Tomorrow sees Eddie Howe return to Dean Court, to the club that made his career as Newcastle take on AFC Bournemouth live on Sky Sports – Kick-off at 5:30pm.
Newcastle will be hoping to break the chain of league draws having tied four of their last five league matches, with the narrow 1-0 win against Fulham the one that stands out. It hasn’t just been the fact that we’ve dropped points, it’s how we’ve tended to dominate those games but have lacked that killer instinct that is the thing that needs to change.
Eddie Howe spoke to the media this morning and is unsure how he feels about his return: “We’ve been preparing as normal. It’s difficult to predict how I’ll feel walking out at a stadium I know so well. We’re just preparing the game as we would any other game. It’s a special place to play football when it’s rocking.”
Newcastle fans made no effort to hide their feelings online last week after Allan Saint-Maximin failed to impress on his return to the starting lineup against West Ham, being much more impressed with new signing Anthony Gordon’s 20-minute contribution. However, although Howe hasn’t outright confirmed that ASM will be back on the team sheet tomorrow, he did drop a massive hint that it would be the Frenchman who will be on the field come kick-off: “Maxi is someone who performs better with a consistent run of games. He has a window to impress. Some aspects of his game were good last week. There was no lack of effort from him. West Ham managed him well.”
That’s not to say that Gordon won’t get his chance after having impressed on his debut: “A really positive debut last week. The first impression you give the supporters is such an important moment. I did some one-to-one work with him on Monday and he trained with the group the rest of the week. He’s shown some really good signs.”
With Bournemouth struggling in the league this term and Newcastle flying high, this should be a no-brainer when it comes to the result, but we said that about Leeds and West Ham and we dropped points there. Clearly, there’s a mental obstacle in the way that Eddie Howe must break down, and there’d be no better way to do that than for the lads to go out and give someone an absolute hammering – but whether that will be tomorrow, I’m not sure.
Score Prediction – Bournemouth 1-2 Newcastle