Whilst Newcastle United look to continue their recent run of solid form within the Premier League, Bournemouth remain desperate to remove themselves from the relegation zone.
Looking to extend their league unbeaten stretch to a season-high five consecutive matches, visiting Newcastle aim to hand Bournemouth a fourth straight top-flight defeat on Wednesday night.
Sitting on 39 points, Newcastle (10-9-12) appear safe in the race to avoid relegation. That's not the same case for Bournemouth (7-6-18), who are 12 points behind the Magpies and began this week atop the drop zone.
These squads find themselves amongst two different worlds at the moment.
Though Newcastle fell 2-0 versus Manchester City over the weekend in FA Cup play, they are amidst a 2-2-0 stretch within the Premier League. Their most recent effort in the top-flight ended with a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa last Wednesday.
Dwight Gayle put the Magpies up in the 68th minute of that contest. However, Villa answered with a goal in the 83rd to eventually share the spoils. It was a bit of a disappointment for Newcastle, who were looking for a season-high third consecutive league triumph.
"We've embraced the competition a little bit," manager Steve Bruce told Newcastle's official website. "We've got to see how we are fatigue-wise ... Certainly I will be looking at who is the fittest and the freshest."
It would seem stars Gayle and Jonjo Shelvey could be available for this contest. Gayle came on as a sub versus City whilst Shelvey (five goals over all competitions) did not play in that match. He did take the pitch against Villa.
Gayle did not play during Newcastle's 2-1 home victory over Bournemouth on Nov. 9. DeAndre Yedlin and Ciaran Clark each scored in that match. Harry Wilson opened the scoring in the match for Bournemouth, who are 0-1-5 within the league since posting back-to-back victories over Brighton & Hove Albion and Aston Villa - the latter coming in early February.
The Cherries have been outscored 3-0 in losing to Crystal Palace and Wolves in two since the Premier League restart.
"We've got to keep going, we know it's tight down there," defender Adam Smith told Bournemouth's official website.
Things would appear to get tighter for the Cherries, who announced this week that star Ryan Fraser, Jordon Ibe and Jermain Defoe will leave the club when their contracts expire in the coming days.
Fraser, for one, has been linked to teams such as Everton, per reports out of England.