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Mark Lawrenson previews and predicts Bournemouth v Newcastle United

5 days ago
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Mark Lawrenson has been looking ahead to this afternoon’s match on the south coast.

Bournemouth already safe and surely Newcastle the same if they win today.

That would make both clubs on 37 points and third bottom Cardiff needing 10 points from the final eight games to overtake the two clubs, without them picking up another point. The Welsh club don’t play this weekend due to FA Cup fixtures and when they do resume they face Chelsea then Man City, with Liverpool and Man Utd also amongst those final eight games.

Still no room for complacency though with Newcastle and Rafa will want to see them reach safety as quickly as possible, the manager having suggested that 38 points looks like it should ensure any club will be ok this season.

Mark Lawrenson thinks ‘Newcastle have taken a lot of pressure off themselves with their great comeback to beat Everton’ and certainly six points clear of the drop zone is an awful lot more comfortable than three points would have been.

However, Lawrenson sees one big obstacle in their way.

Callum Wilson scored to help Bournemouth beat West Ham 2-0 on 19 January and in his absence through injury, the Cherries only picked up one more win until Wilson returned and scored (and got an assist) to help them win 2-0 at Huddersfield last weekend.

Mark Lawrenson pointing out ‘Callum Wilson scored for the Cherries after returning from injury and they are much more dangerous when he is in the team.’

The stats speak for themselves for Wilson and their other main threat Ryan Fraser, who also got a goal and an assist against Huddersfield.

This season Callum Wilson has scored 11 Premier League goals with 6 assists and Ryan Fraser 6 goals and 10 assists.

This compares to Newcastle’s Salomon Rondon who has scored 8 and got 5 assists, whilst Ayoze Perez is on 6 PL goals and 2 assists.

Callum Wilson has started 21 PL games this season and it is 10 wins, 3 draws and 8 defeats, producing 33 points, in the 9 games where he didn’t start it is 4 points and 1 win, 1 draw and 7 defeats.

It is uncannily similar with Newcastle and Salomon Rondon, the NUFC striker starting 22 games and 9 wins, 5 draws and 8 defeats, producing 32 points. When he has not started it is only two points from 8 games, 2 draws and 6 defeats.

One of the big differences between the two teams is Newcastle conceding 16 fewer goals (38 v 54) so hopefully Rafa’s team will deal better with Bournemouth’s threat.

To do so, Rafa will be using different players and maybe a different formation. Schar is suspended and Lascelles injured, so it looks set to be Lejeune and Fernandez in a back four, or maybe fit again Clark as a third central defender.

Radio One DJ Danny Howard and cyclist Laura Kenny are the ones also giving their predictions this week in competition with Mark Lawrenson.

Whilst Mark Lawrenson predicts a 2-0 Bournemouth win, they both go for Newcastle wins, Danny Howard saying 3-1 to Rafa’s men and Laura Kenny 1-0 to the Magpies.

In November it was Rondon’s day, scoring two goals in a man of the match performance whilst Callum Wilson drew a blank in the 90 minutes.

Newcastle winning and another two goals to take Rondon to his first ever season of double figures in the Premier League would be a very nice outcome.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“Newcastle have taken a lot of pressure off themselves with their great comeback to beat Everton last weekend.

“Because they are now six points clear of the relegation zone.

“Bournemouth won too, against Huddersfield, after a run of four defeats and a draw in their previous five games.

“Callum Wilson scored for the Cherries after returning from injury and they are much more dangerous when he is in the team.

“Prediction is Bournemouth 2 Newcastle 0.”

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