Bournemouth boss predicts £67m Newcastle United duo to start at Vitality Stadium after being benched

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Eddie Howe takes his Newcastle United side to to former club Bournemouth this evening (kick-off 5:30pm).

Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola played down suggestions that this is a good time to play Newcastle United because of their growing injury list.

Eddie Howe will be without 10 senior players for this evening's Premier League clash at the Vitality Stadium. Bruno Guimaraes and Sandro Tonali are suspended, while Alexander Isak, Harvey Barnes, Jacob Murphy, Dan Burn, Elliot Anderson, Sven Botman, Javier Manquillo and Matt Targett are injured.

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Former Cherries striker Callum Wilson is also a doubt but Iraola is expecting "the best" Newcastle, whose starting XI is set to include wingers Anthony Gordon and Miguel Almiron after they started on the bench for the 2-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in midweek.

The Spaniard said: “I would give them all their injured players to take mine also, for me, that would be much better!

Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“They have a very good team, they played against Borussia Dortmund and they left Anthony Gordon and Almirón on the bench; they will probably start tomorrow.

“They also rested Callum Wilson, he only played 45. They have a very good team and they are doing really well.

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“We expect the best Newcastle because it’s what we will have tomorrow. If we are thinking otherwise, we are starting in the wrong spot.”

Howe and Iraola have crossed paths previously when the Magpies' head coach visited Iraola's Rayo Vallecano during his break from football.

“It's something normal between coaches,” Iraola explained. "Sometimes we spend some time together watching different trainings, talking about the game.

"But it's true. Once you start a coaching team and we start doing it when it starts with his job, we respect each other.It's true that you can know other coaches from the same league, but normally while you are in the competition there's normally not much contact.

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“He came to see us and to spend some days with us. He went with other teams also, I'm sure. He tried to speak with a lot of people. It's what normally all the managers do whenever you have time, you try to see other things or other teams or their trainings.”

Iraola believes Howe's return to the Vitality Stadium - his second visit since leaving in 2020 - will be "very special".

“I think it will be a very special game for him for sure, for sure, because he has been here for a lot of time. He will try to win the game. He will prepare as good as he can. He will put the best 11 he has and we have to do the same," Iraola added.

“For sure we will talk after the game and we will speak about a lot of things, but like we do with other managers. But for him, I'm sure it's going to be very special because whenever you return to a place where you've been so successful, you've been so, so, so happy, it has to be special for sure.”

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