Friday, 4 March 2016

Newcastle have strengthened but are still struggling

Newcastle had plenty of time to reflect on their 5-1 demolition handed out by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge a couple of weeks ago. Since then they have had a midweek game against Stoke where they lost out narrowly, but they are finding it hard to pick up points and the Cherries have to make the most of that.

The media have been focussing on the amount of money that Steve McClaren has been able to spend in January and while the signings of Jonjo Shelvey, Andros Townsend and the signings of Henri Saivet and Doumbai may have strengthened the Toon Army, but they have heaped even more pressure on the manager. Two wins in their last 10 games is only one win worse than the Cherries, but Newcastle are finding it hard to break out of the lower regions of the table and that in itself brings its own pressure as well.
Newcastle Utd players at Dean Court earlier this season.
Goals are what will save the Geordies if anything does, but with midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum their top scorer there is plenty of room for improvement from their strikers. Andros Townsend was rested with a hamstring problem but could make it back for this game. Mitrovic and Perez have had their moments including Perez' goal at Dean Court, but McClaren had to strengthen in January and he decided on Seydou Doumbia on loan from AS Roma. Doumbia still has not scored yet. In fact, I am not sure if he has even made it on the team bus! 

McClaren may also have hoped that the return to fitness of Steve Taylor would make a big difference in defence but the drubbing that Newcastle got at Chelsea still leaves a question mark over the back four with Janmaat, Coloccini and Aarons not proving very water tight, although they got a clean sheet a week earlier against WBA at St James' Park. That is the worry. At home Newcastle are a different team and the Cherries will have to quieten the crowd with some early pressure if they are to pull away from Newcastle and get a win, which would be one of the most important of the season. I even believe a draw would be a good result for the Cherries as it would be very damaging to Newcastle not to make any ground on the Cherries at this stage.

Newcastle's team last time out against Stoke City.

Janmatt, Taylor, Lascelles, Dummett
Shelvey, Colback
Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Gouffran
Newcastle Home Form

AFCB Away Form

Competition time - Guess the minute of the Last goal
I am just keeping you on your toes by changing the competition this week to ask you in what minute do you think the last goal will go in for either team during the game between Newcastle Utd and AFC Bournemouth? 

Tweet the minute to @Peter Bell19 to win an AFCB key ring with screwdriver end fittings - I rather like that prize! If no one guesses the exact minute we will go with the closest guess and if we have more than one correct answer we will draw the winner from the hat. Good luck!

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