This weekend provides an interesting match-up in the Premier League as Newcastle United will be hosting Bournemouth. The Magpies go into the game chasing back-to-back wins for the first time since April this year whilst Bournemouth are currently 6th after an electric start. It will be a game that pits past vs present for The Cherries in Matt Ritchie vs Ryan Fraser.
There was once a time where these two Scottish internationals shared a dressing room at club level. Both of them were at Bournemouth as The Cherries rose through the football league, however they wouldn’t be teammates for too long when Eddie Howe helped them reach the promised land of the Premier League as Ritchie departed for Newcastle, dropping to the Championship in the process.
Since he made that move, a transfer which cost Newcastle £10.8 million, Matt Ritchie has been one of the main creative forces at St James park and after helping the club win the Championship in first season he’s only gone on to thrive and memorably scored the only goal of the game as Newcastle beat Manchester United last season at St James Park. If Newcastle are to get a result against Bournemouth, Ritchie’s influence will no doubt be vital.
In the away dressing room for the upcoming clash at St James Park, and in this battle, is Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser. The electric young winger was signed for a minimal fee of around £400,000 in January 2013. Whilst he wasn’t thrown in as an immediate starter, his impact at Dean Court is now being felt and his three goals and five assists in 11 Premier League games this season have proven pivotal to The Cherries early season form.
The 24-year-old winger has pace to burn and the technical ability to match, a devastating combination that not many sides have been able to cope with in the Premier League this season as Eddie Howe’s side have found themselves 6th as we head into November. Without Fraser, the Cherries would be nowhere near where they are now and considering how little they signed him for over five years ago, you can see why the Vitality Stadium sings his name every week.
Whilst both players could easily sway the game on Saturday, the impact that Fraser has had this season with his goals and assists in matches means that he wins this battle. Now all there’s to do is wait and see who comes out on top when they face off at St James Park on the weekend.