Newcastle United got a huge win against Manchester United last time out, but will face a very different task when they head to the Bournemouth this weekend.
Playing against Manchester United got the best out of a lot of the players, such as Jonjo Shelvey, who gave it their all from the first minute to unsettle the Red Devils and drag Newcastle towards victory. As well the players, the fans were in fine voice, providing an incredible atmosphere inside St James’ Park.
However, this might not be the case at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday. The Magpies will have a huge away following as usual, but that tiny corner of Dean Court is not quite the same as a full and bouncing St James’ Park.
The tone was set straight away against Man United, getting about Jose Mourinho’s team and pressing them high and getting in their faces, spending a lot of time without the ball.
Against Bournemouth, the battle for possession might be a bit closer, and it will be a cagier affair with the Cherries also looking to secure Premier League survival.
Rafa Benitez got his team spot on against Manchester United, but should he choose the same team to take on Bournemouth?
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Martin Dubravka has to retain his place, while the midfield and defence should also remain a constant after a brilliant performance both with and without the ball.
The issue, however, is up front. Dwight Gayle and Ayoze Perez still are not scoring goals, with new arrival Islam Slimani waiting in the wings.
Benitez has always been one to rotate his side, but this could be a time to stick with the same XI and give the players another chance to replicate what they did against Manchester United.
If things are not going quite as well, then Benitez has the options of Slimani, Jacob Murphy, Christian Atsu and Mikel Merino off the bench, all players who could change a game for Newcastle.
We want to see Slimani as soon as possible in a Newcastle shirt, but it might make more sense for his debut to come off the bench against Bournemouth.
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