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Preview: Bournemouth vs. Newcastle United - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Bournemouth vs. Newcastle United - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday night's Premier League clash between Bournemouth and Newcastle United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Out-of-form Bournemouth welcome Newcastle United to the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday night looking for a much-needed win to ease their relegation concerns.

Eddie Howe's side currently sit in the relegation zone with only seven games of their season remaining, whereas Newcastle are effectively safe with just one point needed to reach the 40 mark.

Match preview

Things look increasingly bleak for Bournemouth at the moment and it will take a dramatic turnaround in form if they are to avoid relegation this season.

The Cherries are rock-bottom of the form table with only one point from their last six Premier League games, including two defeats without scoring since play resumed after the coronavirus lockdown.

Goals have been an issue all season - only Norwich City and Crystal Palace have scored fewer - and so their cause will not be helped by attackers Ryan Fraser and Jordon Ibe leaving the club at the end of their contracts on June 30.

Considering Bournemouth paid £15m for Ibe and rejected big money for Fraser last summer, losing both players on free transfers will leave them thinking what might have been and they will be desperate to avoid adding any more regrets over the closing weeks of the Premier League season.

The only saving grace for the club right now is that those around them in the table - Watford, West Ham, Aston Villa and Norwich - are all in poor form too, and so Bournemouth are still only separated from safety by goal difference despite having lost a joint league-high eight top-flight games already this calendar year.

The most recent of those was a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out - a 14th successive Premier League game in which they have conceded stretching back to December 14.

Should they lose again on Wednesday then it becomes that bit more difficult to see them surviving, with four of the top seven - Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Manchester City - next up after this match.

That would be a difficult run of fixtures for any club, yet alone the most out-of-form one in the division, and Newcastle will certainly not be easy either as they continue to impress under Steve Bruce.

An FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Manchester City on Sunday may have ended their hopes of a first trophy since 1955, but the 2019-20 campaign is still on course to be more successful than many fans had been expecting.

The Magpies still need a point to reach that magic 40 mark which almost always guarantees survival, but they will have no realistic relegation fears and will instead have their sights set on loftier goals such as a top-half finish.

Newcastle are three points adrift of 10th-placed Crystal Palace heading into gameweek 32 and have a relatively kind run-in, with four of the bottom six to face in their final seven games of the season.

Having said that, they only managed a 1-1 draw with another relegation candidate Aston Villa in their last Premier League outing - a result which disappointed Bruce but at least extended their Premier League unbeaten run to four games.

Wednesday's match will be Newcastle's first away from home since March 7, when they beat Southampton to end a six-match winless streak on their travels.

Not since New Year's Day 2018 have the Magpies won back-to-back Premier League away games, but they travel to Dean Court having avoided defeat in all three of their previous away visits to Bournemouth in the Premier League era.

Victory on Wednesday would see Newcastle complete the league double over Bournemouth for the very first time, having won the reverse fixture 2-1 in November.

Bournemouth Premier League form: LLDLLL

Newcastle Premier League form: LLDWWD
Newcastle form (all competitions): DWWWDL

Team News

Bournemouth will be without Callum Wilson for this match after he picked up his 10th yellow card of the season last time out.

Joshua King is likely to be ready to return, though, having missed the defeat to Wolves but avoided serious injury after Gary Cahill's challenge on him during the Crystal Palace match.

Philip Billing is also expected to be fit despite coming off five minutes into the second half at Wolves due to a dead leg, but Simon Francis and Charlie Daniels remain sidelined.

Newcastle, meanwhile, will hand a late fitness test of former Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie after he missed the FA Cup match against Man City with a hamstring injury.

Ciaran Clark and Florian Lejeune will miss out again, but a number of first-team players such as Martin Dubravka, Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton are expected to return.

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Stacey, S Cook, Ake, Smith; Brooks, L Cook, Lerma, Billing, Stanislas; King

Newcastle possible starting lineup:
Dubravka; Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose; Almiron, Shelvey, S Longstaff, Hayden, Saint-Maximin; Joelinton

We say: Bournemouth 1-1 Newcastle

The formbook points to a Newcastle win in this match, but Bournemouth are running out of time to get results and, considering their run of fixtures after this one, will know that this is one of the best remaining chances to pick up an elusive win.

We feel that they will fall just short of that, but they may come away with a point which could still be enough to lift them out of the relegation zone.

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