game that he’ll be looking to get maximum points out of, especially after Bournemouth’s result at Huddersfield, but then they’ll be looking for a response too. It’s a tough tough game to call.
How confident are the fans about avoiding relegation?
Everyone’s a lot more confident after the Manchester United result. We’re up to 14th, but only two points off relegation. There are so many teams in and around the bottom and a lot will now depend on our home form.
We’ve got West Brom, Southampton and Huddersfield all to come at St. James’ Park. They need to be beating these sides and need to get points off those that are around us. But, confidence is definitely higher after the Manchester United result.
You can follow BBC Radio Newcastle on Twitter here.
Ref watch: East in charge of Magpies game
Roger East will be the man in the middle when Newcastle United travel to Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
The official has taken charge of 12 Premier League games to date this season, handing out 40 yellow cards, one red card and awarding one penalty.
This weekend will be the third time that East has taken charge of the Cherries this season, also refereeing the home games against Watford in August and Burnley in November.
He is yet to officiate Newcastle in this season’s Premier League, with the weekend’s game at Vitality Stadium being the first occasion.
On Saturday, East will be assisted by Simon Beck and Sian Massey-Ellis, with James Linington the fourth official.