By 90Min
October 31, 2017

Newcastle United's return to life in the top tier has been impressive, with a string of steady performances earning them a respectable ninth place standing in the current table.

The Magpies did, however, miss the chance to move within touching distance of the top five, with Sean Dyche's Burnley side prevailed 1-0 winners at Turf Moor, meaning they now occupy sixth place after a confident start to the season.

Steve Bardens/GettyImages

Newcastle were without their key man in midfield, Mikel Merino who was ruled out following a back problem. Since joining on a permanent basis from Borussia Dortmund, the young Spaniard has become a regular starter in Benitez's eleven.

As reported by 101 Great Goals, the Newcastle manager said, "We have to wait. He will see the specialist and see how he feels.


"We need to wait a couple of days and be sure we have the right decision for him."

However, Rafa Benitez and Newcastle are still sweating over his fitness, as it is still unclear whether he'll be ready for Saturday afternoon when they entertain a struggling Bournemouth side who currently sit second bottom above Crystal Palace.

The Cherries have lost seven of their opening ten games so far, and will be in desperate need of the win this weekend if they are start to climb out of the relegation places. Meanwhile, Newcastle  could move up to sixth if other fixtures swing in their favour.

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