Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has picked out Newcastle United trio Miguel Almiron, Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon as being key to their chances against Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Paraguayan’s club-record arrival in January has given everyone a lift and has seen both Perez and Rondon up their game significantly. However, Nicholas believes they won’t be enough to prevent a 3-2 home win at the Vitality Stadium.
“If I was picking a game to watch on Saturday afternoon this is the one I would like,” he wrote on the Sky Sports website. “I like Josh King and [Callum] Wilson as a partnership – good movement and a real partnership. They’re weak at the back because of injuries but the twist here with Rafael Benitez is he’s let his team off the reins a bit.
“Miguel Almiron has improved them and when you buy that type of player you must be more adventurous. Him, Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon are a handful. Whoever watches this should be in for a treat.”
A few months ago it would have been unthinkable to predict a Newcastle game to finish 3-2 in either direction. Benitez was playing spoiler tactics and was doing whatever it took to get points on the board. However, since Almiron’s arrival we have seen the Spaniard get a bit more adventurous. Newcastle are suddenly fun to watch again, especially with players like Perez and Rondon in the kind of form that they’re in. It will be a tough game for them on Saturday, though, because Bournemouth are no mugs. They have a very strong strike force and it’s not going to be easy for the Magpies to deal with Wilson, especially with Fabian Schar suspended and Jamaal Lascelles injured. Still, they will give it a good go, so as Nicholas says, this one should be a great game for the neutral. Hopefully it ends up going in Newcastle’s favour, but we’ll have to wait and see.