Bournemouth come to WHL on Sunday afternoon for the first time ever I believe.
It’s been said before but the unlikely rise of Leicester City to the top of the pile has obscured several other who’d-have-thunk-it? type stories this season, West Ham and Watford for example, but chief amongst them should be the achievement of the Cherries in overcoming not only a relative lack of resources but also a horrendous run of injuries to ensure that they’ll spend at least one more season in the Premier League.
Good coaching and clever recruitment seems to be at the heart of their success as even without Wilson, Ritchie and Gradel to name but a few for most of the season they’ve still secured safety with still two months to go.
You can’t beat a bit of bully
It’s to our advantage that Bournemouth come to play in a relaxed frame of mind; it’s our job to make sure that they don’t leave feeling even more cheerful. On the face of it this is a game we should be able to perform in in the same way we did against Swansea, Watford, Villa and so many other games where our aggressive defending and in your face midfield has made the opposition struggle for space and possession and if we do manage to produce a display of that nature it would pretty much guarantee a win and also prove a huge fillip with the finishing line now almost visible on the horizon.
Poch will want to field a team as close as possible to the one that played at Villa Park and as far I’m aware there haven’t been any injuries to any of the eleven so he should be able to.
Don’t I know you?
Bournemouth have invested in speed up front to go with their hard work in midfield and there’s no doubt they carry a threat in former Gooner Afobe and Josh King. At the back we should see the return of both Charlie Daniels and Adam Smith. The latter was particularly well thought of when coming up through the ranks and it was a bit of a surprise when he was asked to pack his bags. They’ve got several players who will thus wish to make a point.
With the international break over Easter we don’t play again until 2nd April (at Anfield). Given that this is the last Premier League fixture of the weekend it would be wonderful to send a message to the other there-and-thereabouts teams at the top as a parting gesture. As usual, if we avoid mistakes and take our chances – Kane is so key to the next couple of months – we should be ok, Bournemouth are tigerish and speedy though so it won’t be achieved without a scare or two.
Neil Swarbrick is the referee.
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