Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce is going in search of back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since taking up the position at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon, when his side host Bournemouth, but he remains without an injured trio.
The Magpies delivered a fantastic performance to see off West Ham United last week, a clash which they were much more dominant in than the 3-2 score suggested.
Newcastle were 3-0 up in that match at one stage, which was a real fillip for a side who have struggled for goals at various times in the campaign, but who should take a lot of confidence from the display.
Everyone associated with the Magpies will be hoping that win was not a flash in the pan, and is keen for the Tyneside outfit to follow that up against a classy Cherries side, as Bruce looks to win over the home fans.
However the Newcastle boss will have to mastermind a victory without Fabian Schar, Matt Ritchie and Florian Lejeune, each of whom he provided an update on ahead of the match.
“Matt Ritchie and Fabian Schär haven’t made it,” the Magpies’ official website quote him as saying.
“Unfortunately, they’ve still got a bit to do. We still don’t think it’s that bad with Fab and Matt is a bit of a concern because he was going along so well.
“He had a reaction to training so we’ve given him a bit of time off and come off his ankle to see how that does.
“Lejeune is good. It’s a bit too early for this weekend but he’s come through the training schedule he has been on. He’s fine and we just need to get some more minutes into him if we possibly can.
“He’s back training, played 70 minutes the other night and is chomping at the bit.”
Newcastle are unbeaten at home since the opening week of the campaign, but if they are to keep that run intact, they will have to do with without the suspended Sean Longstaff, as well as the injured trio.