'Really disappointed' - Paul Merson blasts Newcastle in prediction v Bournemouth
By Russell Edge
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has blasted the performance of Newcastle United in their clash with Burnley when predicting their showdown with Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Magpies fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat to the Clarets at Turf Moor in a match lacking in attacking quality, with Sean Dyche and Rafael Benitez setting out to frustrate the threat of the opposition.
However the home side managed to find a way through the resolute back line of Newcastle, meaning the north east club have just one win on their travels this season.
As a result Merson has hit out at the Magpies’ game plan in Monday’s match, stating that they lacked the attacking impetus or creative flair that they needed to secure a point or more, although he does expect them to secure three points against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Predicting a 2-1 win for Benitez and his players at St James’ Park, he told Sky Sports on their website: “I was really disappointed with Newcastle on Monday night if I’m being honest, the only plan they looked like having was Jonjo Shelvey.
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“It was a game you thought, ‘go and try and win here and kick on,’ but it did not look good to me.
“Bournemouth got a good result at Stoke, but I am going to go 2-1 to Newcastle.”
The Cherries’ last match saw them succumb to an Eden Hazard goal in a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea at Dean Court, leaving them languishing in the relegation zone in 19th.
They are however just one point away from safety, with 17th placed Swansea on eight points, and can take confidence from their last visit to Tyneside.
Eddie Howe saw his side knock three goals past the Magpies at St James’ Park in March 2016 on the way to a 3-1 win, which ended up being Steve McClaren’s final game in charge at the club.
In other Newcastle United news, Benitez has tried to sell this star twice and will do so again in the January transfer window.