Bournemouth face Newcastle for the first time since 1992 in this weekend’s early kick-off and an injury crisis of epic proportions has made for an intriguing encounter.
The hosts will be without captain Tommy Elphick, top scorer Callum Wilson, first-choice stopper Artur Boruc, record signings Max Gradel and Tyrone Mings and Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu for the visit of the Magpies.
Steve McClaren’s options are even smaller, with the Newcastle gaffer missing Tim Krul, Steven Taylor, Rolando Aarons, Jack Colback, Gabriel Obertan, Emmanuel Riviere and Massadio Haidara among others.
In fact the crisis runs so deep at St James’ Park that McClaren is likely to start with 18-year-old Freddie Woodman in goal and this could mean the end of a six-game winless run for the Cherries.
Eddie Howe’s men go into the game as 23/20 favourites, with Newcastle on at 9/4 and the draw available at 12/5.
However, with the untested Woodman between the sticks there could be some great value in picking a Cherries man to find the back of the net.
In the absence of Wilson winger Matt Ritchie and striker Glenn Murray have been the Dean Court club’s main source of goals, with two apiece and Ritchie’s penchant for a long-range effort could come to the fore against a teenage ‘keeper.
Despite being the Cherries’ joint-second highest scorer Ladbrokes is offering odds of 8/1 on the Scotland international netting the opening goal of the game, while Murray is the market leader at 5/1.
However, with the game being shown live on Sky Sports Ladbrokes will double the odds on any player if they score the opener inside the first 25 minutes.*
The fact that Bournemouth have conceded in each of their last seven games means they are unlikely to have things all their own way, however, and that could make a punt on the Cherries winning a match where both teams score a shrewd choice.
That selection become more tempting still thanks to another Price Boost – pushing the odds from 3/1 to 7/2.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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