Bournemouth host Newcastle on Wednesday night in desperate need of the points to steer themselves away from the Premier League drop zone.
The Cherries are winless in their previous six league outings, a poor run of form which has seen them plummet down the table into the drop zone. Since football’s return, Eddie Howe’s men have been completely outclassed by Crystal Palace, and while their performance at Wolves was a little more encouraging, they ultimately left empty-handed.
Newcastle on the other hand have enjoyed a solid return to league football, picking up four points from their opening two league games, though the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup quarter-final ended any chances of silverware this season.
Here’s 90min’s preview of the upcoming clash.
When Is Kick Off? Wednesday 1 July
What Time Is Kick Off? 18:00 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Vitality Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports Premier League
Referee? Kevin Friend
Eddie Howe is handed a huge boost with the return of Josh King for the clash with Newcastle. King missed the trip to Molineux after limping off in the defeat to Crystal Palace following a clash with Gary Cahill.
Long-term casualty Charlie Daniels remains sidelined, otherwise Howe has a fully-fit squad to choose from.
Newcastle are expected to be able to call upon the services of midfield duo Isaac Hayden and former Bournemouth man Matt Ritchie. The pair were forced off in the draw with Aston Villa last week, and having missed the FA Cup clash with City on Sunday are expected to be fit.
Bournemouth: Ramsdale; Stacey, Cook, Ake, Rico; Brooks, Cook, Billing, H Wilson; King, C Wilson.
Newcastle United: Dubravka; Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose; Almiron, Shelvey, Hayden, Saint-Maximin; Gayle, Joelinton.
Both sides come into this one off the back of a defeat, though Bournemouth are in far worse form than Newcastle.
Howe’s men have picked up just one point from their previous six games, winning only two league games since 14 December.
After looking like flirting with relegation themselves, Newcastle’s end-of-season form sees them sitting comfortably in 14th place – 12 points above Bournemouth in 18th – and they now look set for a comfortable end to the campaign.
When these two sides met back in November it was Newcastle who took away the three points, with goals from defenders DeAndre Yedlin and Ciaran Clark sealing a 2-1 win for the Magpies.
Wolves 1-0 Bournemouth (24/06)
Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace (20/06)
Liverpool 2-1 Bournemouth (07/03)
Bournemouth 2-2 Chelsea (29/02)
Burnley 3-0 Bournemouth (22/02)
Newcastle 0-2 Manchester City (28/06)
Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa (24/06)
Newcastle 3-0 Sheffield United (21/06)
Southampton 0-1 Newcastle (07/03)
West Brom 2-3 Newcastle (03/03)
There’s no doubting which of these two sides need the points more; Howe’s men are in grave danger of losing their Premier League status after five seasons in the top flight.
However, Bruce will be keen to finish the season on a high with reports suggesting he may be soon heading for pastures new, with the prospective new owners said to be looking to bring their own man in.
However, with Sunday’s FA Cup defeat ending Newcastle’s hopes of silverware this season, this could be the perfect time for the Cherries to play a side who have little left to play for.
Prediction: Bournemouth 1-0 Newcastle