Newcastle vs Bournemouth promises a pair of Premier League litmus tests at St. James’ Park on Saturday (Watch live at 10am ET Saturday on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).
The Magpies and Cherries both enter the match on seven points though Newcastle’s only lost once In six matches — a controversial setback versus Liverpool — and has drawn four times.
Bournemouth’s stepped up since the firing of Scott Parker, which followed a 9-0 shellacking at the hands of Liverpool. The Cherries have drawn Wolves at home and beating Nottingham Forest at the City Ground, and the points they’ve collected against non-Big Six sides are a recipe for safety success.
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How to watch Newcastle vs Bournemouth live, stream link and start time
Back to the litmus tests mentioned above…
Newcastle’s only lost once and views itself as a team on an inevitable rise. Beating Bournemouth at home would continue to show that that rise can happen even faster than projected following the big money takeover from the Middle East.
Bournemouth has been pasted by the big boys but collected seven points from bottom-half sides. Is Gary O’Neil the right man for the job? Was Scott Parker scapegoated after those blowout losses to super teams? Maybe both?
In-form players to keep an eye on
Newcastle: Well, it depends who is healthy, doesn’t it? Newcastle’s two best players this early season have been Bruno Guimares and Allan Saint-Maximin, but both are question marks for Saturday. Should they go, all eyes will be on them and record signing Alexander Isak. But Sven Botman and Fabian Schar have been a solid partnership at the back and Kieran Trippier the guts and fire of the unit. Nick Pope has also been spectacular between the sticks.
Bournemouth: Dominic Solanke scored in the win over Forest and Jaidon Anthony came off the bench to score a goal, but Bournemouth’s success has been equally driven by steel. Watch Phillip BIlling and Jefferson Lerma, who better the defenders behind and forwards atop them.
Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options
Newcastle’s injury woes are getting a bit better, though Jonjo Shelvey (thigh), Karl Darlow (ankle), and Emil Krafth (knee) are still out of the picture. Allan Saint-Maximin (thigh) and Bruno Guimares (thigh) are very close to returning and Bournemouth fans will be hoping that they need just a bit longer. Callum Wilson is a bit more at odds with returning but could feature against his former team.
Kieran Trippier and Joe Willock have driven Newcastle in the absences of the above-named stars, while new forward Alexander Isak has looked bright since arriving from Real Sociedad.
Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup options
Junior Stanislas could return for Bournemouth, who will be missing Benjamin Pearson, David Brooks, and Joseph Rothwell.
The Cherries have been solid up the middle in recent outings. Chris Mepham and Lloyd Kelly have held down the back while Jefferson Lerma and Philip Billing remain longtime Bournemouth standouts.
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Newcastle vs Bournemouth: How to watch, live stream link, TV, team news originally appeared on NBCSports.com