Three to go!
Bournemouth come to WHL at the weekend for a bit of that N17 special Saturday lunchtime atmosphere. The last couple of similarly scheduled fixtures were against West Brom and Watford I believe – let’s hope for similar outcomes.
Our visitors have been fairly abysmal in 2017, two wins in thirteen games but they were bright enough before Christmas to ensure that they’ve never been close to flirting properly with the bottom three. Those two wins were recent but were against West Ham and Swansea so do they really count? They are currently 15th with 35 points, 7 clear of 18th and the last relegation place.
The King of Norway
They have only one danger man to speak of, the surprisingly Norwegian Josh King has been experiencing something of a goal rush of late, eleven goals in his last fourteen games and fifteen in total. Benik Afobe and Callum Wilson have chipped in but have contributed nowhere near to the extent that King has. Eddie Howe’s admirers are legion of course however his apparent inability to shore up a leaky defence has attracted a bit of attention of late, indeed notwithstanding my comment above re the unlikelihood of Bournemouth going down, there was time in January and February when they were falling faster than M’Baye Niang after a challenge from Kieran Trippier last weekend and that was due to their inability to ship less than two goals a game.
Trippier was one of many outstanding performers against Watford but it’s more than likely that he will be one of a couple who fail to keep their place. Whatever is up with Kyle Walker, Poch will want to give it a test before next week’s Wembley encounter with Eden Hazard. Vincent Janssen is likely to be the other casualty as Harry Kane attempts to build up a bit of fitness before the semi final. Elsewhere, given the absence of Winks and Rose it’s liable to be as you were, unless there are any unpleasant surprises we don’t know about yet.
Bielsa Bounce anyone?
We’ll be hot favourites with the bookies to put even more distance between us and the chasing pack (insert smiley emoji) and certainly no-one, in our league anyway, would face Alli, Son, Eriksen and Kane in the form they’ve been in with any confidence. I think everyone’s aware of the dip in performance that Pochettino’s team’s show towards the end of a season, there’s no sign at the moment that we’ve anything to fear, complacency and tiredness do set in at the strangest of times though.
We have Michael Oliver in charge to add a bit or randomness to the afternoon.
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