'In trouble' - BBC Sport pundit predicts Bournemouth v Newcastle - delivers relegation verdict
Former Liverpool star and current BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson has said that all the teams from Bournemouth downwards are fighting for survival ahead of their clash with Newcastle United.
The Cherries currently sit 10th on 31 points in the Premier League table, 14 points behind 6th placed Arsenal but just 11 ahead of bottom of the pile West Brom, and are just five away from Southampton in the first of the relegation spots.
Newcastle meanwhile find themselves three points and three places behind Eddie Howe and his men, having lifted themselves up from the drop zone in 18th with their shock victory over Manchester United in their last outing.
Ahead of what could be a clash which could determine the survival of one of the two clubs as the season goes on, Lawrenson has boldly stated that there are 10 teams fighting for their futures, and that such crucial matches will be played every week now.
Predicting a 1-1 draw between Bournemouth and Newcastle, he wrote in his column on the BBC Sport website: “There are so many teams involved in the relegation scrap that there are going to be games like this one between struggling sides every week.
“Everyone from 10th-placed Bournemouth downwards is in trouble, including Newcastle, and all of the teams involved would need to get on a run where they win, say, four out of five games to reach safety. I don’t see it happening.
“The Magpies will move level on points with Bournemouth if they beat them, but a draw is a more likely outcome.”
While Newcastle go into the clash off the back of their impressive win against Manchester United, the Cherries were soundly beaten 4-1 away at Huddersfield in their last game, ending a seven game unbeaten streak in the league.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, a top flight giant has readied an £18million bid for one of the club’s top stars.