Bournemouth's Eddie Howe worried about Newcastle threat, as he backs ex-Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe on North East return

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe

Former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe is likely to lead the Bournemouth line at St James's Park, with injury limiting Eddie Howe's forward options.

But the Cherrries' boss has faith the England frontman, who Howe believes has an important part to play for his side this season.

Benik Afobe and Junior Stanislas are OUT of tomorrow afternoon's encounter and Josh King, a reported summer target of Magpies boss Rafa Benitez, is rated as doubtful.

Callum Wilson, another who was understood to be interesting Benitez, is back from a long-term injury problem but has little minutes under his belt and is unlikely to be risked against United from the off.

Howe confirmed: "Both Benik Afobe and Junior Stanislas will miss this weekend.

"Benik should be back after international break and we have no other new concerns.

Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe

"Joshua King is a player we’ll have to make a late decision on.

"I think Callum Wilson is getting there. He’s going to need a lot of football to get back to his best but he looks sharp.

"Jermain Defoe is fine. He has a really important part in our season and he’s already scored and created chances.

"Jermain’s got every opportunity to go to the World Cup and it is up to us and him to help give himself the best chance.

"We’ve only scored six goals at the moment and that’s not enough. That’s about the team, not one individual."

Bournemouth come to Tyneside in search of their third win of the campaign.

And Howe knows just how tough it will be for his side, due to the defensive organisation of manager Benitez.

But the 39-year-old is also wary of the threat United pose at the other end, despite two of the Magpies' front four - Ayoze Perez and Joselu - coming for some recent criticism.

"I think Newcastle are a very well organised team," said Howe.

"Benitez organises his side as one that’s hard to beat.

"Newcastle are a very difficult proposition, a very well organised team and that’s what Rafael Benitez does – but they also have offensive players who can hurt you.

"They’re on the way up, and they’ve built of the momentum they gained from winning promotion last season, so we know it’s going to be a very tough game."