Cherries host Sunderland, Toon face Watford in early relegation tests
During these early stages of the Premier League season, both Northeast clubs Sunderland and Newcastle United find themselves rooted to the bottom two places of the table, and face fellow potential relegation battlers Bournemouth and Watford respectively.
The Black Cats are the odds-on 4/11 favourites with Coral to face a daunting drop down divisions, as they prepare for a visit to Dean Court, while a rock bottom Magpies outfit host Quique Sanchez Flores’ Hornets at St James’ Park.
Bournemouth v Sunderland
After Dick Advocaat helped claw the Black Cats to safety last term, the Dutchman has struggled to continue his side’s form during that successful run-in, as they lie second from bottom, though face a team that has never beaten them in six attempts.
Sunderland are 4/1 to capture their first victory of the campaign, currently being one of three sides without a domestic win, alongside Northeast rivals Newcastle and Stoke City, while Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth are odds-on 3/4 favourites for a maiden home triumph.
Callum Wilson is currently the division’s joint leading scorer so far with four strikes, after a hat-trick against West Ham United and an early goal over Leicester City, making the in-form Englishman 9/2 to open proceedings this time out.
Though the travelling side possess plenty of firepower themselves, despite their early struggles, in the form sharpshooter Jermain Defoe and he is 2/1 to net anytime, having dispatched a treble last month in a Capital One Cup clash with Exeter City.
The hosts will have to do without winger Max Gradel and Tyrone Mings, while Republic of Ireland international Harry Arter is not fit enough to return, with Steven Fletcher, Adam Johnson and Adam Matthews all facing late fitness tests for the Black Cats.
Newcastle v Watford
Steve McClaren has endured a stuttering beginning to his time in charge of the Toon, and the former Derby County boss is under immense pressure to secure a first season win, which they are 29/20 to earn on home soil.
This will be the first time these two sides have collided in the top tier since 2007, during a season when they shared the spoils twice in both league and cup encounters, with another draw this time out available at 9/4.
Watford have not overcome their next opposition in over two decades, but are 21/10 to end that unwanted record on Tyneside. Odion Ighalo is likely to be the Hornet’s key goal threat, having netted twice this term already, and the Nigerian forward is 2/1 to add to his tally anytime.
Newcastle have failed to find the net in the league since their opening day stalemate with Southampton, though Senegal striker Papiss Cisse is potentially their main dangerman on home turf and is 5/1 to open the scoring.
Aleksandar Mitrovic is still suspended for the Toon, with McClaren also confirming that Cheick Tiote, Steven Taylor and Mike Williamson are out with knocks, while Watford are missing Miguel Britos and Valon Behrami through domestic bans.
Betting tip: Callum Wilson to score first for Bournemouth @ 9/2