Newcastle United’s main aim for the season when they earned promotion from the Championship was to stay in the Premier League.
While survival may still be the number one priority, the club may be aiming slightly higher given the start that they have had.
Rafael Benitez has guided the team to ninth in the table after overseeing four wins, two draws and four defeats.
The club’s three-game unbeaten run was cut short on Monday night when the Magpies were beaten 1-0 by Burnley.
The North-East outfit will hope to head into the international break on a positive note when they welcome Bournemouth to St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon.
The two sides last went head to head in the 2015-16 season, and both came away with a win each.
Newcastle defeated the Cherries by a single goal at the Vitality Stadium before Eddie Howe’s team got revenge with a 3-1 away win in the reverse fixture.
Pundit Paul Merson has criticised Newcastle’s display against Burnley, but believes that Benitez’s men will secure a 2-1 victory.
The ex-Arsenal man told Sky Sports:
“I was really disappointed with Newcastle on Monday night if I’m being honest, the only plan they looked like having was Jonjo Shelvey. It was a game you thought, ‘go and try and win here and kick on,’ but it did not look good to me. Bournemouth got a good result at Stoke, but I am going to go 2-1 to Newcastle.”