Newcastle United - AFC Bournemouth Preview: Toon looking to save their season

Steve McClaren and his Newcastle side take on Bournemouth at St James' Park this Saturday in a battle of the relegation candidates.

Newcastle United - AFC Bournemouth Preview: Toon looking to save their season
(photo: getty)

Steve McClaren and his Newcastle United side are in a 'must win' scenario this weekend, when they face AFC Bournemouth at St James' Park.  

The Magpies will be hoping that their home crowd can lift them, after a pretty dismal showing away from home against Stoke City on Wednesday night. 

The headlines though fall at the front door of Andros Townsend though, with rumours rift that he will not be risked for the game. 

Background

There's not much to go off when you look at the previous games between these two sides, as Bournemouth are very new to the whole top flight schedule - with the only meeting coming early this season. 

Newcastle somehow came out on top in that one, with Ayoze Perez scoring the only goal of the game giving Newcastle all three points - Rob Elliot was also a stand out figure in that game. 

In terms of current form though both sides don't boast very good records at all. 

Newcastle have only won one of their last five Premier League games, that singular win being a home triumph. Bournemouth have also only won one of their last five league games as well - and they beat Southampton 2-0 last time out. 

Team News

It doesn't look good for Newcastle again, as their every growing injury list doesn't seem to be getting any shorter. Skipper Fabrico Coloccini will be assessed before the game as he fights his way back from injury. However, Tim Krul, Chancel Mbemba and Massadio Haidara are all still out with injuries.

Bournemouth don't have as many concerns as their opponents, but the ones they do have are to key players. The concerns they have are to midfielder Harry Arter and forward Josh King - Junior Stanislas also remains a doubt after missing midweek.  

Players to watch

Jonjo Shelvey: If captain Coloccini doesn't return this weekend, then Shelvey is the man likely to step in and he will be the man everyone looks to for support. He's come into the team as a creative midfielder and now he also has the task of leading the 10 men around him. If he can juggle the pressure that awaits him on Saturday, there's a big chance his side can snatch all three points. 

Benik Afobe: You can't look past him as un-important, because funnily this man scores the goals for Eddie Howe. He seems to be loving his football down at Bournemouth, and if he is firing on all cylinders this weekend then the makeshift Newcastle defence could be in for a long afternoon.

Afobe has made an impressive start to his Cherries career (photo: getty)
Afobe has made an impressive start to his Cherries career (photo: getty)