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Opinion

Predicted Newcastle team v Bournemouth

2 months ago
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The Newcastle team v Bournemouth will be an interesting selection for Rafa Benitez.

Manager, team and fans coming off the back of that massive comeback victory over Everton.

Injuries and suspension are set to limit the Newcastle boss in some respects but he still has a range of positive options to choose from.

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Martin Dubravka will start his 43rd consecutive Premier League match but what about in front of him?

When Lascelles was forced off through injury against Everton, Rafa reverted to a back four.

Dummett came on and did well, so looks like he will get his first start since the defeat to Man Utd back on 2 January.

With Schar suspended, Clark on the injured list for some time and Lascelles very likely to be ruled out, it looks like a back four just as in that second half last Saturday.

Federico Fernandez was excellent in the first half of the season and unlucky to be left on the sidelines since December, so no worries about him coming in alongside Lejeune.

Ritchie was released to play further forward after the break against Everton and once again he will be one of the first names on the team sheet, wherever he is asked to play, as he returns to his former club.

The front three are surely going to get their chance to make it four wins from five since Almiron got his first start.

So the big decision looks to be who partners Isaac Hayden in the middle of the pitch.

Ki was poor last Saturday and for me it looks a straight decision between Diame and Shelvey.

If Newcastle had lost last Saturday they would be now only three points above the relegation zone but instead a six point buffer and goal difference worth an extra point over Cardiff.

If it had been closer I think maybe it would have tipped the balance towards Diame with Rafa looking to try and make sure of a point.

However, I hope and think Rafa will let Jonjo Shelvey follow up that promising late show off the bench against Everton. He and Hayden proved a very good combination in the Championship and many Newcastle fans will look forward to see what Shelvey can potentially add to the promise of the front three, especially Almiron with the pace to get behind and latch onto balls from somebody who can pick out a pass…

Bournemouth have conceded 54 goals, only three have conceded more (all in the bottom four), so time for Newcastle to try and exploit that.

My predicted Newcastle team v Bournemouth:

Dubravka

Yedlin

Fernandez

Lejeune

Dummett

Ritchie

Hayden

Shelvey

Perez

Rondon

Almiron

A win for Newcastle will be the first five match winning run at home in the Premier League for 16 years for NUFC, here’s hoping this team can deliver.

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