Bournemouth vs Newcastle preview: Ryan Fraser fit for Cherries
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Last Updated: 16/03/19 7:21am
Ryan Fraser will be fit for Bournemouth after recovering from a knock as they host Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday.
Fraser missed the first part of this week's training after picking up a very slight injury last weekend but should be fine to start at the Vitality Stadium.
Bournemouth ended a run of five Premier League games without a win when they beat Huddersfield last Saturday, and manager Eddie Howe now wants consistency from his side.
"We have to take the positives from last week. We were very good and look as if we're in a very good place. The first goal in Premier League games is always important," he said.
"We want to find that consistency. I've sensed a desire and attitude within the group to end the season on a high. This is a big game for us.
"They [Newcastle] have been on a good run and they've been resolute, hard to beat, they've changed system a couple of times and it's worked for them. I think Rafa Benitez has done an excellent job galvanising the team and his recruitment's been very smart and they're a tough team to beat."
Newcastle edged to within four points of Benitez's survival target of 38 with the win over Everton last weekend, but the manager insists they cannot relax just yet after seeing his side go down in their last away game at West Ham.
He said: "You can see that the confidence is high, but again I have told them, we have to be careful.
"Still the job is not done, so we have to keep working hard, we need to approach every game like a final, and if we do that and we don't make the mistakes that we did against West Ham, we can compete against anyone."
Bournemouth have no new injury concerns with Steve Cook (groin), Simon Francis and Lewis Cook (both knee) still out.
Newcastle will be without captain Jamaal Lascelles (knee), who joins Sean Longstaff and Rob Elliott on the sidelines. However, Ciaran Clark is back in contention.
Bournemouth have won neither of their home Premier League meetings with Newcastle, losing in 2015-16 and drawing in 2017-18.
Newcastle's only league defeat away at Bournemouth came in the second tier in September 1989, with Mick Quinn scoring the Magpies' goal in a 1-2 defeat.
The home side has only won once in the five previous Premier League meetings between Bournemouth and Newcastle (D1 L3), with Newcastle winning the reverse fixture at St James' Park in November.
Newcastle have won just three of their 27 away Premier League games on the south coast (vs Brighton, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Southampton), drawing 10 and losing 14.
Each of Bournemouth's last seven home league defeats have come against 'big six' opposition. The last side from outside the 'big six' to beat them at the Vitality Stadium was Burnley in November 2017.
Newcastle have picked up just two points from their last 18 available away from home in the Premier League (P6 W0 D2 L4).
Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson have combined for nine Premier League goals for Bournemouth this season - the last duo to combine for more in a single season were Arsenal's Nicolas Anelka and Dennis Bergkamp in 1998-99 (10 goals).
Only against Swansea (4) has Salomon Rondon scored more Premier League goals than he has against Bournemouth (3), with the Venezuelan netting both of Newcastle's goals in their 2-1 win against the Cherries earlier this season.
Bournemouth's Callum Wilson is looking to score in four consecutive league appearances for the first time since October 2014 in the Championship.
Newcastle's Ayoze Perez has netted six Premier League goals this season, though they've all been at St James' Park. He's the highest goalscorer in the division this season yet to score away from home.
Charlie Nicholas' prediction
If I was picking a game to watch on Saturday afternoon this is the one I would like. Bournemouth are very good to watch. Callum Wilson is back and he's got an international call-up again. He must be feeling good about himself.
I like Josh King and Wilson as a partnership - good movement and a real partnership. They're weak at the back because of injuries but the twist here with Rafael Benitez is he's let his team off the reigns a bit. Miguel Almiron has improved them and when you buy that type of player you must be more adventurous. Him, Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon are a handful. Whoever watches this should be in for a treat.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: Bournemouth 3-2 Newcastle (28/1 with Sky Bet)