Last Updated: 09/11/18 3:40pm
Eddie Howe will hope to avoid any manager of the month curses when he takes his Bournemouth side to Newcastle on Saturday.
The Cherries boss has led his side to a remarkable sixth position in the Premier League table after 11 games, and secured three league wins from five during October.
Newcastle, on the other hand, have only one win all season, albeit in their last game, against Watford, and have just five points across the campaign so far.
Howe’s side go into the game at St James’ Park as slight favourites, but one thing that will not be on Howe’s mind when he enters the dugout on Saturday will be his latest award.
He said: “It’s never an individual award. One person alone does nothing but together with the team of staff and players I have, who have been incredible this season to this point, that’s how you achieve things.
“It’s one point in a season and we have to make sure we focus on the games we have coming up. They are going to be hugely important but it ‘s a reward for the whole club.
“I’m very proud of the team. We know how difficult it is to consistently get positive results at this level. The challenge you face from other teams is very strong.”
Rafa Benitez said his Newcastle side need to improve in the final third after netting just seven times in the Premier League so far this season, but is optimistic about their chances against a Bournemouth side including Callum Wilson, who has just been handed his first England call-up for his goalscoring form.
He said: “It is important for us to remember that we had chances against Manchester United and Brighton, but didn’t take them. We had fewer chances against Watford, but scored.
“We have been quite consistent in terms of the balance between attacking and defending, we just have to improve in the final third.
“After an important win, everyone is a bit happier. Hopefully, we can carry on with the same feeling after the next game.”
Bournemouth will hand a late fitness test to Joshua King ahead of the Premier League game at Newcastle.
The Norway international has missed the Cherries’ last three matches due to an ankle injury but has returned to training this week.
Manager Howe has no fresh selection issues and could stick with the same team which were narrowly beaten by Manchester United.
Newcastle are likely to be without Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey and Yoshinori Muto.
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Lascelles (shoulder), Shelvey (muscle injury) and Muto (calf) all left the pitch during last weekend’s 1-0 win over Watford and although Lascelles has done some light training, the other two have not and all three are major doubts.
Manager Rafael Benitez otherwise has only defender Florian Lejeune on the long-term casualty list as he continues his recovery from a knee ligament injury.
- Newcastle have lost both of their Premier League matches against Bournemouth at St. James’ Park – their last home league win against the Cherries was in February 1990 in a second-tier match.
- Bournemouth’s two away Premier League wins against Newcastle are their joint-most against a single opponent – they’ve also won two against Chelsea, Stoke City and West Ham United.
- Newcastle have only lost their first three home top-flight meetings against one other opponent – rivals Sunderland won their first four such visits to Newcastle between April 1899 and September 1901.
- Five of the last seven goals scored in Premier League fixtures between Newcastle and Bournemouth have been scored in the 80th minute or later.
- Newcastle won their first Premier League match of the season against Watford last time out, and are looking for consecutive league wins for the first time since April.
- Bournemouth are looking to secure three consecutive away league wins for the first time ever in the top-flight, last doing so in their final three away Championship games in 2014-15.
- A league-high share 57% of Newcastle’s Premier League goals this season have been headers.
- Bournemouth have won three of their five away league games this season, just one fewer than they managed across the whole of 2017-18 (4/19).
- Only Harry Kane (5) has scored more away goals than Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson in the Premier League this season (4).
- Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson has been involved in 10 goals in 11 Premier League games this season (6 goals, 4 assists) – as many as he was in 28 games in the competition last season (8 goals, 2 assists).
I’m covering this game on Soccer Saturday. It should be a good game after Newcastle’s great result last week. I fancied Watford but they rode their luck and managed to get the result. Newcastle fans will be pleased to hear that I’m going for Bournemouth here. I went for Watford last week and they won, they’ll be hoping for the same this week.
There’s been talk of Callum Wilson going to Chelsea this week and, after earning his first England call, he’ll be buzzing, as will his team-mates who are scoring readily. What’s crazy is that despite going against them, Newcastle and Huddersfield could both get back-to-back wins. That would drag so many teams back into the relegation battle.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-2 (12/1 with Sky Bet)